Ages 3-6 years
By the age of three, most children are developing independence, refining their coordination and communication skills, and in many ways becoming little scientists, eager to discover all they can about the world around them.
Children joining the primary program are ready to classify, sort, and refine the various bits of knowledge they've been collecting since birth. They become absorbed in the study of numbers and mathematical operations, letters, words and their meanings, and the use of writing instruments to express their thoughts both pictorially and through the written word. They become more interested in geography, art, music, and the study of nature. Computers are used to reinforce and enhance these studies.
Children are presented shapes, colors, and sizes in order to refine their perceptions of the world. This lays the groundwork for problem solving and encourages critical, independent thinking.
Letters and words are presented to students phonetically, first by writing, then by reading what they have written. Children's literature becomes an important part of the language program, with attractive reading areas that encourage children to relax and enjoy books.
Montessori classrooms present mathematical concepts to children in a concrete, hands-on manner. Children are able to comprehend numerations, mathematical operations, the decimal system, fractions, and even algebraic concepts at their most basic levels.
Social Studies, Science, and Geography are all integrated into the primary classes' curriculum allowing for the development of well-rounded individuals. Additional unit studies include specific lessons in cooking, etiquette, and basic life skills.
Practical life exercises teach students about the care one self and one's environment. These activities lay a foundation for learning by teaching independence, coordination, concentration, and order, while also providing a purpose to movement.
A sense of community develops in each classroom to provide a secure atmosphere that supports the learning process. This is the most important learning period in life, as it lays the emotional and intellectual groundwork for future learning experiences. Three- and four-year-olds may attend two, three, or five half or full days. Kindergarten children are required to attend five full days a week.