Our Lower Elementary Program continues to offer respect for the individual in a classroom while recognizing the developmental need for socialization and community. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of children in the 2nd plane of development which Montessori defined as ages six through twelve. It covers the traditional grades of first through third in a multi-sensory, multi-aged classroom. The elementary child follows Montessori’s plan of the “Cosmic Curriculum.” The goals of Cosmic Education go far beyond the usual goals of skill development and knowledge acquisition to address the development of the whole person. Children who complete the Cosmic Curriculum have a clear understanding of the natural world, of human knowledge, and of themselves. These children when continuing through upper elementary are prepared to leave childhood behind and to enter adolescence as independent, confident, responsible, emotionally intelligent individuals, balanced in physical, intellectual and social achievements. They will be academically and practically prepared to pursue self-education in many areas; to make responsible decisions and act on them in a responsible way; to recognize limits and give, ask for, and receive help. Special classes, woven into the students’ week, are an integral part of the NCM curriculum such as Science, Team Building, Eco-Lab and Spanish and a week-long environmental education at our Nature’s Classroom Institute. Students also participate in enriching field trips, as well as regular trips to the library.