“Free the child’s potential and transform him in the world.” Dr. Maria Montessori
Primary: Ages 3-6
Montessori is an evidence-based approach to education that grows from Dr. Maria Montessori’s scientific observations of young children more than a century ago at the Casa dei Bambini, a school she founded for underprivileged children in Rome. The entire Montessori program, including materials, lessons, classroom environment and student-teacher dynamic, is designed to meet the specific intellectual, social and emotional needs of children at each stage of their development, from infancy through adolescence.
“It is not true that I invented what is known as the Montessori method, said Dr. Montessori. “I have studied the child, taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method.”
Montessori works with — not against — human nature to nurture a child’s natural desire to learn. Dr. Steven Hughes, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology, calls Montessori the first brain-based approach to learning because it is based upon scientific principles of human development. The Montessori primary curriculum helps young children:
- Pursue their natural desire to explore and learn
- Develop physically, emotionally and socially
- Become independent and self-motivated
- Develop a lifetime love of learning
- Connect and contribute to their family, community and humanity
The primary classroom: A “laboratory for learning”
The three-to-six year old is a very active and eager student. The Montessori classroom environment has been called a “laboratory for learning,” designed around principles of child development to engage young children in purposeful exploration and discovery.
With 40 years of experience working with young children, Mountaineer Montessori offers a fully-implemented primary program, with credentialed faculty and a rich, rotating menu of authentic materials and lessons, focusing on the following areas: cultural, math, language, practical life and sensorial.
Follow the child
Children work at their own pace using beautiful, research-based materials and lessons that inspire interest and encourage appreciation of beauty and order. Students are given individual presentations on the materials and are free to choose from a wide choice of activities.
All of these activities the lay the foundation of academic learning to come. Our faculty closely observe each child’s level of readiness for the next lesson and guide him or her through the comprehensive Montessori curriculum. Children also engage in daily group experiences in order to build community and to develop their social skills. Most importantly, children in the primary classroom develop a love of their school community and a love of learning, finding peaceful joy in their pursuit of knowledge.
Montessori primary curriculum
The Montessori primary curriculum includes:
Peer-reviewed research finds that children with a Montessori primary education outperform their traditional school counterparts in reading and math and demonstrate higher levels of “executive skills” (including independence, problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration) that lead to future academic and social success. We invite you to learn more about Montessori outcomes and our alumni.
Tour our primary prepared environments
Creative expression is embedded throughout the Montessori primary curriculum, fostering students’ development through art, music and movement. Classroom lessons are furthered enriched through Kindermusik and Orff classes led by Karen Morris, art with Barrie Kaufman and workshops with artists-in-residence.
MMS currently offers two fully-equipped primary classrooms, each staffed by two AMS/AMI trained Montessori educators — a lead guide and a classroom assistant. Their leadership is supported by two certified, full-time, onsite Montessori mentors, who bring more than 50 years of experience in authentic Montessori primary classrooms. Meet our MMS Primary Faculty.
Primary class schedule
Primary students attend class five days per week with hours based on age:
- Mornings for children 3 through 4-1/2 years (8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.)
- Extended day for children ages 4-1/2 through 6 years (8:00 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.)
A Day in the Life of a Montessori Primary Classroom
Observations from a Montessori grandmother