From Children’s House to Elementary

As we approach the end of the school year, many of the Extended Day / Kindergarten children are approaching the Second Plane of Development, which, according to Maria Montessori, has very different developmental characteristics than the First Plane. Dr. Montessori recognized four distinct planes: First (0-6 years), Second (6-12 years), Third (12-18 years), and Fourth (18-24 years). Characteristics of the First Plane of Development include being in the sensitive periods for the development of language, movement, and order as the children strive for physical independence. They also have a great need for the following freedoms: movement, choice, and repetition. All of these freedoms must be within clear limits in order to support true freedom which leads to order and peace instead of license which leads to chaos and discontent. Characteristics of the Second Plane of Development, in contrast, include moving from an absorbent to a reasoning mind, the development of abstraction and imagination, a focus on morality and justice, heavy interest in peer interaction and a “herd instinct,” and a new need to collaborate in setting the structures which clarify their freedoms as they strive for intellectual independence within a communal, social environment. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd serves the children from ages 3 to 12 and thus spans the First and Second Planes of Development. As the child moves from the First to the Second Plane, their new characteristics begin to emerge even while they are still in the Level I Atrium and thus their work needs to grow as they grow. Here are several examples of our Extended Day children expanding their work to meet their new characteristics and needs.
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