Authentic Montessori: The Importance of the Three-Year Cycle

One of the best ways to learn something, is to teach it! At any Montessori school with authentic, mixed-aged classes, the role that the oldest children serve can not be undervalued: it is a key component in what sets Montessori schools apart from traditional schools and a very important part of the success of a classroom and a school in general.

During the first two years your child is at Childrenโ€™s House, he begins to develop an understanding of mathematical and language concepts. He learns letter sounds and begins to read simple books. Golden beads introduce the concepts of the decimal system and place value. But it is usually in the kindergarten year that a real concrete and sound basis in math and language are formed.

The children study phonics in more depth, with many opportunities for reading and writing for those who are ready. They practice mathematical operations with the golden beads and the stamp game, which gives the child a hands-on and concrete understanding of the decimal system and place value.

The child forms mental pictures of how to exchange ten “units” for one “ten,” or how to take one number many times, thus accomplishing multiplication. Your child needs the kindergarten year to internalize these early concrete experiences which form a strong foundation for the years ahead.

An enormous amount of learning can take place in the kindergarten year in an environment as rich and varied as ours. Kindergarteners are sophisticated; they deserve a sophisticated learning environment where they can blossom and grow to their fullest potential.

Moreover, Montessori kindergarteners are highly motivated as they learn to be organized, to focus, and to begin to develop a work ethic that will last their whole life. They are self-directed, independent learners, and discover how to learn while they develop a love of learning.

Because our classrooms have an authentic three-year grouping of a true Montessori school, the kindergarten children take on a leadership role in the classroom. They have spent two years observing, learning from, and looking forward to becoming the โ€œbig kidsโ€ in the classroom. Now it is their turn to shine and to take on the responsibilities of helping younger children, leading discussions, and in many ways running the classroom.

Their self-esteem soars as their confidence in themselves increases. Everything they learned in their first two years with us falls into place.