Our Primary program begins at 3 years and goes up to the age of 6. The multi-age group setting provides more social and academic options because a greater variety of children are working on a greater variety of activities. Older children provide social and academic models for the younger children and there exists a natural opportunity for leadership and growth. Dr. Montessori believed that children of this age have an “absorbent mind”. This type of mind has a unique ability to absorb all aspects of culture without effort or fatigue. Modern studies in human development tell us that between birth and age 4, children develop half of their mature intelligence. Another 30% of brain development occurs in the next 4 years. This terrific growth underlines the importance of creating the best possible learning environment during these years.
The following areas address the child’s whole development.
Practical Life exercises provide children with the opportunity to perform tasks of everyday life. The overlying purpose of this work is the development of independence and control and coordination of movement. The children learn to work at a task from beginning to end, and grow in their ability to concentrate.
Sensorial materials serve as tools for development. Children learn to order and classify impressions by touching, seeing, tasting, listening and exploring the physical properties of their environment. These materials also serve as an indirect preparation for mathematics.
The Language program focuses first on providing an environment rich in spoken language. Understanding that the child at this age possesses a “sponge-like” mind, enrichment of vocabulary through conversation, stories, poetry etc…provide the child with correct and appropriate words for everything they experience. The freedom in the Montessori environment allows the child a constant opportunity for oral language.
Literacy skills are learned in a holistic way, providing both phonetic and whole language materials. To further the child’s development of reading and writing, the children explore the function of words and the structure of sentences. Their interest is piqued as they are encouraged to take their knowledge and apply it to literature.
The Culture Area encompasses history, geography, science, art and music. The initial presentations of the sensorial materials enables the child to explore his own interests through language lessons, stories and simple experiments.
Mathematics materials help the children learn and understand mathematical concepts by manipulating concrete materials. This work gives the child a solid understanding of basic mathematical principles, prepares them for abstract reasoning and helps to develop problem-solving capabilities.
At the Elementary level, children build on the foundation established in the Primary. The P.T. Montessori School Elementary program fully satisfies the requirements set out by the Ministry of Education, while maintaining an authentic 3-year Montessori curriculum.
Montessori Elementary presents the child with the whole universe, first in order to provide a framework for all further studies. It is from this point that the child jumps into other areas of learning, Although the class is divided into areas of study-math, language, music, botany, zoology, geography, history and geometry-all subjects are presented in an inter-related way. Exploration of each area is encouraged through trips outside the classroom to community resources such as libraries, museums, planetaria, botanical gardens, factories, etc… This approach to education fosters feelings of connection to humanity and encourages the child’s natural desire to become a contributing member of society.