The Montessori classroom follows a three-year-cycle. Each level of Montessori consists of an age range of three years: birth to 3, 3 to 6, 6 to 9. The methods allows children to emerge from each cycle with skills needed to succeed in the next cycle.
While progressing through our Primary program your child will remain in the same classroom with the same teacher. This allows your child to form a bond with his or her teacher and provides your child’s teacher with a keen understanding of his or her uniqueness.
Whether your child is transitioning from a Toddler program or this is your child’s first experience with Montessori or being away from home his or her entry year will be similar in nature. First and foremost the classroom teachers will help the child develop familiarity, routine and comfort in his or her new environment and with the people in it. Establishing a sense of security and consistency is paramount to moving forward.
Everyday activities in the practical life area of the classroom form the basis for your child’s independent work. Therefore all children are introduced to the practical life area upon first attending entering our classrooms. More than likely your child already experienced several of these lessons when he or she came to meet with a teacher. Throughout the first year your child will be given many lessons in the practical life and sensorial areas of the classroom as well as daily lessons on grace and courtesy.
The skills the child develops through their work in grace and courtesy, practical life and sensorial areas of the classroom lead to greater success and mastery of academic studies. Through the development of concentration, self-regulation, problem solving, patience and internal motivation during your child’s first year at Montessori he or she will have the foundation for learning. Without first developing these skills academic learning may be hindered and frustrating.
By encouraging your child abilities in independence at home you should begin to notice less power struggles and more control over self-will. Your child is learning to follow direction better and take on more responsibility. Your child is developing his or her own work ethic. A parent focused on effort as opposed to result or process as opposed to product helps the child build a sense of self worth and supports internal motivation.
Parents are encouraged to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about the Montessori method, materials, and our approach to discipline by attending our parent education classes offered throughout the school year.
The information presented above is common but by no means a benchmark experience. In Montessori, we usually avoid generalities because of each child’s uniqueness. One child’s year in Montessori may vary significantly from that of another child. The equalizing factor is always the final year of the cycle. The first two years allow the teacher and child to set the stage for the final year when it all comes together.