Our Primary House consists of 3-6 year olds and features a warm, home-like atmosphere where our children feel comfortable and take ownership of their house. We have several separate spaces with numerous lessons that allow our students the opportunity to explore individualized lessons by him/herself or working with a friend.
The guiding principle for teachers in all levels of Montessori is instead of pouring information into a child, to draw out that which is already there.
Dr. Montessori didn’t consider a disciplined child one that had the ability to be silent and still. Rather, self-discipline happens when a child is absorbed in his or her work, especially when that work is purposeful and the child can relate it directly to their environment. The use of materials and lessons involves movement and touching; however, all activity in the classroom is guided by the principles of respect for the work of others, the teacher and the lesson materials themselves. The order and beauty of the lesson materials help to remind the children to return the materials to their place carefully and neatly. The lessons are designed to meet the specific needs of each age group and are inviting but not over-stimulating. The child has the opportunity to choose from a variety of lessons to work on where the child himself is the main guide. The teacher observes the children and is trained to see signs of readiness for the next lesson. The mixed age classroom allows younger children a varied picture of what is to come and the older children are able to reinforce their own knowledge by helping the younger ones. Mixing ages also accommodates many different levels of pace and ability of the children in each level.
Lessons are generally presented through the use of Montessori materials and exercises. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and no subject is taught in isolation. Montessori materials provide sequential learning where the materials and lessons build in sequence to provide an extraordinary foundation. Learning is joyful and purposeful.
Practical Life: Life skills, such as independence, coordination, social skills and concentration are learned and refined through Practical Life exercises. Whether the child is preparing snack or arranging flowers, he or she feels a sense of joy and accomplishment.
Sensorial: Primary age children are sensorial learners so lessons in this area are designed to build and support the child as they refine their senses. By exploring the Sensorial materials, children are able to categorize and organize the qualities of the world around them.
Language: The Language program focuses on writing, reading and spoken language. Starting with phonetic sounds and cursive sandpaper letters, the children experience a wide range of lessons that prepare them for reading and writing.
Mathematics: The decimal bead lesson provides children with a strong foundation and a deep understanding of the four mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Children are then presented with lessons that help them memorize simple math facts. Children also experience geometry by working with various Sensorial materials.
Cultural: We explore the concepts of earth, water, continents and countries in this area. Children learn an extensive vocabulary for cultural concepts, botany and zoology.
Art: We give children the opportunity to be creative with daily access art supplies, including: paper, glue, scissors, paints, markers, colored pencils and an easel. They have the freedom for self-expression, rather than being handed a pre-printed coloring sheet and being restricted by the lines that are already there. Our art center encourages free thinking where creativity flourishes and children become well prepared for kindergarten.
"The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences."− Maria Montessori