Primary (age 3-6 years)
The Primary Program is for preschoolers and kindergarteners, aged 3-6 years, and the environment is divided into four main categories: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics. Our program also includes art, music, geography, science, history, Spanish, peace, and physical education. Through interaction with materials, peers, children of varying ages, and adults, children learn and play, and develop a healthy attitude toward school.
- Practical Life activities are the foundation of the Montessori Method, and are vital in the development of concentration, large and fine motor coordination, ability to follow a process, and a positive self-esteem. They also teach children to care for themselves and their environment, helping them to become more independent. Children learn the language and social skills needed to practice positive, peaceful interactions with their classmates and teachers. Activities include basic skills such as pouring, spooning, buttoning, table scrubbing, sweeping, sewing, polishing metal and wood, and walking on the line.
- The Sensorial materials guide the child in the powers of discernment, and thus help children become more aware of variations in the tangible world. The child learns sequencing, categorizing, problem solving, and classifying. These materials are the foundation of the development of the mathematical mind. Children work with materials and activities that refine and develop all five senses, plus the stereognostic sense (muscle memory). Examples of Sensorial activities are the Pink Tower, Mystery Bags, Knobbed Cylinders, Geometric Solids, Constructive Triangles, and matching tastes, scents, and weights.
- The Language materials include vocabulary development, sandpaper letters, the moveable alphabet, and a phonics-based approach to reading. Although children are exposed to these materials from the beginning, most children become emergent readers between 4.5-5.5 years of age.
- Montessori Math is fascinating for children and adults alike. Many adults, when they discover Montessori Math, find that these materials give them a much better understanding of the math that they learned as children. The concrete approach to mathematics through varied manipulatives is the springboard for later abstract work. Children begin with the basic concepts of numbers 0-10, and may develop an understanding of place value to the 1000s place. Kindergarten students, because they have been working with these fabulous materials, can do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division!
Children in the Primary class can be as young as 3 by September 30, as long as they are potty trained and ready for the program. Three and four year olds attend half-day, Monday through Friday. At age 5, and at the invitation of the teacher, children may also attend in the afternoons. An Extended Day program is available for children younger than 5 years.
Our Montessori Primary classrooms excite children's natural curiosity in themselves and their world, and set the foundation for an enduring love of learning!
We provide an environment that:
- is child-sized
- is multi-aged
- is well prepared
- encourages self-direction
- empowers independent thinking
- allows children to work and develop at their own pace
- encourages respectful relationships
- allows children to recognize and solve problems
- develops coordination, concentration, independence, order, and self-esteem