There are several programs for children ages 2 1/2 - 9 years. Based upon the philosophy of Dr. Montessori, children are members of multi-age classrooms that span a three-year period. Each day the children experience a 2 1/2 - 3 hour uninterrupted work cycle which includes snack and outdoor recreational time. Lessons are given individually or in small groups. Children choose their work based on those lessons. Many of them are three period lessons taking the child from concept introduction through to understanding, ultimately aiming for mastery. The Primary and Elementary programs make up the heart of our school.
The Primary Program is for 2 1/2 - 6 year olds, while the Elementary Program is for 6-9 year olds. We also offer Early Stay and Stay Late Program for all children.
Mini Montessori Program (2 1/2 - 3): These children begin the program three days a week (Tu. W. Th) - Best suited for a child's first exposure to school or large-group care. Children in the Mini Montessori Program are part of the multi-age Primary Classroom; and Mini Montessori children begin attending 5 days in January.
Primary Program (2 1/2 - 4 Years), Half Day (9 a.m. - 12 noon): The Half Day Primary Program includes a full morning work cycle, outside recess, and a snack (for children with food allergies, parents are asked to provide their child's snack). Children are dismissed prior to lunch.
Primary Program (2 1/2 - 6 Years), Full Day (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.): The Full Day Primary Program builds upon the Half Day Program. Children remain after the morning work cycle for lunch, recess and an afternoon rest time (2 1/2 - 4 years) or afternoon work cycle (5-6 years). Children are either dismissed at 3 p.m. or may transition to the Stay Late Program.
Elementary Program (6-9 Years), Full Day (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.): The Full Day Elementary Program includes both morning and afternoon work cycles with group and individual work and outside recess. The program also includes weekly lessons in art, computer science, music and foreign language. Children are either dismissed at 3 p.m. or may transition to the Stay Late Program.
Conversation overheard in Montessori classroom:
Child 1: We don't have monsters in Greenville, but we do have bad people like robbers.
Child 2: What are robbers?
Child 1: Bad people who steal people's things in the nighttime.
Child 2: Why?
Teacher: Because no one ever taught them to be peaceful. They don't know that it will hurt people's feelings to take their things, and they can't think of a better choice.
Child 2: But I could teach them! I could show them how to be peaceful!