Our Primary program is for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years. During the Primary years, a love of learning is nurtured, foundational academic skills are formed, and confidence blooms.
Primary Program at a Glance:
Ages 3-6 years
Three classrooms of 24 students each
Head Teacher and Assistant Teacher
Five Day Program
Half Days until noon or Full Days until 3:00PM (Full days required for 3rd Year Primary/Kindergarten)
Early care available at 7:30AM
Aftercare available until 5:00PM
A Community of Children
Children develop friendships across age levels and genuinely care for each other. Children crave knowledge about social behavior and will notice, absorb, and practice how to build gracious and harmonious relationships. Each community member is respected as a unique individual with strengths and interests.
Social Grace and Courtesy and Self Care
Grace and Courtesy lessons happen daily at MdTL and encompass basic manners as well as communication skills. Children learn — through role play and practice — everything from politely interrupting to resolving a social conflict. Social skills are emphasized just as much as the child’s inner development. These lessons help the child meet his own needs while learning to consider the needs of others.
Mixed Age Classrooms
Children remain in the same classroom for a three-year cycle, which allows them to form a deep bond with their teacher. They have the opportunity to experience three different roles: the youngest, middle, and the oldest. This three-year journey fosters their empathy, communication skills, and self-confidence.
"The connection that you develop over a three year cycle with the families is something that is very unique."
-Jessica Harvey, Primary Head Teacher
Freedom to Make Choices
Internalizing any new skill requires practice. Students are given the freedom of time to set their own learning pace, promoting self-discipline and allowing them to connect with their current needs. Rather than imitating or following a teacher, children make independent work choices and practice until they are ready to clean up.
Our teachers are keen observers and get to know each child as an individual with unique interests and areas for growth. With primarily individual instruction, you’ll find our teachers down at the children’s level, engaged with a small group or one-on-one. They have also optimized the learning opportunities in their environments for children who are motivated to explore and master their world.
Montessori materials are beautiful, engaging, and scientifically accurate. In all areas of the classroom, children are introduced to new concepts incrementally through hands-on experiences. Brain development is dependent on activity, and the work of the hands is paramount.
Independence is Valued
Practical Life is the cornerstone of the Primary classroom. Through real, purposeful activity, children gain functional independence, have opportunities for deep concentration, learn to sequence a series of steps, and develop pride in their work. Children grow more attuned to their personal feelings of progress, boosting their innate ability of self evaluation.
Kindergarten - A Year of Exceptional Growth
The third year, or Kindergarten, is the crowning year in the Primary journey. Foundational academic skills come together and students are given countless opportunities to mentor their younger peers by modeling social skills, helping with a variety of tasks, and giving lessons. Experiencing the leadership role during this final year reinforces concepts they have learned and builds their confidence in an unparalleled way.
Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, and Math are the four main areas of the Primary classroom. Within these, lessons in science, geography, cultural studies, art, and music proliferate. For example, what is presented as a geography lesson may have elements of language, art, and cultural studies. Children naturally begin to make meaningful connections between multiple subject areas, a strong preparation for Elementary.
Collaboration and Divergent Thinking
We engage the children in divergent thinking. Teachers encourage collaboration and foster an environment in which students can generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. Children work together to research a topic of interest or prepare independent explorations and present them to their class. This starts at the youngest level and builds on itself throughout the Elementary program.
“I did not invent a method of education, I simply gave some little children a chance to live.”