The Primary Program is for children between the ages of 2.5 and 6 years. Each child has extraordinary powers of the mind; she possesses a once-in-a-lifetime ability to simply absorb information, like a sponge. The Primary classroom is designed to meet the needs of your child during this important time of her life. Her experience in the classroom affects not only the amount of knowledge she will have at her command, but, more importantly her attitude towards herself, her world, and learning. Children remain in the same classroom until graduating into 1st Grade. This mixed age class offers many wonderful benefits for students including socialization skills with various ages and learning at their own pace without constant comparison to other children.
No two children are exactly the same, and likewise no two children learn at the same pace in all areas. The children have the freedom in the Montessori classroom to explore areas of study they have an interest in and not be restricted by curriculum set for all students the same age. We support the natural drive for independence by encouraging each child to choose activities of interest without interuption. The resulting feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction engender respect from the children towards others. To these children work is play. They love what they are doing because all the materials in the classroom were specifically designed by Maria Montessori to fit their sensitive periods. This means that the things that entice children of this age are the same as those they use to learn. This, paired with the freedom to follow their interest, instills a love of learning. Many children who graduate from this program into non-Montessori classes are commonly described as having the desire to explore and learn beyond what is introduced in the classroom.
The Montessori classroom offers so much more than just a wonderful basis for children’s future education, it also a wonderful basis for them as humans. Each classroom is its own community, children of all ages have their responsibilities and embrace the classroom as theirs. These children learn respect of themselves, others, and their environment. By growing through the classroom they have a chance to be both the young one who is cared for and guided by older children as well as the responsibile older child.
The Primary program is designed as a multi-year program. Children start in the classroom with the ability to utilize some of the classroom materials and finish knowing a multitude of skills. The evolution of the child goes hand in hand with the Montessori materials. As a child grows and learns, materials may be reintroduced with a different application. For example, the pink tower is a favorite with the youngest children and helps build motor skills. When these children are older they will find that the blocks of the pink tower correlate to the cube of numbers. Having concrete materials makes lessons that are commonly perceived as abstract clear to understand.