The Primary program is truly a gift to your child. Designed for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years, it is an opportunity to nurture their individual development within the context of a group setting. The result? Self-confidence, joy and a lifelong love-for-learning.
It’s a Mixed Age Classroom
Because the curriculum is individualized, your child can work at his or her own pace while participating in a mixed age classroom community. Your younger child learns by observing the behavior & activities of the older children. Your older child gains self-confidence, leadership skills, & responsibility by setting an example for her younger friends.
Unlike conventional classrooms, where all children are expected to pay close attention to the teacher, our program does the opposite – the teacher is trained to closely observe your child’s interests, tendencies, and needs. You won’t see the teacher standing at the front of the classroom at a chalkboard, but rather down at your child’s level, engaged with her or a small group. Your child will be introduced to a broad range of concepts and activities in individual and small group lessons. The real learning, however, occurs through independent activity by choosing to explore it, repeat it and perfect it.
Beautiful Hands-On Materials Help Your Child Learn
The scientifically designed Montessori materials help your child learn through hands-on use and exploration. Through continued use, he develops a concrete understanding of abstract concepts, such as mathematics, providing a solid foundation for learning into the future.
While most of the day is spent in self-directed work, there are also times for group activity and play. The teacher may gather a group for songs or to tell stories about a cultural, scientific or historical theme of interest. Ample time is also given to run, dig, explore and play with friends outdoors. Through “grace and courtesy” activities, we teach your child how to solve conflicts, how to act politely in social situations and how to be kind and helpful to friends.
A Personalized Curriculum
Each Arbor teacher is trained to respect your child’s unique potential and connects them with the lesson best suited at that precise moment of development. Your child will be challenged according to their ability, not to a generic standard. The curriculum emphasizes learning through all five senses. Lessons are primarily presented through the use of Montessori materials and exercises. Children learn all aspects of language including spoken language, writing, and reading. Their math work progresses from the concrete to abstract as they gain a deep understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and experience geometry. Other areas of the curriculum include practical life (including dressing, gardening, and food preparation), Spanish, botany, zoology, and cultural and environmental appreciation.
The Children’s House
The teacher works to perfect the environment – in it, your child works to perfect him or herself. Our teachers put tremendous care and attention to detail into the classroom with low shelves, beautiful artwork, books and cultural items of interest to pique your child’s interest and stimulate his senses. The children respond by developing a sense of classroom ownership and a drive to care for it, further deepening the bonds of the community and their quest to learn.
A Three Year Curriculum
Montessori is a continuum of education that allows your child to build upon experiences each year. Your child will stay in the Primary classroom for three years, including the traditional “kindergarten year” – when the seeds of learning come to fruition. Reading and writing come to life from sounds and symbols. They are introduced to numbers and the decimal system. They learn about geometric figures and the political countries of our world. They leave the program with a strong set of academic skills; but, far more importantly, with the attitude that learning is fun, exciting and boundless. At this point, they are ready to move up to the Elementary Program, for children from the ages of 6 to 12.