The 3 to 6 Program
The Preschool Years
Anyone who observes children realizes the amazing potential that they hold. Those first six years, from birth to six, present the children with the extraordinary power to absorb knowledge from their surrounding just by living. They absorb, with peak receptivity, their environment – the physical space, the language and movement of all those around them.
Their curiosity is fed by their need to explore and discover. Their multi-sensory approach leads to touch and manipulation, so they want to touch everything! They are keenly attuned to things that stimulate their senses; shapes, sounds smells, textures and tastes. They respond to their innate need to know where things belong and how things fit together. They want to become the masters of their own bodies and control their own movements. Children are fascinated by the customs and traditions of people in their lives. You are the mirror to the world for them.
Children to not need direct teaching in order to learn. Their freedom of movement, exploration, manipulation and independence lead to discovery which builds concentration and self-discipline.
Montessori Education reveals the extraordinarily high level of learning-both conscious and unconscious- that can come with ease due to the absorbent mind. Montessori not only enhances young children’s knowledge in the present, it also establishes the foundations for true comprehension on a more most abstract level later in life.
The Primary Classroom
The Primary classroom is a multi-age setting where three, four, and five year olds peacefully coexist through a three year cycle. The three year cycle is based on Maria Montessori’s three year cycle of development.
These multi-age classrooms allow children to not only learn from each other but they learn because of each other. The modeling of older children’s language, ability, and interest stimulate the interest of the others. Mastered knowledge is reinforced through sharing.
The constant interaction between the children, teaches them to take responsibility for themselves and for each other. They learn to recognize other children’s work and space, and learn to experience the daily rules of grace and courtesy. Their ownership of maintaining the classroom, caring for the materials and each other creates a thriving community where children are treated with respect and dignity.
The Prepared Environment
Our primary classrooms are child centered-centered communities. They are also prepared environments designed by Maria Montessori to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the children.
The Montessori classroom is a living room for children. The materials and the furniture are scaled to meet the size and needs of preschoolers. The space is divided into 4 main areas of study, practical life, sensorial, mathematics, and language. It is important to remember that no subject is taught in isolation. The Montessori preschool curriculum is interdisciplinary and interactive.
There is always a busy hum in the classroom due to the natural patterns of movement and activity.
A three year old can be washing cloths alongside a five year old who is working on multiplication with the Montessori beads. During this stage of development, much of the work is done individually but often children like working in small groups. At least once a day, the entire group will come together for a presentation or group activity such as storytelling, singing, or movement.
Maria Montessori wrote that the adult works to perfect the environment while the child works to perfect herself. The Montessori prepared environment respects and protects the child’s rhythm of life. It is a calm, ordered space constructed to meet her needs and match her scale of activity. The child’s experience is a blend of freedom and discipline in place especially designed for her development.
The primary classroom focuses on several areas areas of education: practical life, mathematics, sensorial, language, geography, peace education, arts & music and outdoor work.