The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap.
Preschool, kindergarten and beyond!
What your child develops and refines during the 3rd year of the 3-6 cycle (Montessori kindergarten year) are the qualities and life skills that they will use upon facing each new aspect of their life ahead. Your child has been working on developing concentration, motor skills, independence, and self-esteem. These attributes and Montessori materials are designed to take the child to a mastery skill level in each area of life. If your child does not complete the kindergarten year in the Montessori environment, the mastery of the materials designed for the learning will not happen. Montessori prepared environments for kindergartners is a 5 day a week program with afternoons being a special time with their teacher. This gives the kindergartner the opportunity for mastery of reading, math, independence and becoming a role model. The materials, along with guiding from their teacher, are a very important part of the kindergartner’s 3-year cycle.
Repetition, longer works, and your child becoming a role model in a safe environment will have profound effects on your child’s social, emotional, and academic development. We have a saying regarding our primary class for children 3 to 6 years old, “The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap.”
Kindergartners work with the decimal system and the squares and cubes of numbers, moving then toward the abstract processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Literacy training for the beginner.
The use of literacy within the classroom develops phonetic word building through the moveable alphabet. This opens the kindergartner up to a world of reading, writing and grammar in the third year. The growth and confidence seen in your child during their kindergarten year is most impressive. The process of the reading experience moves through consonant, vowel, consonant blending with the manipulation of the moveable alphabet into sentences, phases, and then sentences that stimulate creative story writing. Reading comprehension begins (the lightbulb effect) and then the parts of speech are introduced -article, adjective, noun, verb, adverb, conjunction, and prepositions.
We must remember that in most conventional kindergarten programs, this may be a child’s first experience in school. Your Montessori child will have already mastered many, if not all the concepts that will be presented. The non-Montessori school may not have enough challenging lessons to keep your kindergartner engaged and loving learning throughout the school year. Montessori is designed to follow every individual child and their needs, regardless of where their classmates may be during the school year. Conventional schools have a fixed curriculum that must be followed throughout the school year in the hopes that every child in the classroom grasped the concept during the time it was presented.
“To see the full circle of growth in the kindergarten children is beyond words. The accomplishments they can achieve are endless and frequently beyond expectation!”
– Jenny Williams, Lead Primary Guide