the primary program
The Primary Program is a three to four year program for children that turn 3 by December 31st to approximately 6 years old. This program includes Kindergarten. Children who turn 5 years old by Oct 1 are considered Kindergarteners in the Primary program.
Children spend approximately three to four years in the same classroom forming close relationships with their peers and teachers. Parents and children will enjoy the familiarity and continuity of this three to four-year cycle program, which culminates with the Kindergarten year.
“Our schools show that children of different ages help one another. There are many things which no teacher can convey to a child of three, but a child of five can do it with ease.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori
We strive to achieve and maintain a mixed age group in this classroom which is a fundamental feature of Montessori education. It encourages interdependence, collaboration, and leadership. The dynamic that develops between older children and younger children is fascinating to watch. Younger children learn by observing and working side-by-side with the older children. At the same time, the older children have the opportunity to become role models and reinforce what they have learned themselves.
During the day, teachers provide lessons using the unique Montessori materials, while children observe, practice, and explore. Over the course of the program, teachers provide increasingly complex activities, solidifying concepts and challenging each child to acquire a deeper understanding of how the materials can be utilized, manipulated, and interpreted.
AREAS OF THE CLASSROOM
The Primary Program includes activities in the interest areas of Practical Life, Language, Sensorial, Mathematics, Geography and Culture, and Science & Nature. In addition, a full array of enrichment in music, art, Spanish foreign language instruction, and yoga complement the program.
Through exercises in daily living, the child gains confidence as he cares for himself and the world around him. Activities enhance fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, balance, orderly thought, and independent work habits.
Rich spoken language builds vocabulary while specialized materials support early writing enabling the child to express his or her knowledge without the precise control of a pencil. As a result, children are prepared and inspired to read.
Materials specifically designed to demonstrate qualities like color, size, shape, length, texture and sound refine the senses equipping the child to organize various sensory impressions. Many of these materials serve as concrete representations of mathematical concepts.
Montessori math materials are beautifully designed for the child to “see” and “feel” concepts such as numeration, quantity, place value, fractions and operations. This strong conceptual understanding serves as a foundation for later problem solving and abstraction.
Geography & Culture
A child’s early exposure to the geography and landscape of the world encourages discussion and thought about how and why people are the same and different in places all around the world.
Science & Nature
Even children at a very young age can be encouraged to think critically. They discover facts, learn to classify items, predict the results of experiments, and even test their predictions. Activities such as “Sink or Float”, “Living or Non-Living”, “Magnetic or Non-Magnetic” provide an exciting introduction to the world of science.
Art & Music
The Primary classroom includes an ever-changing selection of art and creative activities for children. Preliminary art activities focus on building a child’s skillset; cutting, gluing, color selection etc. In addition, children will enjoy lessons on great artists, as well as matching and sorting activities with fine art prints.