WITH THE WHOLE CHILD IN MIND
FMA’s Primary Program continues to build on the cycle of learning designed to take advantage of the child’s sensitive years by utilizing concrete materials. The classroom contains a number of multi-sensory and self-correcting materials, which facilitate the learning of skills that gradually promote the child’s understanding of abstract ideas. In the Primary classroom, the child has the ability to excel at his/her own pace simultaneously through three period lessons. The Montessori areas of the classroom are: Practical Life , Sensorial, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Cultural which includes Science, Botany, Zoology, History and Geography.
There are five key areas that are introduced and practiced by the child in the Practical Life area. They are care of self, care of the environment, control of movement, grace and courtesy. In the Primary class, the children build independence by Practical Life exercises such as food preparation, serving, dressing frames, sewing, sweeping, etc. These works will help develop and master their eye-hand coordination as well as their ability to focus and concentrate on completing the task at hand. For the young child, there is something special about tasks that an adult considers ordinary. They are exciting to the child because they allow him to imitate adults. Imitation is one of the child's strongest urges during his/her early years. The Practical Life exercises teaches a child to function in his own environment.
A young child meets the world around him/her through the constant use of all the senses. The Sensorial materials help a child to become aware of details and isolate one defining quality such as color, weight, texture, shape, etc. These materials help the child to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate new information to what he/she already knows.
There are three developmental stages of language: spoken language, written language, and reading. The directress through songs, group lessons, vocabulary, games, and three-period lessons enhances the child's speech in fluent self-expression. Writing and reading are two separate levels of development. Writing is taught through the sandpaper letters, metal insets, the moveable alphabet, and the use of chalkboards and later recorded on paper. Lessons in reading are presented through matching, discriminating letters, shapes and sounds, phonetically building three letter words using objects, pictures, advancing into phonetic readers.
In Math, the child will use precise self-teaching materials that graduate from simple to complex and concrete to abstract, stretching the absorbent mind to adhere to higher level concepts.
The children are exposed to many different learning areas that touch on subjects that further build their interest in discovery and experiences regarding the world around them. Units of Study are prepared and presented monthly providing in-depth information on many different topics. Visual aids, handmade works, library resources, topic related speakers, research and art projects are some of the materials used to provide the children with this array of information.
Each classroom is equipped with quality Montessori materials and furniture created specifically to fit the child’s size.
The classroom and materials are designed to fully capitalize on the natural learning potential of each child. This environment helps children develop within themselves, the foundation for a lifetime of continuous learning and creative thinking.