- Primary - The Primary Experience
- Practical Life
- Art and Music
- Outdoor Environment
- Launch the Omni Photo Gallery here
- To print this article, click here
- Monday through Friday
- 8:30am to 11:30am (approximately ages 3 and 4)
- 8:30am to 3pm - Extended Day (approximately ages 5 and 6)
Every school day, they file down the hallway - an adorable parade of three- to six-year-olds making their way to Omni's Primary classrooms. Some might wear a shirt buttoned out of order or holiday socks in August. At Omni, these choices are greeted with smiles. For it is more important that young students know the joy of accomplishing a task, like dressing, on their own than to have it done "properly" for them.
After the students place belongings in their cubbies, a teacher shakes hands and "good mornings" are exchanged, oftentimes in Spanish. The children then become part of an authentic Montessori classroom - a child-centered learning environment where materials have been thoughtfully and meticulously designed for students in what Maria Montessori termed the first plane of development.
Because children learn more working at their own pace, they are free to choose materials and "works" to complete. Teachers provide lessons to individual students and to small groups, and are available to assist and guide. Older children often help smaller ones, which develops social skills and mentoring relationships. Montessori materials are appropriately sized, and designed to appeal to the young child's innate sensory desires to see, touch, smell, and hear.
The Primary School Day
The Omni Primary program serves students ages 3 through 6. School days are divided into morning and afternoon sessions. In the mornings, children work in the classroom and garden, prepare and share snack, and often conclude with story time and music with the teacher. Around age 5, students transition to the extended-day program. After the morning-only students are dismissed, the older children eat lunch, play outdoors, and resume classroom work until afternoon dismissal.
Parents of Primary students soon become familiar with the sometimes exotic-sounding names of classroom lessons and materials, which were designed by Maria Montessori and continue to be used today. Parents also become accustomed to hearing classroom activities described as "work" - a term used not to connote drudgery or chores, but to give value to the children's undertakings and accomplishments.