For many children the years from six to twelve is the period when children develop logical thinking skills. Between six to seven years of age, children experience a major transformation, leaving their sponge-like absorbent mind of early childhood to the reasoning, thinking adult mind. This is the time in which children need to be given free rein to think and consciously study and question in order to learn. Unlike the period of the absorbent mind where learning happened automatically through exposure during the child’s sensitive periods, the reasoning mind of the six to twelve years old child needs to be consciously engaged in the learning process.
There are three primary developmental drives of the elementary years, according to Dr. Montessori: First, the child acquires an avid thirst for facts. Second, the child begins to explore morality, what is right and wrong, and consequences thereof. Third, the child’s imagination becomes his/her most powerful learning tool.
The Montessori elementary program is both broad and deep in its scope. Although there is a strong focus on academic achievement, education is much more than a curriculum of information. Children work of their own violation and for the love of learning, rather than to meet requirements.