Our primary program is for children from 2.9 to 6 years old. Children attend school Monday to Friday either half day, from 8:30am to 12pm, or full day, from 8:30am to 3pm. The multi-age classroom is a unique and perfect environment that allows children to start as beginning learners and develop into responsible role models and leaders. Ideally children join primary program at 3 years old so that they go through the full primary curriculum and finish the kindergarten program in the Montessori environment. Although some children who found Montessori at age 4 and 5 can still benefit tremendously from the Montessori education.
During the primary work cycles children receive small group and individual lessons and practice work on which they have had lessons. Children move at will during this time choosing work with the support of the teachers, socialize and meet basic needs at will. This time closes with a group gathering for music and stories.
The afternoon work cycle is another extended period for lessons and practice for the kindergarten and preK children while the younger children are in the nap room. This is when many of the more involved lessons in the content areas will be first introduced. It opens and closed with a gathering for stories, music or other sharing.
8:00 – 8:30 Morning Care
8:30 – 11:30 Morning Three-hour Work Period
11:30 – 12:00 Outdoor Recess & Half-day dismissal
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch & Clean up
1:00 – 3:00 Afternoon Work Period/ Nap & Full-day Dismissal
3:00 – 6:00 After-school Recess, Snack & Activities
6:00 School Closed
As children grow they are naturally motivated to do as much as they can for themselves. They strive to take care of themselves and the world around them independently. The exercises of Practical Life help children fulfill this desire, which is every bit as important developmentally as the acquisition of language or future capacity to reason. These activities are designed to support functional independence and serve to aid the child in gaining control of the hands, exercise and strengthen memory through experience following sequences, and supports a growing awareness within the child of the relationship between practice and learning through direct experience.
Practical Life exercises include many tasks children see as part of the daily life in their own homes: washing and ironing cloths, doing dishes, arranging flowers and washing tables. Another aspect of Practical Life is the human component of learning to get along with a group. We call these exercises Grace and Courtesy lessons. These lessons help children to know how to act properly in a social setting.
Dr. Montessori designed the Sensorial materials used in the primary classroom. Dr. Montessori carefully selected each material and connected activity to clearly demonstrate qualities found in the world such as: color, shade, size, shape, texture, musical pitch, geographic features and botanical shape. Children explore and discover concepts about the world around them using these materials. Teacher solidify their learning through language lessons that support children in using the concepts to share orally and through reading and writing as they are ready.
The Montessori approach to language in the Primary classroom is multifaceted. We provide an experience of rich and precise language through spoken activities, games, stories, songs, poems and conversations. We address each child’s growth towards fluent reading and writing over time from a holistic viewpoint that includes preparation of the mind, hand and eye.
“When the children come into the classroom at around three years of age, they are given in the simplest way possible the opportunity to enrich the language they have acquired during their small lifetime and to use it intelligently, with precision and beauty, becoming aware of its properties not by being taught, but by being allowed to discover and explore these properties themselves. If not harassed, they will learn to write, and as a natural consequence to read, never remembering the day they could not write or read in the same way that they do not remember that once upon a time they could not walk.”
-Dr. Maria Montessori
The mathematics materials developed by Dr. Montessori help the child learn and understand mathematical concepts by working with concrete materials. This work provides the child with solid underpinnings for traditional mathematical principles, providing a solid foundation for abstract reasoning. Children are able to build their mathematical abstractions from tangible experiences, which makes understanding deeper and them more proficient in the long run.
Geography, History, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art and Music are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language areas. Children learn about other cultures past and present, and this allows their innate respect and love for their environment to flourish, creating a sense of solidarity with the global human family and the Earth.
Experiences with nature in conjunction with the materials in the environment inspire a reverence for all life. History is presented to the children in part through art and music.