Primary (ages 3-6 years)
Children in the Primary Class possess what Dr. Montessori called the absorbent mind, the ability to absorb all aspects of one’s culture and environment effortlessly. The Primary classroom consists of several types of exercises designed to cultivate adaptation and the children’s ability to think and express themselves with clarity.
The following five categories of exercises are employed in the Montessori Primary Classroom:
These exercise focus on caring of self, caring of environment, and concern for others. Concentration and coordination are developed. Young children take pleasure and satisfaction in the process as well as the result.
Through the Sensorial Material, your child can explore the world. All five senses are engaged as children learn to organize, classify and describe the sensory experiences they have absorbed since birth. These exercises have to do with the senses, discrimination, observation, and descriptive language. A clear approach fosters the continuing effort of children to categorize and organize the world around them.
These activities have to do with receptive and expressive language. Young children are interested in writing and reading. Given the opportunity, most children learn to read by age six. All use and enjoy language.
These activities have to do with counting and number relationships, including an overview of the function of the decimal system. Careful design of materials in the mathematics area and in the sensorial area lays the groundwork for future learning in algebra and geometry. The math materials provide your child with solid concepts of basic mathematical principals. This prepares your child for abstract reasoning and helps to develop problem solving capabilities.
The cultural lessons (geography, history, science, music, art, and nature study) make the classroom come alive, allowing your child to feel connected to the global human family.
The third year of the Primary Classroom is Kindergarten.
The Kindergartner has the benefit of two years of sensorial preparation for academic skills by working with the concrete Montessori materials. This concrete sensorial experience has gradually taught the child to form a mental picture of concepts: such as what is really taking place when we borrow or carry numbers. The beginning of the Kindergarten year continues a trusting relationship with the teacher, friendships with classmates and comfort within their classroom.
The child entering Montessori for their Kindergarten year will feel comfortable in this environment; they enjoy the freedom of working, as well as the helpfulness and encouragement of their classmates.