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Preparing children for life

Lower Elementary Program

Our Lower Elementary Program is a dynamic community of children aged 6 - 9 years old.  The learning environment at Harpeth Montessori inspires the children to be their best and to challenge themselves daily. The adults at Harpeth put the child’s development first.  They teach lessons that are clear, engaging, and customized for the specific child.  The Elementary Character Code reinforces expectations and behaviors of the children inside the classroom and throughout the community.    


The elementary child wants to know the how and why of everything in the world. From insects they find at their local playground, to the earthquake they hear about on the news. That’s why Maria Montessori gave elementary aged children the opportunity to investigate the entire “universe.” Through clear explanations, experiments, and observations the children answer the questions they have, develop follow-up questions, and build deep scientific understanding. Our goal at Harpeth Montessori is for children to walk out into the world and say, “I understand that.”


While a lion is born with teeth and claws to kill its prey, humans aren’t born with tools of survival. They have to make them using their mind and hands. In fact, everything that humans have created was done by someone’s mind and someone’s hand.  We explore the Pyramids of Egypt, wars of Ancient Greece, and the founding documents of the United States of America, to name a few.  Your child will develop an appreciation and wonder for what has come before them and an excitement for what they will build with their own mind and hands.


In addition to world history, our elementary children at Harpeth Montessori study the American founding.  Each week we focus on American History and Civics using Hillsdale College’s 1776 Curriculum to bring characters and events to life through story-telling, first hand documents, reenactments, and in depth discussion of important events.  We study the ideas, words, and deeds that have most significantly formed the world into which children were born.


An understanding in grammar gives children the ability to talk about the language they are using. They can add adjectives to their writing, separate two independent clauses with a subordinating conjunction, and use stronger verbs because they know what these things are. Grammar is taught in clear, structured lessons giving children the knowledge to communicate clearly.


Language Art

The goal for humans is to communicate.  In early human history communication was very basic, such as pointing in the direction of a buffalo herd or drawing lines in the dirt.  Humans desired more than this and our language has developed over time to allow us to share complex feelings, interests, motivations and more.  The children study this evolution of language and become adept at reading, writing, and speaking.


Children continue to develop their love of writing from the primary years. They write in all subject areas at Harpeth from a hypothesis for a science experiment, to describing a character from a novel. This challenging subject is never left to chance. Children are guided through the process of writing sentences, paragraphs, reports, essays, and stories. The thinking, writing, and editing is all done in the classroom. They can write pieces that are clear and entertaining, which ultimately gives them pride in the work they created.


Arnold Bennett says, “The aim of literary study is not to amuse the hours of leisure; it is to awake oneself, it is to be alive, to intensify one’s capacity for pleasure, for sympathy, and for comprehension.” We agree with this.  The children read and listen to real books such as The Little House on the Prairie, Stone Fox, and Hatchet.  They comprehend and recite poetry such as The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson.  Not only are they learning comprehension but they are developing their soul.


We teach Math conceptually using specially designed manipulatives which allow children to have a concrete understanding of the concepts they learn.  For example, in the study of Area it’s common to be given a formula for the area of a triangle without any proof.  The process in Montessori is the exact opposite.  Children are shown how to derive a formula using a concrete material so they can walk away knowing that math is based in reality.


Our Elementary students have the opportunity to develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for business at our Annual Children's Business Fair.  Local business owners join us for classes leading up to our business fair to share their stories of Entrepreneurship, taking risks, building a business, and teaching us the concept of value creation.

Enrichment Program

Your child will participate in many enrichments outside of the classroom including Gardening, Cooking, Art, Spanish, Boot Camp, and Music.  We help foster a lifelong love of learning and self-improvement in every child at Harpeth.

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