Primary Curriculum

Return to Primary
Exercises in Practical Life help Primary students develop concentration, coordination, independence, and order. The practical life area contains exercises involving care of the environment, care of oneself, physical skills, and Grace and Courtesy. The Practical Life area is most essential in the Montessori environment because it helps the child develop his or her own natural rhythm and, in turn, provides indirect preparation for all other areas of the classroom.

Within the Sensorial area the child is able to develop and refine his or her senses through the use of didactic materials. These activities help primary children develop not only their sense of touch, taste, smell and hearing, but also their stereognostic sense. This is the capacity to perceive forms by the movement of muscles of the hand as it follows the outline of solid objects. These didactic materials help the child develop sensory powers in order to observe and make comparisons between objects. They begin to experience relationships and recognize patterns. The child is then able to form judgments, reason, and make decisions. It is through the use of these materials that the child is introduced to preparatory math skills, such as pairing, recognizing contrast, and gradation of objects. These materials are particularly attractive to children, as they are simple and beautiful.

Through the above experiences in practical life and sensorial, the child develops the ability to concentrate.
As the child reaches a sensitive period for order, he or she is ready to further develop their Math skills. The materials in the math curriculum are concrete and provide the child with visual manipulative representations of mathematical concepts. As the child is developing 1:1 correspondence, s/he is introduced to the quantity, then to the symbol. This is followed by the association of concrete quantity and its numerical representation. These materials aid in building the foundation that later leads the child to abstraction. Once the child has developed this skill, he or she is introduced to the four mathematical operations, again using concrete materials.

Language development in children is natural and spontaneous. Speech is considered to be the greatest human achievement, learned through direct awareness and models given to us. By speaking, children are relating and being heard, which indirectly leads to order, organization, and enrichment of vocabulary. In the language area some materials are direct preparations for writing such as the sandpaper letters, movable alphabet, and metal insets, which are introduced to three and four year olds. It is at this point that the children are in the sensitive period for sounds, writing, and work composition. The use of language provides a link to the world both written and spoken. Language is an effective tool for self-expression and communication.

The development of language also exposes students to the concept that words are made up of sounds, then that each sound is represented by a symbol. With this knowledge, students are able to compose words using a movable alphabet, before a child has the ability to control a pencil. Teachers read aloud to children regularly and each classroom has a quiet library area where the love of reading and books is nurtured.
A Primary Late Day program is available for 3 and 4 year olds from 11:45 - 3:00 and from 3:00 - 5:45.  Both programs are extensions of the Montessori classroom and provide activities and additional extensions for students.
Return to Primary