Giving your children the benefit of their Montessori final Primary year is an irreplaceable gift. The foundation and exploration the children have previously experienced in their Primary class blossoms into a culminating experience in this final year. Here is what happens for five-six year-old children in a Montessori primary program:
- Children continue to thrive with the rich and varied Montessori advanced lessons and extensions especially matched to build on their previous experience. Teachers provide lessons that intrigue and stretch the children as they are ready.
- Although there is a move to more paper and pencil activities, the materials still play a vital role in the learning of the children, allowing them to tackle more advanced concepts than would otherwise be possible. Because it does not comprise all their work, paper and pencil tasks are seen as enjoyable rather than becoming “a chore”.
- The sand paper letters and moveable alphabet work blossom into short hand-written mini-reports often on a science topic they have enjoyed learning at an earlier age. The children’s reading continues to progress at a pace that works for each individually. Beginning readers have many opportunities for reinforcing skills, and those who are reading are given further lessons to advance their skills.
- Earlier concrete math work with the golden beads leads to a conceptual understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The children begin working with more abstract materials to acquire math facts. Lessons also include fractions, geometry, the concept of squaring and cubing, etc.
- The arts flourish for our 5-6 year-olds. Children who have enjoyed lessons on the Montessori bells may begin to compose their own songs. By strengthening and developing their small motor skills in practical life and sensorial, the children are now ready to create more intricate and complex art.
- Their large motor skills reinforced by earlier activities such as walking on the line, practical life activities, and outdoor exploration lead to the acquisition of beginning sports skills such as shooting baskets, batting a ball, jumping rope, etc. The skills are taught informally with a sense of fun suitable for 5-6 year-olds.
- The children’s knowledge of the natural world including science and geography grow from the basics to the more detailed and nuanced.
- The earlier development of concentration and a sense of order through self-chosen activities, now leads to the beginning of “executive functioning skills” which include the ability to plan and manage their own work within set time parameters. The sense of pride is palpable in our oldest students as they recognize what they have accomplished. It is a self-esteem derived through real work.
- Rather than being the youngest in a traditional kindergarten setting, the children’s experience culminates in a year of leadership and compassion as they help and guide the younger children in the class.