Our Primary program is a five day a week program for children ages 3 to 6 years. Primary is designed as a three year program culminating in the kindergarten year. The Montessori Primary classroom is a specially prepared environment where children are given sequenced one on one and group lessons in the traditional Montessori curriculum areas: grace and courtesy, practical life, sensorial development, language, mathematics and the cosmic curriculum (which includes geography, culture, botany, and zoology,) plus art and Spanish instruction. Once the materials have been presented, children are free to choose work independently during the daily three hour work cycle. The environment is designed to be peaceful, organized, and full beautiful materials and items such as real plants, flowers, and art for the children to experience with all of their senses.
In the Primary classroom children work on foundational skills in reading, writing, mathematics, problem solving, and emotional regulation. The teachers carefully observe the interests, skills, and needs of each child and guide the children along individualized learning paths. After three years in Primary our students are confident learners who have experienced joy through being able to freely explore and make choices at school. They know how to be responsible and caring members of a diverse community and are primed for their next developmental phase.
Children prepare their own snacks in the food preparation area and eat lunch as a community. During these daily rituals they practice essential skills such as preparing a place setting, carrying a glass of water carefully, and cleaning up after themselves. Daily group gatherings are times for sharing books, songs, movement, and special community celebrations such as Montessori birthday walks and explorations of holidays and cultural traditions. During rest time, low cots, blankets, and pillows are provided so that children may rest their bodies and minds after an active morning. Daily outdoor time on the playground and walks around the neighborhood allow the children to exercise their bodies and work on social skills as they learn to play together and be kind and respectful community members.
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
— Dr. Maria Montessori