Pre-Primary Program (18 mo+)
The Pre-Primary program is for children ages 18 months to approximately 2.8 years old. The staff to student ratio is 1:6-8. There are key areas of development in the toddler years that a high quality Montessori toddler program addresses, resulting in an optimal early learning environment for the child. Read our blog post to learn more about key learning areas during these years.
At HMS, we offer professionally trained and certified Montessori teachers who have undergone a rigorous certification training course and understand the Montessori philosophy. We also offer part and full time schedule choices and a high quality summer program for our youngest students.
The Pre-Primary program at HMS prepares children for the Montessori Primary programs. We place a great emphasis on carefully guiding each child into this new environment, since this may be a child’s first experience away from his or her primary caregiver. Children who are now comfortably walking leave the nest and move to a space that fits their growing physical needs. We work closely with each family to ensure that the child’s first school experience is a positive one. As we work through the beginning months of school to establish a routine and overcome any separation anxiety, we nurture each child through this stage of growth.
“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfill his potential to become an independent, secure, balanced person.” - Dr. Maria Montessori
The Pre-Primary Program is an environment prepared to meet the developmental needs and high energy levels of children who are transitioning from other programs or entering school for the first time. Toddlers crave independence and are eager to learn. They develop confidence as they learn how to hang up their own coat, pour their own water, and clean up their own spills. A growing conviction of “I can do it” grows within the child as they explore their learning environment and engage with a wide range of educational materials designed just for them. We also stress social interaction with other children, development of language and practical life skills, and movement activities.
The curriculum includes activities to develop fine and gross motor coordination and visual discrimination through the use of sensorial materials. Materials, which are easily accessible, safe, and appealing, invite children to move about the classroom freely and choose among a variety of activities. The child’s sense of order is developed with the assistance of an orderly environment where everything has a place. The children are encouraged to put one activity away before beginning another. In addition, a full array of enrichment in music, art, Spanish foreign language instruction, and yoga complement the program.
Through the program, each child will learn important life skills including patience and respecting others in a group setting. Each child will also learn essential social skills by participating in group activities that encourage socialization such as circle time and story time. In addition, children learn how to contribute to an orderly and productive classroom environment. They learn how to focus their attention at circle, how to do independent “jobs”, and how to care for themselves, including feeding, dressing, and mastering the use of the restroom.
Outdoor play is part of each full day weather permitting. Toilet training is also introduced at this age in partnership with the parents. A toddler toileting area encourages beginning training and bathroom independence when your child is ready.