The Primary Experience
Our beautiful primary environments embody each element of Maria Montessori’s revolutionary approach.
They are intentionally prepared with natural lighting, soft colors, and uncluttered spaces.
Learning materials are displayed on accessible shelves to foster independence as children go about their work. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place, conveying a sense of harmony and order that both comforts and inspires. In our environment, you won’t find the customary rows of school desks; children work at tables or on the floor, rolling out mats on which to work and define their work space.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. They must do it themselves or it will never be done. She believed that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts but rather to cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn. In the Montessori classroom, this objective is approached in two ways; first by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by their own choice rather than by force; and second, by helping the child perfect their natural tools for learning so that the child’s abilities will be maximized for future learning situations. The outcome is a is well-rounded and happy child, whose balanced development has been supported by responsive, individualized attention, and who interacts positively with the environment, copes with frustrations, and learns easily.
The Primary curriculum is divided into five areas of focus: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural Studies. The program includes purposefully designed materials that are often multi-dimensional, that is they involve several skills. Younger children are primarily given individual lessons while older children participate in small group lessons. Each day there is a time when the whole community comes together as a group for stories, songs, or discussions. All lessons and materials are purposeful. Table scrubbing, for example, involves logical sequencing, memory recall, fine and large motor coordination, and eye-tracking in preparation for reading. On any given morning in a Primary classroom, you will find children engaged in various activities such as baking, arranging flowers, painting, labeling parts of a plant or animal, sewing, doing math operations with beads, playing the bells and much, much more. Each classroom is led by an AMI trained guide, a morning assistant, and an afternoon assistant.
The Primary Program operates on a 5 day schedule with two options:
Full Day: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 3:15 pm
Extended Day: Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Schedule a visit to observe our primary classrooms in action: