The Primary Child in the First Plane
Repetition of tasks until mastery. Keen sense of order and independent work.
“Help me to
do it myself,
Crave to explore their environment and to interact with it using their senses.
The Primary program follows the traditional Montessori three year cycle (ages 3-6). At a glance, the primary program spends the first two years developing and building upon the foundations of the lessons and materials presented to children and the third year (Elder, or Kindergarten) in mastery and leadership of the classroom.
During the primary years children learn through experience and a series of self-directed activities. Children are exposed to materials that will address sensory learning, using their sense of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing to take in all the information of the materials offered in the environment.
At the primary age level, children have what is called a “Sensitive Period” in Montessori pedagogy to the acquisition of language. This peaks in Primary and begins to close by the end of the primary cycle. This is a time when the mind readily absorbs the skills that come with learning about language, when the mind is most open and receptive to building this skill.
After the transition process from the toddler environment to the primary environment has been completed, the child will continue their independent educational journey in this new, primary environment. By interacting with materials and lessons provided by the guide, children in this environment develop and grow through the practice of processes. The child learns to place a value on the work and process of learning.
As well as learning through sensorial processes, children practice learning through the observation of their peers, and interaction with others. As they grow, the materials and lessons they receive grow as well. The guide addresses these growths and changes with lessons appropriate to every child’s learning needs.
The Elder Year (Kindergarten)
The Elder year, also known as Kindergarten, is an important year for the 5-year-old children in the Primary classroom. Naturally, they become leaders of the classroom, taking on responsibilities and developing their social skills as role models to younger students.
The Elder program is intended as the capstone year, the third year in the Primary Three Year Cycle. It is often referred to as kindergarten in traditional schools. The guide will determine when the whole child is ready for the transition in the primary to becoming an Elder. Children in this program bring their own lunches to school, have outdoor playtime, and then continue their work in the afternoon with the Montessori materials in an intimate smaller group setting where they have the opportunity for greater exploration and learning. Fundamental to Montessori education is the Three Year Cycle. Over a three-year period, children have the opportunity to learn from each other, solidify knowledge through their own teaching and sharing, and develop leadership skills critical to their social development. It is in the best interest of your child and essential to the program to allow your child to complete the three-year cycle. Once the Elder year is complete, your child will be ready to begin the step in his or her educational journey, the Elementary program.
Our elders participate in special enrichments of Yoga, Science Fridays, Art, Music, and Nature Discovery. They also join the elementary every year for special events like our annual International Night and Science Fair, presenting their own research in each of these areas. As part of the preparation for the Elementary program, Elders also have occasional Etiquette Lunches and participate as monthly Reading Buddies with the Elementary classroom, giving them a chance to begin to bond with the children they will be classmates with. They also join the Elementary annually for Mileage Club.
Please be sure to visit our FAQ page before reaching out!
Primary & Elder Tuition
8:30 am – 12:00 pm
8:30 am – 3:30 pm
8:30 am – 3:30 pm
7:40 am – 8:30 am
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
3:30 pm- 4:30 pm $ 8.75/hr
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm $7.20/hr
Learn more about how your child will be experiencing and growing the primary environment.