Primary Preschool

Montessori Education for ages 3–6


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Our Montessori Preschool students are...

students observing nature at the pond


Imagine a place where children explore on a 22-acre campus adjacent to a state park. Where they learn sustainability and environmental responsibility through visiting pollinator gardens, planting vegetables and flowers, and collecting eggs at the organic farm. Their classroom goes beyond the school's walls, extending into the natural world. 

Child slicing bananas for snack


From plate washing and flower arranging to snack preparation and polishing, our students gain confidence and independence from learning how to execute these Practical Life skills. Not only are students learning independence but these skills are also helping develop the foundations for reading, writing, focused task execution, and more. 

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Academically Prepared

Although lessons feel like fun, our students are actually creating the foundation for handwriting, mathematics, science, and more. A Montessori education allows students to develop a passion for learning and to move at their own pace. For example, if they're excited about handwriting the Guide will give them lessons beyond traditional expectations for the student's age.


"It's a great program, with great teachers and staff, and a beautiful environment."

~ Current Parent, 2021–22 Parent Survey


A Preschool and Community that Supports Your Child.

Are you searching for a nurturing community, highly-trained teachers, and a school that feels like a second home? Then join us at Butler Montessori. The secret ingredient to our community is that every faculty and staff member truly wants to be here. They love and know your child and believe in the mission. In this video, one of our teachers shares how this environment is special.

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Where school doesn't feel like school

A Montessori education gives students a holistic, experiential learning experience without the stress and burnout. Our students graduate academically prepared and ready for real-world challenges.

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How are we different than the Preschool down the street?

Our AMI-certified Primary teachers are trained to support the social and emotional growth of children ages 3–6. We spark the love of learning by creating a caring and prepared environment for learning. Children develop independence, gain confidence, practice compassion, and learn at their own pace.

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"My children love their "work" and often give us lessons at home, emulating their guides. The friendships they have developed and the experiences they have had (visiting the horses and chickens, going on hikes, enjoying the campus, mastering their work) are priceless."

~ Jessica, YCC, Primary, and Elementary Parent


Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Exploration At Your Preschool Child's Own Pace

Our classroom environment focuses on exploration of the materials. We give students the tools to learn and move towards abstraction. We don't call ourselves teachers because we're there to guide them as they learn. Through practice, they're cementing these concepts in their mind and body. We meet the child where they are and tailor the work and lessons to their needs.


Providing Preschool Students with a Nature-filled "Classic" Childhood

A connection to nature is key to a child's development. It opens up their world. They do as much learning outside as inside. They can be freer, braver, and stronger in nature and our campus on 22-acres provides that for the young child. We offer them the opportunity to explore within safe limits and boundaries. We identify birds and plants and get muddy. Sometimes we just lay in the grass and listen to the wind. 


How does our preschool help children develop compassion, leadership, and independence?

When you walk into one of our classrooms, the first thing you'll notice is that each child is focused on independent "work." When they're walking around the room they might offer a student help or say "excuse me." They're learning to be kind and helpful while also developing the skills of concentration, task completion, and independence. 

Mixed-Aged Classrooms

Many parents are surprised to learn that Primary Montessori classrooms include children ages 3-6. The reason behind the multi-age classroom is simple: it mirrors society and helps children learn to work together, develop compassion, and gain leadership skills.

A young primary child will often follow older children, looking to them for guidance and modeling their behavior. The older students act as leaders in the classroom, demonstrating grace and courtesy, and helping young children with tasks. Every year the child grows into a new role with more responsibility. This mixed age group creates a culture of kindness, leadership, and teamwork  much sought after skills in today's society. 

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Practical Life

The Practical Life area includes some of the first materials your child will interact with when they come into our classroom. And when you come in and see these materials, you might wonder why you see spooning, coffee bean grinding, or shoe polishing.

The big purpose of these Practical Life activities is to help the child develop independence, concentration, and control.

Practical Life activities include pouring water, table washing, preparing snack, flower arranging, as well as care of the environment, such as sweeping, plant watering, and gardening. This type of hands-on exploration and active sensory discovery rewards your child's blossoming curiosity and sets the stage for developing a lifelong love of learning.

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Grace & Courtesy

Grace and courtesy skills help children learn how to exist and thrive in a community setting. This skill set builds the foundation for respectfully and successfully working in teams later in life. 

Greeting a person, walking around a rug (instead of stepping on someone’s work), speaking quietly indoors, and waiting quietly rather than interrupting, are all examples of important grace and courtesy skills. 

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Preschool Writing, Reading, Math, Science, Art, Music, Grace & Courtesy, PE, Nature & More!

Beyond traditional academics, our Montessori preschool program is created to holistically support the social, emotional, and physical student learning experience.


Writing is a lively and exciting skill for the children to develop in Primary. Manual preparation involves the preparation of the hand, the Primary classroom boasts several materials designed for preparing the child’s hand for holding a writing tool, in most cases, a pencil.

The process of writing begins with learning the sounds and symbols that makeup wordsThe child will begin writing with the movable alphabet, and then when the hand is ready, they will write on paper with a pencil – from here the possibilities are endless, and the door to self-expression is open! 

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The Primary child is exposed to a series of “steps” to aid them in the process of reading. Reading is just that, a process, much of which happens internally for the child. It can be difficult to know whether your child is reading just yet.

The process of determining the symbol, analyzing each sound, and then putting them all together takes time as it builds these “steps” for the child. Some of this process will happen out loud when they begin the work.

Eventually, the child will complete this process internally, and then one day they will start reading everything in sight!

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The children begin with the familiar concept of 1-10. We will count and explore quantity. Symbols are then introduced, and then quantity and symbol are put together.

These materials are presented in a one-to-one correspondence, allowing for the success of the child. Further into the mathematical materials, children will explore the decimal system, tens and hundreds, and the different functions of mathematical application (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). The child will begin completing this work with manipulative materials, then move towards abstraction, by slowly eliminating concrete material.

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The Primary child will begin their exploration of science with materials like the botany cabinet – where they will trace different leaf shapes, and learn the names of the leaves. The child will experience the parts of the plant and flower through dissection activities. The child will explore biology by naming and labeling animals and plants through our reading material. The Primary child experiences the natural world through activities like flower arranging, plant care, and even filling the bird feeder!

This introduction to the natural world guides the child to an understanding and knowledge of what fills our planet.

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Through work with this material, children will learn about different families, cultures, foods, practices, clothes, and languages that are part of our world. The Primary classroom will invite families to share their different cultural beliefs on different cultural holidays. The children will work with the puzzle maps, beginning with the world map and then exploring the different continents. 

Exploration of land and water forms provides a sensorial experience of the world around them. Cultural stories enrich the child’s language and experience of what is outside of their immediate world. Exploration of geography is a foundational material, many of the materials have a link to geography, and these aspects are part of the child’s world!

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Physical Education

Daily time on the playground provides a useful outlet for the Primary child’s endless energy while helping his or her body to gain greater coordination, strength, and health. 

In addition to the large playground with climbing structures, slides, swings, and a sandbox, the Primary children sometimes visit the stable area to see horses, as well as chickens and gardens of the student-run organic farm.

Primary students enjoy long supervised hikes in the woods of Seneca Creek State Park, which borders Butler’s 22-acre campus, giving them the opportunity to learn from the natural outdoor environment around them.

Learn More About Physical Education


Art has a very active role in the Primary classroom. Art appreciation and exploration come in different forms in the classroom. 

The guide in each Primary environment chooses beautiful, relevant pieces of artwork to hang along the walls and put on shelves. The presence of art helps to establish an appreciation and interest in art. Much like the sensorial materials, art exploration is helping the child establish a sense of aesthetics – it helps them to notice things in their world.

Creative expression through the art materials is a favorite activity in the Primary classroom. Various mediums are present for art exploration: crayons, collage (gluing), clay, watercolor, and different types of cutting.

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Along with art appreciation, children in the Primary environment develop an appreciation for music. The Bells are a musical piece of material in the sensorial area. The bells help the child to develop a sense of tone and pitch discrimination. They will mix and match the bells, compose their own tunes and eventually read and write music. The children will be exposed to different composers and types of music through listening activities. Children will take part in group singing often. Singing is a group activity that creates a sense of community!

Learn More About Music
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During their time in the Primary, students explore different cultures in many ways. In geography, students explore different languages, dress, and traditions celebrated around the world. 

Music is another way Primary students explore culture. From singing songs in different languages and from around the world, students not only learn about language but also about the country it came from. 

Parents are invited to come in during the year and share their culture and traditions. In this video, a parent shares their cultural celebration.

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See our Preschool in action!

Interested in learning more about our Preschool program? Join us for an engaging virtual tour of our 22-acre campus, captivating Montessori programs, student-run organic farm, and other exceptional experiences that make our school truly one-of-a-kind. With our unique blend of experiential and academic programs, your child will flourish at Butler Montessori!


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