Photo: Jeanne Louderbough Class of 1983

Working to conquer cancer

Escuela alumna (one of the first to complete the elementary program here) Jeanne Louderbough is… more >


Online Inquiry


The hand is the instrument of the mind.



The constructive triangles are used to demonstrate that many plane geometric figures can be constructed from triangles.





Self Discovery • The Primary Program

Activities at the Primary level are focused on helping every child become an individual, while building a strong cognitive foundation. Escuela's four Primary classrooms for ages 3 to 6 provide a great variety of enticing materials and activities that encourage a child's enthusiasm for learning while developing academic skills, problem-solving strategies, concentration and coordination.

Building trust and confidence, learning to make good choices for oneself, taking care of each other and of the environment in a setting that encourages the development of a healthy social community; these are the lessons of this age. Music, movement and Spanish classes enhance the student's enjoyment of the world and provide avenues for self-expression and social interaction. Creativity flourishes in this atmosphere of acceptance and trust.

The Primary child's young brain is growing rapidly, and authentic Montessori environments are developed accordingly. The connection between the mind and body is key at this age. To this end, Escuela's Primary classrooms take strong advantage of sensorial materials to help each child become more independent, learn foundational academic principles and expand intellectually. Some of the Primary materials are targeted at developing brain response by honing the child's senses. For example, children engage with color tablets designed to refine sight through a series of lessons starting with the simplest work, matching, to more challenging lessons, such as games of gradation. By training their senses, children increase their ability to perceive while expanding their intellect.

Montessori's materials create a foundation for math, reading, writing, and vocabulary. While working with these materials, each child progresses not only in mastering subject matter, but also in being able to think critically about problems: how to perceive, make judgments, reason and make independent decisions.


primary research

"Help me to do it by myself" is the child's goal. An entire area of the classroom is devoted to "practical life" activities: preparing food, opening and closing fasteners from buttons to bows to buckles to velcro, washing tables, polishing silver. Children learn how to take care of themselves, and gain a sense of self-confidence and mastery in doing so.

Many materials in the classroom provide a physical introduction to the wider world. Puzzle maps allow the children to become familiar with the name and location of countries and continents of the world and of the states in our country. Collections of pictures and artifacts give a basic orientation to kinds of plants and animals, the cultures of the world, famous landmarks, cities,  artworks and more. Children have the freedom to become deeply familiar with appealing, self-contained sets of knowledge that will aid future learning and make them aware citizens of the world.

During the Primary years, children are particularly sensitive to language, order, and the precision and sequence in which things occur. Capitalizing on these sensitivities, teachers continue to introduce a wide range of vocabulary and encourage classification of new words. It is within this realm of discovery that the children begin their exploration of reading and writing.

Lessons are introduced simply and concretely, following the child's interests, developmental readiness and ability. The multi-age setting allows children to observe older students and learn from them; it allows older students to confirm their understanding and abilities by becoming role models and peer teachers for their younger friends.



1114 Seventh St. NW   Albuquerque, NM 87102   505.242.3033   email us
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