Primary (Children's House)
INDEPENDENCE AND PURPOSEFUL WORK
During this time, children are engaged in purposeful and peaceful work with a large variety of activities. The carefully prepared environment is designed to help children to become their best selves and to develop independence. The trained Guide gives both individual and group lessons on a wide variety of concepts, and children are encouraged to choose follow-up activities of interest without interruption. The learning takes place through the child’s own initiative. While most of the morning is spent in self-directed activity, there are also times for group activities and outdoor play.
The Montessori guide is highly trained in observation. He or she is able recognize and respect a child’s unique potential and strives to connect them to a suitable activity in the moment. The art of being a Montessori teacher lies in finding an activity that combines both interest and the right level challenge for the student. Therefore, the Montessori “curriculum” is highly individualized.
THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
The environment includes a wide variety of beautiful, hands-on learning materials help children learn. They are scientifically designed to aid the children in developing new skills and exploring new concepts. Some materials help with practical life skills of caring for a child’s individual needs or that of the environment. Language materials enrich vocabulary and allow the child to explore reading, writing, and the parts of speech. Other materials build upon a child’s natural interest in counting and introduce an understanding of the decimal system and the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in a concrete way. Artistic self-expression is also encouraged, through a variety of media.
Children are self directed and work at their own pace while participating in a mixed age classroom community. Younger children benefit from example, and learn from the activities of the older children, while each older child gains the self-confidence that comes with responsibility and leadership.Through “grace and courtesy” exercises, we teach children how to problem solve conflicts, how to act politely in various situations and how to be kind and helpful to their friends. The result is a cohesive community of young children.This is a three year program (starting at age 3) that is alignment with Montessori's three year cycle. That means that your child will stay in the Primary classroom for 3 years, including the traditional “kindergarten year”. Parents are encouraged to consider this commitment as an integral part of their child's experience, as each year builds a foundation for learning and leadership.