As your child continues on her journey to independence, she now enters the Primary classroom environment, which builds on the values and principles she learned in the toddler environment while expanding the fields of study to nothing less than the entire world.
On a typical day, your child may construct a tower out of blocks, learn the names of the continents using a puzzle map, practice threading a needle and sewing (great for developing hand-eye coordination and dexterity).
That’s how learning in a Montessori classroom works – not by memorization, or simply listening to a teacher at the front of a classroom, but by doing. By making mistakes and correcting them. By discovering things for yourself (by learning how to think, rather than learning what to think), by writing a letter to a friend, preparing a snack, and painting a picture. The older children also have the opportunity to give lessons to the younger children, thus cementing their understanding of a concept and learning how to teach and act as role models.
And that process of learning how to think is facilitated by the Montessori materials, which are set out attractively on shelves at a child’s height so that your child may select what he is most drawn to during any given work session.
- His guide assists him through the natural progression of materials, giving lessons in the order that ensures appropriate development.
In addition, an important part of each day in the Primary classroom is setting up, eating, and cleaning up the mid-day meal. During this process, your child has the chance to socialize with her peers, and learn countless lessons in cooperation, grace and courtesy.
A Note on the “Kindergarten Year”: A singular aspect of the Montessori Primary Program is the fact that it encompasses what would be the kindergarten year in the traditional school setting. The final year in the Primary Program represents a unique capstone experience during which children blossom academically, emotionally, socially, and developmentally. In addition to having an environment rich in advanced learning materials, the older children effortlessly assume a position of leadership, serving as mentors, tutors, and role models for the younger children. This helps consolidate their own mastery, leading to more permanent learning.