Primary Areas of Study
Practical Life Exercises
The Practical Life exercises are one of the most familiar aspects of primary level Montessori programs. They are the beginning point in a Montessori environment because they are the foundation for complete mental and physical development. Tasks, such as pouring, sweeping, polishing, washing and so on, are done by adults to improve their environment, but children do them to develop themselves. The process, not the result or product, is the purpose of the Practical Life exercises. These exercises help to develop a sense of order, concentration, precision of movement and independence.
Your child will be introduced to concepts such as one-to-one correspondence, numeration, sequencing of numbers, numeral place value, and beginning arithmetic operations. Operations such as addition and multiplication are experienced concretely through the use of materials such as the Golden Beads and the Stamp Game.
Your child will be prepared for reading through a multi-sensory approach that includes phonics and language experiences. Maria Montessori found that children can write before they can read, so they start learning letter formation by tracing sandpaper letters. Next, the children write using a moveable alphabet, so that they can begin expressing themselves in familiar language, which they can read. Concepts of grammar are also introduced concretely.
Using large wooden puzzle maps, children gradually learn the names of the continents and countries, along with information about these places, including the nationâ€™s flag. Your child will also learn about common land formations, such as islands and peninsulas by making models of them. Exploring the customs, food, music, and language of other countries gives children an awareness of the world around them.
In the Primary curriculum the focus is on the history of the earth and understanding the concept of time using concrete experiences.
Science and Nature
The plant and animal kingdoms are studied with simple classifications, and an emphasis on respect for living things. Your childâ€™s natural curiosity will be stimulated through discovery projects, experiments and explorations of our outdoor environment (including our award winning butterfly garden and bird sanctuary.)
All the information your child takes in comes through her/his senses, and the sensorial materials are designed to help refine these senses. Maria Montessori believed that, by helping young children achieve more detailed ways of classifying the information they receive through their senses, their overall intellectual capacity was increased.
Art, Music, Movement
Art materials are readily available to your child, and are often coordinated with lessons in other areas. Singing is a daily part of school, and activities involving literature, storytelling, creative dramatics, rhythm instruments and movement are frequent.