Most children enter Metropolitan Montessori at age 3 or 4. They take part in a Montessori-based program in the morning, with the option of joining an enrichment program in the afternoon.
Primary is a time of joyful discovery. Children are exploring their world and gaining control of their bodies; they are learning how to be independent, how to make appropriate choices, how to organize information. Their personality is emerging. The Primary program is nurturing; children find their passions, learn to respect and listen to others, and develop the basis for academic and social skills according to their own timetable.
In our Primary classrooms, children pursue a variety of activities. This is their “work,” and they learn from an early age that “work” is not drudgery, but a satisfying, often joyous pursuit. It can mean practicing a skill, creating artwork, exploring patterns and making connections, collaborating with friends on building projects or solving problems, or taking care of their classroom environment.
The curriculum is organized around six themes:
- Sensorial activities isolate a defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, sound, smell, temperature, etc. They help children discern subtle differences, engage all their learning faculties, and teach them a vocabulary for describing their impressions.
- Language arts is based on teaching children the sounds and shapes associated with the alphabet. Using sandpaper letters, they trace the alphabet with their hands, developing the strength and coordination needed for writing. With the movable alphabet, children construct words, sentences and stories in preparing for writing.
- Mathematics is taught with materials that introduce children to the concept of quantity and number symbols. Children are introduced to geometric shapes and relationships.
- Practical life skills, such as sweeping, pouring, polishing, and cutting fruits and vegetables, are an important aspect of the program, helping children to develop coordination, concentration, and self-reliance.
- Cultural activities such as music, art, geography, movement, and history broaden the child’s world view and provide inspiration for their creativity and imagination.
- An appreciation of nature is developed through learning about seasons, gardening, animals, the life cycles of plants and insects, and other topics.
In their close observations, teachers watch the emotional and social development of the children, and work with parents on instilling independence, self-reliance, and respect to others. To learn more about the Primary curriculum, click here.