An Environment Designed for your Child
Learning is a very active process involving purposeful movement. As such, the indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to give children the freedom to move and to choose activities based upon their own interests and needs.
Outdoors, children are surrounded by lush natural spaces. Safe and supervised access to a fenced backyard, flower and vegetable gardens, a barn, labyrinth, wooded nature trails, pond and play structures provide opportunities to explore nature's gifts.
Indoors, natural and beautiful materials inspire interest and encourage aesthetic appreciation. Child-sized furniture, fixtures, tools and utensils offer accessibility and independence. All spaces are kept beautiful, clean, and tidy to satisfy the children's need for order.
Learning Tailored to the Student
Children receive individualized presentations and are free to choose from a broad range of activities. Adults observe each child's readiness and lesson mastery to guide them onward. The children learn at their own pace through self-teaching materials, observation, discovery and interaction with the other children. Daily group experiences are part of every day, building community while encouraging social skills.
Additional ways in which learning is individualized include:
- Areas of interest selected by the child which include: practical life and living skills, development of the senses, art, culture, geography, science, language and mathematics.
- One-on-one and small group activities based on each child's individual readiness.
- Lessons and materials to promote the child's independence, concentration, control of movement, academic development, social skills and control of the will.
- Behavior and social development fostered by the mixed-age community setting, as well as specific lessons on "grace and courtesy." Concerns are addressed via parent consultations, peer faculty observations, screenings and additional
A child who completes the full Primary level will generally be able to:
- Add, multiply, subtract and divide using decimal bead material
- Memorize simple math facts
- Read phonetically (and in some cases, more fluently)
- Write phrases in cursive / script
- Enjoy poetry and the richness of expressive language
- Explore and manipulate the pitch of the chromatic scale, enjoy songs and the exploration of music
- Be familiar with a broad range of art media
- Understand the concepts of earth, water, continents and countries
- Classify animals and plants
- Use an extensive vocabulary for botany, biology and cultural concepts
Most importantly, children in the Primary Community develop a love of their school community and a love of learning, finding peaceful joy in their pursuit of knowledge.
Integrated Arts, Cultural and Outdoor Activities
A mixed-aged community of children 30 months to 6 ½ years of age creates a family-like atmosphere where the children assist, teach and share with each other. Snack and lunchtimes are spent preparing the food, setting the table, conversing, cleaning the table, and washing dishes, allowing the cheerful acquisition of practical and social experiences.
Practical, creative and outdoor activities are woven into the daily experience of the children in each classroom. With a natural and easy flow to the outdoors, activities in nature (link to Nature/Environmental) include planting and harvesting their own garden beds, sweeping fall leaves, shoveling snow, caring for the animals in the barn, and nature walks on the trails and to the pond.
Visual arts and music activities include painting, drawing, crafting, beading, singing, playing instruments, dancing and music appreciation. Exposure to foreign languages is also available every day.
Children appreciate the respect, the opportunities for purposeful work, the structure and appropriate freedoms that are offered to them. All of this enables the child to make a smooth transition to the increased challenges of the Elementary Environment with confident optimism.
"Whole" Development Served
Social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth opportunities are supported through Hershey's Primary program:
- Social: A spirit of goodwill, compassion, respect and helpfulness are fostered throughout the community by lessons of grace and courtesy, as well as cooperative small and large group activities.
- Emotional: Children experience self-respect and a sense of competence as they master new skills, make choices, contribute to the community, and practice appropriate and effective communication.
- Physical: Through intentional action, children develop refined fine and large motor control, strength, coordination, motor planning, organization, sensory discrimination, sensory integration, and language skills.
- Intellectual: Carefully prepared and presented lessons in self-care, care of the environment, sensory discrimination, language, math, geography, art and music lead the children to ever-broadening understanding of concepts and their applications.
Hours in Attendance
Primary children attend five days per week with hours based on age:
- Mornings for children under the age of 5 years (8:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.)
- Full School Day for children ages 5 & 6 years (8:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.)
What Happens Next
As your child's developmental characteristics begin to change and he or she has fully benefited from the Extended Day, your child will be ready to
continue the journey of exploration in the Elementary Program. The Montessori Elementary environment responds to the elementary-aged child's expanding view of the universe and enthusiasm for larger concepts, which support more abstract thinking.
Interested? Get More Information or Schedule a Visit!
Parents can schedule a visit to our classrooms and experience the learning environment first hand. For more information, contact Kathy Beech,
Director of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (440) 357-0918.