A LOVE OF LEARNING STARTS HERE

PRIMARY SCHOOL

(3-6 years old)

The Montessori Primary program, for children between the ages of three to six years old, is designed to nurture your child’s development. Your child will emerge with a set of skills – social, emotional, and academic.

During these formative years, the social, physical, and intellectual functioning of the child is unified. The most important role of the Primary program is to provide children with an early and general foundation that includes: a positive attitude towards school, inner security and self-direction, a sense of order, and strong problem-solving skills. This foundation enables them to acquire more specialized knowledge and skills throughout their school career.


The children in the classroom are independently engaged in purposeful work.

The Primary classroom offers children precision, exactness, and order through manipulation of materials. Preparation of the mathematical mind is crucial to further development of intellectual pursuits. Using concrete materials, we introduce abstract forms and calculations. Each particular quality of an abstract idea can be presented in isolation.

We support the natural drive for independence by encouraging children to choose activities of interest, without interruption. The resulting feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction engender respect from the children towards others.

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There’s a three-year mixed-age grouping.

The mixed-age grouping serves to promote independence in younger children and cement learning and leadership skills in older children. Children spend their Kindergarten year (third of the three year cycle) mentoring first and second year students, acting as a role model both socially and academically.

First and second year students are drawn to their more senior friends. This allows them to receive guidance and support throughout the day, creating a cohesive and collaborative learning environment.


Independence is encouraged in the classroom.

In our Primary program, we carefully teach children how to care for their own needs and provide opportunities to improve by practice. The Montessori classroom is uniquely structured to provide constant exposure to exercises in self-efficacy through:

  • Self-guided learning, in which children work independently with a control of error.
  • Self-structured play experiences, where children are offered free play with their peers.
  • Self-regulated language, which gives children unstructured social interaction through the work cycle and other community time.

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The classroom is a community.

At the Academy, the classroom is treated as a community. Children are guided to solve every problem that arises with independence and creativity. They work together to resolve conflicts, clean up spills, organize workspace, and care for their environment. In the third year of the Primary program, your child will fulfill the culmination of this community experience and act as a seasoned mentor.

The curriculum is highly individualized.

The art of being a Montessori teacher is in finding an activity that combines both interest and the right challenge level – not too hard and not too easy. Each lesson is presented to children based on their unique potential and current level of development. This allows children to remain deeply engaged, thus increasing their ability to focus.


A variety of hands-on materials facilitate self-directed learning.

The Montessori curriculum is all-encompassing, designed specifically to engage the child’s whole being. Because the child learns by doing, the brain is actively forming connections based on first-hand experiences and initiative. Dr. Montessori’s awareness of brain function and sensitive periods are integrated into the Montessori materials, to build on your child’s natural interest in:

  • Language, opening the door to writing, reading, and the parts of speech.
  • Counting, introducing and understanding of the decimal system and processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Artistic self-expression, through the introduction of various skills and media.

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There are times for independent work and for community-based learning.

Morning community time is an integral part of the three-hour Montessori work cycle. Children gather with their teachers in the center of the classroom for music, lively discussions, and sharing. Montessori schools also incorporate an outdoor playground for large motor activity and play.


Classrooms are guided by two certified Montessori teachers.

Each of our Primary teachers is certified by the American Montessori Society (AMS). This training provides our teachers the ability to guide a classroom of 28-32 children according to the standards set forth by Dr. Montessori. Assistants are available to help children if needed, without interfering with a child’s concentration.

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The three year Primary program includes the traditional “kindergarten year.”

Montessori is a continuum of education that allows your child to build upon his/her experiences each year.

First year curriculum focuses on:

  • Practical life skills, such as caring for the environment through activities like sweeping, scrubbing, and polishing.
  • Strengthening fine and gross motor skills.
  • Language skills through the engagement of stories, songs, and dance.

The second year curriculum includes:

  • Work with letter formation and phonetic sounds, establishing the basis for reading and writing.
  • An introduction to numbers, the decimal system, and geometric figures through the use of concrete materials.
  • An exploration of land and water forms, and the parts of plants and animals.
  • Learning about the political countries of the world.
  • A continued exploration into music and art.

Third year curriculum

The third year will focus on culminating your child’s experience. Reading, writing, and mathematical understanding will blossom from the many seeds that were planted in the previous two years.

Your child will leave the Primary program an articulate speaker and writer, able to express thoughts and ideas in well-formed sentences with careful handwriting. In addition, your child experiences a culmination of receptive language skills, becoming a confident reader and conscientious listener.

The Montessori curriculum goes far beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Primary level students are exposed to a variety of activities throughout their time at the Academy both as enrichments and extracurricular activities.

Enrichment Activities

These activities aim to supplement the strong Montessori academic programs operating within each classroom. Programs include:

  • Gym class – provided by Amazing Athletes
  • Spanish-language class – instructed by a native Spanish-speaker
  • Music class – through the New Music School • Plus, in-house art and cooking classes

Field Trips

Our Primary classrooms attend one field trip each month. Traditional field trips have included visits to: nature conservatories, farms, plays, art and history museums, and historical and cultural sites around the city and surrounding suburbs.

The only accredited Montessori school in Chicago serving Infants - Middle School