Primary Program
3 - 6 years

The Primary classrooms are peaceful, orderly, and beautiful spaces where children are encouraged to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. The classrooms are functional microcosms of society, which occur through a balance of freedom and limits. Montessori Guides interact with the children in a positive manner and model respect for oneself, others, and our environment. The Primary classroom environment contains hundreds of authentic didactic Montessori materials. Montessori-trained Guides offer lessons to the children individually through the curriculum at their own pace. Observation, exploration, repeated practice, and concentration with these meaningful materials are what progress the children.  From the beginning, the child is an independent learner, taking charge of their own education.  While academics are an important goal, Primary classrooms continually promote being stewards of nature, while focusing on the social, emotional, and physical development of the children. Our goal is to help children become independent, lifelong learners, in an authentic Montessori environment.  

In any Montessori age set, ages 3-6 through ages 15-18, the three-year cycle is paramount to a successful Montessori experience. The program functions optimally for a child who stays for the entire three-year cycle. The first year is learning the mechanics of the environment; the second year involves much character development and repetition; and the third year is where prior learning experiences crystalize.In the third year, the child is a leader of his peers, experiencing heightened study and community membership. 

Montessori Primary environments are functional societies of and for young children. The societies function because of a perfect balance of freedom and limits. For example, a child may work on anything they choose for as long as they want. The limitations to that freedom are that the work must be available (no one else is using it) and that the child has received a presentation from the teacher on the material. The children have a gracious respect for this balance. The Montessori Primary environment contains hundreds of materials made from natural woods, metals and fibers. You will also find art and beautiful objects to spark the child’s interest.

The Workspace

Our Primary Guides

Stephanie Bailey

Primary West Guide

Stephanie attended the University of Northern Iowa to study Elementary Education and later received a Master of Science in Psychology. The positive changes observed in her daughter, Charlie, while attending Amare sparked an interest in Montessori philosophy which led to her to enroll in the Primary Montessori Certification program at the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Stephanie believes children deserve freedom and movement in their environment to grow. Stephanie taught in the country of Panama at an English-speaking school years ago. While there, she met people from all over the world and they still keep in contact today! In her free time, she enjoys playing board games and spending time outdoors with her husband and daughter.
Maria Thomas

Primary East Guide

Maria is certified through the American Montessori Society (AMS). She completed her Early Childhood Teacher Training, ages 2.5-6 years, back in 2017 at the Montessori Training Center of Brentwood. Maria holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from the University of South Florida, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has worked with children, going on 15 years, both in private independent schools and as a home educator to her own two children in their homeschooling co-op. She believes in fostering a life long love of learning and caring for others. A personal accomplishment of hers is rescuing and rehabilitating two feral dogs, from a pack in the woods, to join her family. She has a big heart for animals and children. Maria is thrilled to be a part of our Amare community and wants each child to feel loved, encouraged and have a reverence for nature.