Elementary Overview

The Elementary Program

The Elementary program is designed to promote a love of knowledge, a high level of personal independence and a lasting sense of self worth and academic competence.  Each student is encouraged to work at his or her individual potential and to develop, both academically and socially, to the best of his or her ability.

At Heartwood, students are able to learn at their own pace.  The supportive peer group setting allows for social growth. A relaxed atmosphere is combined with a sense of order and understanding.  Learning is a natural part of this environment.

A strong educational program is presented, with the excitement inherent in a thriving Montessori class. The interest and the needs of the student comes first.

Lower Elementary

Grades 1-3, Ages 6-9

The elementary classroom reflects a new stage of development and offers the child the following:

  • Integration of the arts, sciences, geography, history and language that evokes the imagination and abstraction of the elementary child.
  • Presentation of the formal scientific language of zoology, geography, geology, etc., exposing the child to accurate, organized information and respecting the child’s intelligence and interests.
  • The use of timelines, pictures, charts and other visual aids to provide a linguistic and visual overview of the first principles of each discipline.
  • Presentation of knowledge as part of the large-scale narrative that unfolds the origins of the earth, life, human communities and modern history always in the context of the wholeness of life.
  • A mathematics curriculum presented with concrete materials that simultaneously reveal arithmetic, geometric and algebraic correlations.
  • Emphasis on open-ended research and in-depth study using primary and secondary sources as well as other materials.

Upper Elementary

Grades 4-6, Ages 9-12

The Upper Elementary classroom fosters an environment that works with the whole child to become a responsible, respectful, and resourceful person while acquiring strong academic skills.  Heartwood provides an academically rich curriculum that encourages independent learning in a safe and untiring environment.  Students work according to their abilities to reach their potential and become independent learners.

Characteristics of the Upper Elementary classroom include:

  • A move toward independence by self-checking work
  • Peer editing and teaching develops self confidence
  • Working together develops collaborative skills and enables student to learn from each other
  • Use of tools, such as work menus and planners to help students learn to use time effectively and make appropriate choices
  • Teacher observations, periodic assessments and annual standardized tests monitor student progress

The Language Arts curriculum enhances skills in reading comprehension, writing and speaking.   Students practice their language skills across the curriculum.  Grammar and punctuation are reinforced.

Montessori materials are available to students for concepts covered in the curriculum.  Math skills and knowledge are reinforced with daily warm-ups, games and periodic assessment.

The Science curriculum is based on the exploration of the biological and physical environment from atom to universe.  Students learn to study the universe in a systematic way using the scientific method (inquiry, experimentation and analysis).  Lab exercises, hands-on activities and special projects keep the students engaged in active learning and inquiry.

History, geography and science are integrated in order to give meaning to the world.  Students discover their world through meaningful exploration through research of the earth, the continents, countries, civilization and cultures.  History is a matter of time.  Students have access to classroom computer for research and publishing purposes.


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