There are many facets of language: writing, reading, speaking and listening. Our curriculum covers each of these and attends to the needs of all learners: auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Whether learning the technical aspects of grammar or the more expressive aspects of language, the students develop a thorough understanding as they progress through the grades.
In the early years, student find of love of language through drama, poetry and songs. As kids progress, they do a deeper dive into mechanics, spelling, word study, word function and sentence analysis. In the Upper Elementary program, the language arts lessons in grammar are designed to aid students to begin transferring their accrued knowledge of grammar and word study into their reading and writing. More sophisticated grammar topics are explored. A sample of these includes proofreading and editing, sentence structure studies, and mechanics rules. Parsing literature, quotes, poetry and factual information help the students to build a base of not only the parts of speech, but of experience with varying writing genres including argumentative, explanatory and research papers.
- In the Montessori classroom, using the sandpaper letters and phonetic object boxes, children learn to write before they learn to read. They are soon using the moveable alphabet to physically build words, phrases and sentences. Then students begin to read phonetic phrases and sentences, and match them with pictures. Specially prepared phonetic books are then introduced.
- Grammar and punctuation are covered beautifully in a Montessori classroom. In early grades children learn parts of speech using the miniature environment. They learn that each word has a function and that function has corresponding symbol.
- Creative writing begins literally on the first of kindergarten. Throughout elementary and middle school, students are encouraged to express themselves through journal writing, poems, political cartoons, narrative writing and more.
- Fiction and nonfiction reading comprehension are taught in a variety of ways, none of which involve practicing for an end-of-grade test or collecting points through a computer program. In the classroom, many literature discussions are held (in all grades), and the Socratic Method is used in middle school. An important component of reading comprehension, vocabulary is taught through programs like Wordly Wise and card works specific to science and geography vocabulary.
- As it has been throughout history, language as an oral medium is still important for communication today. Through drama, debates, and presentations of research, students hone their skills. One of our favorite ways to honor the tradition of oral storytelling is through our “fireside stories with Coach Lloyd”.
- Word study is performed by the child throughout lower and upper elementary. Through a series of impressionistic lessons and card works, students learn about alphabetizing, classification compound words, synonyms/antonyms, prefixes/suffixes, and more. Our word study curriculum benefits students in all areas of reading and writing.