Sunstone Montessori approaches education from the premise that children thrive when they become the lead participant in their acquisition of knowledge. As educators, we are here to first provide a rich environment for the children and second to guide each child through this environment along his or her unique path of discovery and self-development.
In the Elementary, children are introduced to the entire universe of human knowledge”from the Big Bang to today's newspaper”through a series of dramatic and evocative lessons which inspire exploration, discovery, and independent work. Every possible field of study can be presented in the classroom and beyond, including history, geography, biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, art, music, literature and much more. Elementary children extend their classroom experience by 'going out' in small groups on student-organized trips to the library, the theater, businesses, public facilities, or wherever their interests lead them.
After a brief group gathering, the child's day begins at 8:30am with a three-hour, uninterrupted work period. This morning work period supports the child's ability to sustain focus for prolonged time periods. During this morning session, the child can choose to work on one research project, or may tackle a huge math problem instead. Conversely, the child might choose to engage in several smaller projects.
After one-hour of lunch and recess, the afternoon is spent on extended work, lesson time and activities such as PE or a second language. Dismissal begins at 3pm.
The children are allowed to move freely in and around the environment which is specially designed to meet their needs. They learn to set their own goals, budget their time, choose their workmates, and evaluate their own progress. Students may pursue topics which interest them through either small group or individual research. Meanwhile, the trained Montessori guide moves through the environment, assisting the students in their independent projects and giving small group lessons based on observation of each student's needs and interests.
Class size and staffing: Two Lower Elementary classrooms for children ages 6 to 9 serve about 30 children each. The Upper Elementary classroom, for children ages 9 to 12, serves 34 children. All classroom are staffed by an AMI trained guide and an assistant.
Schedule: The Elementary program day 8:15-3pm, with one-hour at noon for lunch and recess. Beforecare and Aftercare are also available.
Beforecare and Aftercare: Beforecare 7:30-8:15am Aftercare 3:15-6pm Available by monthly contract, (drop-in available by limited space.).