“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Such experience is not just play... it is work he must do in order to grow up.”
- Maria Montessori
At Wilmington Montessori School, the Primary Program is designed to meet the developmental needs of children between the ages of 3 and 6. These children are in what Maria Montessori called the first plane of development
. This stage in a young child’s life is characterized by a need for order, concrete thinking, sensitive periods for learning, and great strides in emotional, physical and cognitive development. During this time, children learn at their own rate, and it’s common for knowledge to be acquired in bursts with plateaus in between. Maria Montessori referred to this as an “explosion” in learning.
As in the Pre-Primary (Toddler) Program, Primary students are learning through their senses. Better able to classify and quantify their sensorial impressions, they are no longer simply absorbing the environment as they did as toddlers. Each child's learning trajectory is unique, and they move along the developmental continuum with support from individualized lessons. Our teachers adapt and modify the curriculum to ensure access for all students no matter their skill or ability level.
Independence is crucial for children in the Primary Program. When students are able to button their coats for the first time, write their name without help, sequence numbers to 100 or read their first book all by themselves, their confidence grows. They develop an enthusiasm for learning. This independence is key to the success of the Primary classroom. Once they are able to do for themselves, they are capable of doing for others.