Through the development of concentration, self-regulation, problem solving, patience and internal motivation in a child’s first year at Montessori he/she now has the foundation for learning. The skills the child develops in the practical life and censorial areas of the classroom lead to greater success and mastery of academic studies. Without first developing these skills academic learning may be hindered and frustrating.
Four- year-olds in their second year of primary are in the middle of a three-year cycle. Thus, the child can see where he/she was last year and where he/she will be next year. Opportunities from both sides present themselves often as older children will act as mentors and younger children provide a means of practicing leadership. Four year olds have been working on decision making and problem solving and begin choosing challenging work because they know that it will be difficult to complete or perhaps in spite of the difficulty level.
During this building year within the primary program, their responsibility widens, their independence continues to grow, and their interest in language and math seems explosive. If the child was in a Montessori classroom from age three, he/she has received many lessons from the teacher and are able to self-direct through the day. The four year old often looks like a very busy working bee – diligent and focused. This year the child becomes aware of their internal love of learning and actively seeks out lessons/work as entertainment. As the year progresses, the teacher steps back as the child steps forward. Success during this year strengthens confidence.
The child enrolled in a Montessori primary program is part of a community. He/she feels a sense of belonging in life. The feeling of being needed paired with understanding his/her place in the community often strengthens a parent-child relationship. The four-year-old begins to understand the difference between parent and child responsibility and is willing to let go of the need to control.
The four-year-old often has specific skills that develop more quickly than others. Sometimes, academic learning may have surpassed maturity and vice-versa. The second year is a turning point for the child; thus, it is important that the child is able to reach his/her fullest potential by completing the three-year cycle in their kindergarten year. This third year is the most important year of all the child’s years in a Montessori primary program. To find out why join us for: The Year of Mastery, Ages 5 to 6
***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.