(6 to 9 years; Grades 1 – 3)
Up through the age of 6, children, simply being “children,” learn efficiently and easily as they grow and develop. This allows them to then be open to widening their horizons through an expansive curriculum which begins in Lower Elementary. Abundant materials foster optimum development of reading, spelling, and writing skills. Math operations emphasize the understanding of process as well as accuracy in computations. Acquired basic skills are then applied in interdisciplinary themes. In science, students research, classify, observe, and conduct experiments. Work in cultural subjects includes the study of needs of people around the world and throughout history. Lower Elementary children at Continuum are assessed continuously through guide observations. They advance through a system known as mastery learning. This means that students must demonstrate mastery of the concept to be learned before they proceed to the next level. Students explore art (history and expression) as well as music (theory, history, and expression) in separate work blocks each week. This interactive, learner-centered environment provides small and whole group cooperative activities in addition to individualized instruction.