The Senior Elementary program, for children from age 9 to age 12, flows naturally from the Junior Elementary program, which has prepared the children with the basic skills of reading, writing and math. The Senior class develops these skills and integrates them into daily work. While the Senior environment is rich with manipulative materials and hands-on activities, it is during these three years that children transition from learning with physical materials to learning abstractly. Children extend their boundaries of understanding once again and admire the wonders of the world from a different point of view. Independence and personal responsibility are high on the list of goals for the Seniors. The children learn how to evaluate themselves in the academic, social and emotional areas. This prepares them for presenting their self-evaluations to their parents and teachers at conference time, twice a year. Positive work habits are continually reinforced. Children learn time management strategies as they organize and prioritize their assignments to complete them by their due dates.
The Senior program focuses intently on academic skills. Reading comprehension, grammar and especially writing are expanded and refined. Daily math incorporates basic operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals along with the studies of measurement, geometry and beginning algebra concepts. The cultural subjects, and particularly the sciences, are emphasized. We are blessed with a diverse and natural outdoor environment and use our Eco-Learning Lab for extended studies in the biological sciences. The children learn to work in groups and gain extensive experience with research projects and class presentations. Music, art, drama, physical education, health and kitchen science are also integrated into the curriculum.
The Senior third level (corresponding to a conventional 6th grade) is considered a transition year. The children learn to work from textbooks in both history and math. The Senior teachers teach strategies for taking tests and introduce the students to experiences with a grading system. This prepares the children for a more traditional approach to learning, which they are likely to encounter after leaving Children’s Meeting House. Social skills are also highly emphasized in this classroom. The children develop the skills needed to make and maintain friendships, practice resolving conflicts, come to understand the value of community service, and learn how to be active and contributing members of a community.