Why Evergreen for the Kindergarten Year
At Evergreen, the school year in which children turn six is called the Third Year because it is last one in the three-year Primary program cycle. Children at this level are the equivalent age of children in traditional Kindergarten programs.
Children in the Third Year at Evergreen benefit from small classes and an excellent student-teacher ratio. By the time they are in the Third Year, children are exceptionally well known by their Evergreen teachers. In addition, the highly individualized Montessori approach ensures that children at this level are learning lessons perfectly matched to their level.
The Third Year is an incomparable opportunity for social/emotional development. A child who has spent two years as an understudy to the older children is now ready to be class leader, role model and mentor. This is the year in which a child’s confidence and self-assurance solidifies. Our Third Year students work hand-in-hand with their teachers to set the tone in the classroom for all the other children. One reason why Montessori classrooms are so peaceful is because of the strong leadership of Third Year children. Kindness and collaboration are the norm. When conflict occurs, Third Year children are well equipped to act as problem solvers and mediators—and teachers are nearby to guide or intervene as well.
Academically, the Montessori Method of education is a cumulative experience. The curriculum is intended to be a presented in three-year cycles. What children learn in the Third Year is built on what they have learned in previous years. The Third Year is where the child internalizes concrete experiences and builds a strong educational foundation. Third year children are proud to be able to write sentences and stories; they use math materials to add four digit numbers and multiply. The value of the first two years is not fully realized if the child does not continue working with Montessori materials to their ultimate purpose. The materials build upon one another; become more and more abstract; and require more concentration and independence. Third Year work is high level and exceeds typical Kindergarten class standards.
Children who complete the three-year cycle in the primary class make easy transitions socially and academically to our Elementary classroom or first grade.