Young Children's Community

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The Young Children's Community (ages 18 months to 3 years) provides individual and communal opportunities for very young children to gain experience in independence, coordination, organization, and concentration through daily living activities: toileting, dressing, food preparation, eating, plant and animal care, etc. Experiencing other sensorial and language activities, encompassing all areas of learning also assists the children in gaining independence.

Primary Community

The Primary Community (ages 3 to 6 years) offers continued individual and communal opportunities for young children in daily living activities, as well as sensorial and language experiences in all areas of learning. This includes the fine arts, geography, math, the sciences, geometry, and history, and occurs in a broader environment with a wider choice of activities. Primary living involves a greater number of community members working together. Very gradual development towards abstraction during these years dictates the need for beginning writing and reading.

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Elementary Community

The Elementary Community teachers all (6 years old through 12 years) utilize the Montessori tradition of instruction. This allows children to learn and be helped on an individual basis. This learning establishes more intimate contact between the child, teacher, and work. The Elementary program integrates elements from the primary program (imagination, abstraction, language, socialization) with advanced cultural exploration in the arts, sciences, and the Universe. Multi-age groupings are used to afford maximum stimulation. All kinds and levels of learning take place maximizing the individual potential of the child. The elementary aged children begin to work outside their school environment (we call them "going out" trips) as they learn about the world at large. The Elementary program is open-ended, so there is no ceiling to what a child can do!

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Adolescent Community

The Adolescent Community (12-14 year olds) at PRAIRIE HILL deepen their studies of the traditional academic subjects through intense group discussions and individual research. They have practice in presenting in front of a group, scheduling visits outside of school to learn about real world applications, and are guided to maintain important short term and long term planning and goals for their academic work. As a community, they manage fundraisers and their class budget that go towards community service projects and class trips. They become more experienced in planning, meeting deadlines, and serving as role models and helpers for the younger children at PRAIRIE HILL. Subject areas are taught in a way that are both integrated and comprehensive. Students are able to identify their interests and pursue internship like experiences that give them opportunities to deepen their awareness of the many areas people work and contribute to society.