Why the third year of the three-year Montessori primary cycle is so valuable.
The experience of being the oldest in the Montessori class gives children great confidence and self-assurance.
After two years spent learning from older children, sharing with peers, and already helping younger classmates, the kindergarten year is when students assume an even more vital and empowering leadership role at school and in the classroom.
Without the Montessori kindergarten year’s opportunities for leadership, children would miss incredible opportunities for growth.
The Montessori kindergarten year: giving students new opportunities for challenge and growth.
During the Montessori kindergarten year, children strenghten critical learning skills that lay the groundwork for later academic work and social/emotional development.
These skills are carefully nurtured during the first two years of the Early Childhood cycle. They include: concentration, self-discipline, a sense of order, persistence in completing a task, and creative self-expression. The Montessori Early Childhood environment also fosters a thirst for knowledge that continues to bloom in the kindergarten year, preparing children to be eager, self-motivated learners in elementary school and beyond.
During the third year in a Montessori environment, children continue to develop and learn at their own pace, allowing for cognitive development based on a firm foundation of sensory and motor-skills training built during the previous two years.
A transition to in-depth academic work occurs naturally during the third year of the Montessori primary cycle.
A child who is ready will begin reading longer books and working with more advanced and abstract math materials, and can easily undertake other advanced academic activities, too. Because of the sequential nature of Montessori classroom materials, the Kindergarten year is when students gain full comprehension of the concepts they have been exploring during the previous two years.
Researchers in the Frontiers in Psychology Journal tested approximately 140 students at the start of the preschool and found that both the Montessori and traditional students began at age three with similar achievement scores. The 70 students who went to the Montessori schools advanced more rapidly on math and literacy tests over the next three years. At the end of kindergarten, when this study ended, the Montessori Kindergarten students had significantly higher achievement. (U.S. News, 2018)
The Role of the Teacher
A key advantage of staying through the full Montessori primary cycle is the depth of knowledge the Primary level teacher has amassed regarding the child who attends the third Montessori year.
No time is lost at the beginning of the year trying to assess the student.
Third year students are ready to delve into more complex learning and discovery and can immediately explore a wealth of new and interesting materials with their primary Montessori teacher as a trusted guide.
Our kindergarten graduates
Our Montessori Kindergarten graduates are curious, self-disciplined, and socially responsible learners who become valued members of their elementary school communities.
Teachers of our former Kindergarten students who have transitioned from our school to 1st grade classes frequently comment on their confidence, curiosity, and independence.
Whether our students continue on to a Montessori or a traditional elementary environment, our past families have found year after year that the gains their children made during our Montessori kindergarten year led to impressive social and academic confidence.