Primary (Preschool)

Outstanding Developmental Experience for Young Children Ages 6 Weeks to 5 Years

“Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.” ~ Maria Montessori

Program Overview

Throughout the ages of 3-5, children are at a time of great transformation from dependency to a “let me do it myself” mentality.  The preschool environment is a community designed to progress each child at their level as lesson plans are individualized to scaffold learning in areas of practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language development, culture, art and more. We offer a three hour work period that builds concentration, meets a child’s need for order and helps them explore the important roles they play within their family, community and their culture to become independent beings.  Children choose their own activities and work independently at their own pace under gentle guidance of trained teachers.  In this way a child’s innate curiosity and love of learning are fostered.

Primary Schedule

The three hour work cycle provides opportunities for children to develop academic, motor and social skills as well as concentration, independence and self-esteem.  The environment is prepared to allow the child to move freely within the classroom and to choose from the materials developed by Dr. Montessori.  Children enjoy lunch with their teachers and an afternoon nap. We believe that fresh air is an important part of the day and children spend time on the playground daily.

Our Primary (Preschool) is a 10 month program, aligned as closely as possible with the Denver Public School schedule. We have a two month Summer Break, wherein we offer a Summer Camp program.

Preschool Curriculum and Materials

The materials in our classrooms were developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. She developed hands on materials that are attractive to the child and help develop very specific skills. The materials are carefully organized on shelving for students to choose from. The lessons on the work are given when a student is ready and then is allowed to continue to master the work before moving to the next lesson. The work also allows for explorations beyond the lessons called extensions. There are five areas in a Montessori classroom that create the holistic education.

  •   Practical Life
    Upon first entering the Montessori school children are given the opportunity to develop important life skills which will allow them greater freedom in the classroom. They learn to manage their own clothes using dressing frames to practice buttons, zips and bows.  They are also shown how to care for the classroom, using child-sized brushes and dusters.  Developing practical skills, such as pouring drinks from a jug and laying tables, and social skills with friends and teacher enable each child to feel that they are capable, self-reliant members of the community.
  • Sensorial
    A child’s first experience with learning is through the senses. Montessori schools use a range of well thought out exercises to help children sort, match and compare objects by shape, size, touch, taste and sound.  These early sensorial impressions boost children’s powers of observation and discrimination, broaden their vocabulary and contribute to their later understanding of formal education concepts.
  • Literacy
    Montessori’s language materials are based on a carefully a structured phonic approach to writing and reading. Recognized for their excellence, they are used widely in many non-Montessori schools and settings where special help is required. First, children learn sensorially by tracing sandpaper letters with their fingers while they are told the sounds.  Soon they are writing simple words with movable letters, matching words with objects and reading their first stories in phonic readers.  When asked how they learned to read and write Montessori children will often answer, “I did it myself.”
  • Mathematics
    Essentially mathematics is about understanding relationships in the environment and being able to express them in mathematical terms. Montessori materials, like the number rods, golden beads and spindle boxes, are simple and interesting and provide step-by-step learning. They are also self-correcting, which means that children can see at a glance if they have made a mistake and can put it right without a teacher’s help.  This enables them to progress at their own rate and understand each stage thoroughly before they move on to the next stage.
  • Cultural
    In the Montessori classroom children use globes, puzzles maps and flags to underpin activities which build their understanding of other cultures and people. Children are also taught to match, classify and name the elements and species of the natural would by using picture and name cards.  Classroom plant growing and caring for pets help to form a bridge between the child’s knowledge of the immediate environment and the wider world.