Montessori Primary Program
At Damariscotta Montessori School, we follow Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy and methods by providing our students with a supportive learning environment where developmentally appropriate materials and positive experiences contribute to the growth of self-motivated and independent learners.
Our Primary Program is a three-year-cycle for children from the ages of three through six. Each class is a multi-age grouping, balancing gender and developmental stages. A low child teacher ratio assures each child maximum interaction with the teachers, and permits teachers to observe and guide each child individually.
Our classrooms operate on the principle of freedom within limits. The children are free to work at their own pace on the materials they select. The teacher's role is to work with children individually and in small groups, giving lessons and guidance on the specially prepared Montessori materials, so that the children can experience the full breadth of the curriculum through discovery. The Montessori classroom helps children learn about themselves and how to work with others as they explore their environment both indoors and outdoors. All of our students participate in our our Community Care Garden, planting seeds, cultivating crops, and donating the "fruits" of their labor to local food banks.
Individuality is promoted in the classroom and is balanced with an equal sense of responsibility and respect for the classroom community. The freedom to pursue one's own interests by choosing activities enables the child to exercise some control over his or her life.
Each child works independently at activities from the five main areas of the classroom.
The child's first introduction to Montessori's curriculum begins in the Everyday Living area of the classroom. The aim of the Everyday Living curriculum is to foster within each child coordination, concentration, order and independence. Mastery of these core skills develops the base needed for the work in all other areas of the classroom, as well as, for all aspects of the child's life.
The sensorial materials enable the child to order, classify and describe sensory impressions in relation to length, width, height, temperature, mass, color, scent, taste, touch and pitch.
The use of manipulative materials enables the child to internalize concepts of numbers, symbols, sequence, operations and memorization of basic facts.
Oral language development, written expression, reading, study of grammar, creative dramatics and children's literature are introduced in our language curriculum. In addition, the children are exposed to the Spanish language in a way that is both fun and educational.
Children are introduced to the basics of geography, history, life sciences, earth sciences, music, art and movement. At Damariscotta Montessori School we also believe that in order to educate the whole child it is essential that the children have exposure to the arts. By providing opportunities to create, express and communicate one's feelings through art and music, the child is provided with the tools to develop a critical assessment of what they see, hear and read.
Children may enroll for a half-day program or a full-day program for either 3 or 5 days. The 3 Day program is reserved for first time students to ease the transition from home to school. The Morning Program meets from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., and full-day classes meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15-3:30 p.m. with lunch around noon. Before school and after school care can be scheduled, or used as needed starting at 7:30 a.m and going until 4:45 p.m. Our Kindergarten program is a five day, full day program.