The goal of the Primary and Kindergarten Program is to help the child develop mastery of self through the use of purposeful materials in an uninterrupted time frame. Self-discipline and social competence develop quickly as the children are free to interact continually with their peers. Older students gain self-esteem by aiding younger students, while the younger children learn from their older peers. The combination of defined social structure and intellectual atmosphere is propelled by the unique ability of children this age to absorb their environment, language and culture.
Children in the Primary program learn through the use of manipulative materials as well as through teacher guidance. Our teaching style is for the teacher to work with a child individually and in small groups on enticing activities, and then allow each child many repetitions with that activity to master its content in depth. Activities include: beginning skills in reading, writing, language expression through drawing and writing, mathematics, geography, nature studies, science, practical living skills, art, music, creative movement, and Spanish.
The emphasis is on the process of learning rather the product of learning. Through the use of carefully prepared materials and activities, plus communication with teachers and interaction with peers, children grow in personal independence, concentration, self-motivation and a genuine love of learning.
The 5-6 year olds are beginning to unfold as young leaders, beginning readers, and budding mathematicians. In a Montessori classroom, a 5 year-old can gain an early understanding of many difficult concepts, which are typical stumbling blocks in grade school. Long before they are faced with such abstract terms as peninsula, history, verb, or fraction, children meet them in simple, concrete materials, which are fun to manipulate.
The 5 year-olds spend their afternoons with peers refining their reading and language skills through lessons that include parts of speech and word study (compound, antonym, synonym) and doing more advanced projects and group work such as publishing phonogram booklets, sewing, tracing continent maps, making flags of countries, learning math facts, and working with fractions.
Students are also introduced to a foreign language as well as formal art instruction; as they are mostly likely to embrace these concepts at an early age.
Every effort is made to ensure ages of children are evenly distributed from 3 to 6 years in each classroom. Children should be toilet trained.