International Montessori House of Children Primary Program

3-6 years old

The Montessori Primary Program offers a unique, authentic Montessori learning environment for children ages 3 to 6 years old. This age group is at the core of the IMHOC Montessori approach as it supports the idea that children from the age of birth to 6 years old are in a developmental period called the absorbent mind first discovered by Dr. Maria Montessori. During this time children are developing their physical and biological independence while their minds are eagerly learning by absorbing everything in their environment. Our Montessori teachers maximize the opportunity for learning by guiding our students to create a positive foundation through a carefully prepared and curated environment. The environment is strategically set up for their natural skills and abilities to flourish. Each child is encouraged to learn at their own pace, by allowing their individual interests to blossom. We focus on both direct and indirect learning, allowing children to use their hands for exploration. To a young child’s absorbent mind, this encouragement creates order, concentration, independence, and confidence in the learner.

The Four Avenues of the Primary Montessori Classroom

Practical Life:  Practical life encompasses the beauty of humble tasks involved in daily living.  The lessons of practical life include simple activities children see their parents do at home such as dusting, sweeping, washing, laundry folding, cooking, etc. These activities are intriguing to the child because they see adults modeling the behavior. The practical life avenue is familiar and comforting to a child because it mirrors what they observe at home. The lessons help children coordinate their movements, provide direction, and are the beginning of learning to cooperate with life and community. Practical life skills demonstrate the importance of completing a task, teach humility and responsibility for self, and care for the overall environment. Your child’s lessons of practical life will be warmly remembered and used throughout their life.

Sensorial Development:  The sensorial avenue of the Montessori curriculum is the building block of math and language. The activities of sensorial lessons include sorting colors, textures, sizes, and shapes using materials that are kinesthetic. Touch and physical understanding of these concepts help children to organize the sensorial impressions. These materials have a built-in lesson and a control of error, meaning the child can check their own work.  This allows the child to develop the self-discipline to understand, analyze, and solve problems independently, which builds self-esteem. Sensorial development helps enlarge the child’s field of perception which is the foundation for intellectual growth. Dr. Montessori believed that sensorial development assists in developing a clear and deep understanding of concepts rather than simply memorizing them.  Children at an early age begin to grasp the concepts of distinction, discernment, categorization, and master one abstraction at a time.  This work then extends to science, geography, music, and culture. We will help your child build the foundation they’ll need to confidently explore academic concepts.

The Language Avenue:  Language is made of sounds. To teach a child how to read and write we first help them master the sub-skills of sounds and how to break and make sounds into words. Dr. Montessori’s method of isolating difficulty becomes pivotal when it comes to learning how to read and write. We teach the child the individual sounds of the letter and how the letter is formed. Then we help build words that they know from their spoken language with movable alphabets. Writing develops spontaneously. A child can become a confident independent reader and overcome any reading disorders if they are led through a sequenced path of the pyramid of reading.  Fluent and automatic word identification starts with having a clear understanding of the phonetic awareness, followed by strong letter recognition. Comprehension follows as we open their world to language and the love of books and literature. Your child will have the opportunity to enjoy early literacy and writing.

Preparation of the Mathematical Mind:  The human mind is mathematical by nature.  It seeks and recognizes definite patterns, whether it is the change of four seasons or the rhythms in the day and night. This is evident as young as infants who look for peaceful sameness. Humans are born with this tendency, so we all have mathematical minds.  What is the decimal system if nothing but a pattern?  We use tactile materials designed by Dr. Montessori to show children how to count and provide a clear understanding of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. Your child will have an opportunity to develop an intrinsic understanding of mathematics that will allow them to feel confident about building elementary math knowledge.

The Three-Hour Work Cycle:

The Montessori work cycle that lasts for three hours engages children and aids them to reach their unique potential. The uninterrupted cycle of learning is a fundamental part of the Montessori curriculum initiated by Maria Montessori. The three-hour work cycle is essential in allowing children to fully come to understand the various concepts presented through the materials they are focusing on.  This cycle helps children to develop concentration and provides them with a sense of satisfaction when they complete the work. When children experience this newfound feeling of concentration and satisfaction, it fuels their enthusiasm for even more hands-on learning.

All of our students practice Mindfulness and Meditation weekly in their classrooms with their teachers. What is mindfulness?  A mindful child is in touch with their inner and outer experiences and is aware of how emotions and feelings manifest in the body.  When their attention wanders elsewhere, they are not able to control their bodies and their emotions.  We will do breathing exercises, read stories, discuss emotions, and move together.  These activities help teach our students to center and reground when they are experiencing big emotions that they are not sure what to do with. Teaching body awareness helps them react appropriately with their bodies and their voices.  Mindfulness gives children the tools for control in difficult situations.

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