“The Montessori program is deliberately designed to be a three-year program,
and it is only in the third (or kindergarten) year
that much of what has been developing finally blossoms.”
Tim Seldin, M.Ed., the President of The Montessori Foundation and
Chair of the International Montessori Council
Our Kindergarten class hums with motivated, focused activity. It is in the Kindergarten year that your child will be "at the top of the class" in terms of seniority. The responsibility and pride students feel in this role gives a great sense of accomplishment. The multi-age experience offers many opportunities for five year-olds to help the younger children and to be competent role models. In addition to reinforcing their academic knowledge, this experience enhances their self-esteem and develops their self-confidence---two qualities which enable them to try new challenges.
Kindergarten is a time when skills that have been developing over previous years start to solidify. The Kindergarten year is a culmination. The students are unfolding as leaders, beginning readers and budding mathematicians. They are proud of their accomplishments and eagerly await the more complex lessons their teachers present. Kindergarten is particularly important: an explosion into new and challenging work takes place.
A Montessori classroom offers many opportunities for children to expand their knowledge during the years when they are naturally motivated. The focus of the more complex Kindergarten curriculum and projects revolve around language, math, biology, botany, geography, physical sciences and history.
Students mature at very different rates and their periods of readiness vary a great deal. The five year old can gain an early understanding of many difficult concepts which are the usual stumbling blocks in grade school. Long before she/he is faced with abstract terms (unit, fraction, etc), she/he explores them in simple concrete materials. For example, she/he can build a peninsula, put pictures on a timeline, act out verbs, "carry one" in addition, change ten units into one ten, add fractional quarters to make one-half, etc. The use of individual concrete materials accommodates many levels of ability.