The Kindergarten Year
The third Montessori year is the crucial last year of the three-year cycle in the Primary years. The class is designed to give the child the maximum opportunity to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. It is based on using the skills they have gradually built up during the previous two years. These include concentration, self-discipline, curious exploration within the prepared environment of the Montessori classroom, independence, and a basic sensorial preparation for further learning.
The Montessori background enables the children to quickly progress to more challenging and satisfying class work. Children in their third year of the primary cycle spend an extended academic day with their classroom guide. Lessons are taught in small groups that allow for maximum peer interaction. The curriculum is a continuance and an expansion on work already accomplished in the first and second years of their primary experience, with the increased ability to focus for a longer day. The curriculum, in greater detail, includes literacy extensions, reading and art; advanced practical life, math, cultural geography and history; zoology and botany, and associated science experiments. More frequent off campus experiences are included as the children demonstrate a maturity and responsibility beyond their years.
As Montessori education is a developmental model for educating children, a child’s birthday is a guideline for their placement and participation in our programs. Upcoming birthdates may signal evaluation periods for readiness to proceed to the next level of study. Our carefully trained Montessori certified guides and our experienced Program Directors will make recommendations regarding the matriculation of students from one level to another within our programs. Generally, a child who is 5 years old by September 1st with experience in a Montessori classroom is prepared for a school day of education (6 hours). Children who turn 5 years old during the school year, may be invited to join the extended lessons as they are ready to do so during the school year, but this does not guarantee progression into Elementary I for the following year. All transitions are evaluated on readiness in all areas of growth: academic, social/emotional and physical. The beauty of Montessori lies in the fact that guides are allowed the flexibility to see every child as an individual and make their recommendations based on each child’s specific needs to proceed on their journey.
Students determined ready for entrance into the Elementary I program will participate in an annual crossover celebration to mark the occasion with friends, guides, peers and relatives at our end of year picnic.
For more information about this and other topics, please visit www.montessori.org.