The Primary Program
The Primary Program, which encompasses Pre-K3 and Pre-K4, is a traditional Montessori program in which language and language skills, writing and reading, mathematics, science, geography and culture are the subject areas. The child is encouraged to become increasingly independent and to become an active participant in the learning process. The Montessori materials within the prepared environment allow each student to progress at his or her own pace. Lessons are given individually or in small groups in an atmosphere of cooperation and non-competitiveness. Older children provide models for younger children and, through the work they do, provide younger children with examples of accomplishment to which to aspire.
It is in the Primary classroom that children become the centered, motivated, focused learners that they will be for the rest of their lives. Maria Montessori called this process “normalization”: She believed that the natural (or “normal”) state of the child is that of an eager learner. Through observation and experimentation, she developed an early childhood program and curriculum that maintains and encourages this state. Modern educational research supports Montessori’s work: A learning environment that provides order, encourages exploration, permits movement, encourages choice, allows for pursuit of interests, provides manipulatives for learning, avoids extrinsic rewards and is socially interactive provides superior educational outcomes.