Primary Education Program
(2½ – 6 year-olds)
A child’s task during the primary years is self-construction. The Montessori environment is designed to remove obstacles to development, laying a strong foundation for success in all aspects of life.
Dr. Montessori’s extensive research shows that children from ages 3 to 6 learn primarily through their senses. These keen minds possess the unique ability to absorb all aspects of their culture and environment without effort or fatigue. Guided by these principles, the primary classroom consists of four main areas: practical life, sensorial, language and mathematics.
The Montessori Primary program fosters academic excellence combined with the highest quality character education, creating an unparalleled learning environment. Children who participate in this program are prepared with attitudes, skills, and habits of lifelong learning and leadership thereby enabling them to be productive members of a global society.
In the Practical Life area, children learn how to function independently as they learn the important life skills of caring for themselves and their environment, grace and courtesy, and control and coordination of movement. Even the youngest children can contribute to their community, learn to complete cycles of activity and strengthen their ability to concentrate through work with meaningful everyday activities. All children enjoy participating in caring for themselves and their beautiful environment with activities such as buttoning, bow tying, sweeping, food preparation, caring for plants, arranging flowers and caring for classroom pets.
The practical life area gives children the following necessary life skills:
- physical and psychological independence
- ability to concentrate
- strengthened memory
- ability to following a logical sequence
- controlled and coordinated movement
- a sense of responsibility
- self control
- strong character
- ability to function as a contributing member of a community
Read an article by our staff about the Practical Life area:
Children build cognitive skills and learn to order and classify impressions by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening and exploring the physical properties of their environment. In working with these ingenious materials, young children build a solid foundation in their mind of important mathematical and scientific concepts. The Sensorial materials are designed to be precise and accurate in order to give clear impressions of the quality they are intended to convey. For example, the red rods help children to deeply understand the concept of length. They are exactly the same in every quality (color, height, width, etc.), but vary in length by exactly 10 cm each. The Sensorial area prepares children for great success in math, science, geography, botany, language and cultural studies.
Read an article by our staff about the Sensorial area:
The primary classroom is rich in oral language opportunities as the children experience conversations, stories and poetry. The didactic language materials help children link sound and symbols effortlessly, encouraging the development of written expression and reading skills at a very young age. To enhance language development, children are introduced to grammar studies. By the end of their kindergarten year at OakHaven, children can usually read and write fluently, identify parts of speech and perform complex sentence analysis.
Read an article by our staff about Language:
As with each of the other 3 areas, the understanding of math begins with manipulation of the concrete materials and gradually moves toward the abstraction of complex mathematical concepts. The journey into mathematics begins with a clear understanding of numbers 1-10. From there, OakHaven students dive into their studies of the decimal system, linear counting, memorization of key math facts and fractions. By the time a child completes our primary (preschool and kindergarten) program, he/she can add, subtract, multiply and divide into the millions! Although these are usually concepts not taught until much later in grade school, the fun Montessori math materials and games make them effortless and joyful for young children to learn and understand.
Here are few examples of primary math lessons
(click on the title to view a short video demonstration):
- Introduction to the Decimal System (Golden Beads)
- Introduction to the Decimal System (Cards)
- Formation of Numbers
- The Bank Game/Collective Exercises (operations with the decimal system)
- The Stamp Game
- Teen Beads
- Teens and Tens Boards
- Linear and Skip Counting (chains)
- The Snake Game
- Fractions and Equivalence
OakHaven Montessori School offers three options for the primary program:
Half Day 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Montessori class time and a morning snack
2/3 Day 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Montessori morning plus lunch and outside play time
Full Day 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Montessori morning, lunch, outside play time plus Montessori afternoon or nap
Extended Care is also available for families who need additional care:
Before School Care 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
After School Care 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Includes an afternoon snack
“My life has been spent in the research of truth. Through study of children I have scrutinized human nature at its origin both in the East and the West and although it is forty years now since I began my work, childhood still seems to me an inexhaustible source of revelations and – let me say – of hope.” – Dr. Maria Montessori, 1947