Second Plane of Development

(Grades 1 to 6)


Throughout the elementary school years, your child craves opportunities for more advanced and abstract thinking work. She’s using her imagination to comprehend and consider the world beyond her immediate experience. And as she sees and imagines herself more fully in that greater context, she becomes increasingly captivated by relationships (between things, ideas, people) and by issues of fairness.

To make the most of these formative years, your child needs:

  • beauty and order in her learning environment—calm, open, and inviting spaces with plenty of sunlight and natural materials that delight and engage (rather than overstimulate) the imagination;
  • opportunities to go out into the world and explore widening boundaries of experience with growing independence beyond family and even school;
  • opportunities to use her imagination, grow her intellect, and express her own judgments in constructive ways that contribute to a positive sense of self;
  • opportunities to take greater responsibility for herself and to build up a sense of genuine ownership over her experience, which requires both an environment constructed to enable and encourage independence and the expectation that she can take responsibility for her work, her behavior, and most of her own practical needs (e.g., organizing and conducting her schoolwork, planning and managing her time, assessing and expressing her needs and wants);
  • freedom of choice within a range of engrossing educational options; uninterrupted work periods that help her build concentration, cultivate persistence, practice new skills, and fully explore and master her lessons.