Our ten Early Childhood/Kindergarten classrooms are specially designed environments that are filled with beautiful, developmentally appropriate, hands on materials for your child to explore. As the children enter these light filled, orderly environments, they have the freedom to make their own choices of activities guided by the Montessori trained staff. Freedom of choice and the hands-on learning materials allow the children to progress at their own pace building confidence in their own abilities.
All the classrooms have a 3+ age years span beginning at 2 years 9 months through 6 years of age. The three year old child is in the age of language and motor development. They explore the classroom using all their senses. The four year old child eagerly begins to socialize and expands their activities into all areas of the classroom gaining important basic skills and expanding their ability to focus on large, multiple step activities. As the four year old absorbs the concepts, the five year old expresses knowledge through reading, writing and more abstract math concepts. They are excited to become leaders and role models to their younger friends in the classroom. A community is created through respect of oneself, others and the environment.
Our ten lead Montessori Early Childhood/Kindergarten teachers all hold college degrees and Montessori credentials from training programs accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for teacher Education (MACTE).
The Montessori curriculum is divided into four core areas of study: Practical Life (which includes art), Sensorial, Math and Language. Skills learned in these areas are used to explore our Cultural Studies which include: Geography, Botany, Zoology, and physical science. Supplementing these areas are specialists in music, Spanish and, for the Kindergarten age students, Science and Physical Education.
Practical Life: The Practical Life area of the classroom provides real life experiences as children practice self help skills in caring for themselves and the environment . Children love having the opportunity to spread their own jam, make their own juice and put on there own coat. The child sized materials and environment assist their desire to “do it all by myself”. They engage with these familiar activities and gain confidence in their abilities while becoming more independent. The work in the area of Practical Life also benefits children by helping to increase their ability to concentrate, problem solve, retain information, gain more refined fine and large motor control, and have the ability to follow multiple step processes. Practical life activities increase in difficulty as the child matures in their motor development and ability to focus on a activity form beginning to end. While a three year old may be stringing beads, a four or five year old will undertake a sewing project.
Visitors often notice the peacefulness and self-control seen in our students when touring our Montessori classrooms . The practical life area of Grace and Courtesy is where children learn social norms through modeling at lessons at lessons and by older students in the classrooms. Children practice theses new skills in their daily interactions in the classroom community. For instance, children will learn how to greet their teacher, ask for help or a friend to play. Grace and Courtesy also includes movement activities for increased coordination and self-regulation.
Sensorial: Sensorial comes from the word sense. In this area the children learn through their senses to make classifications in their environment: which is bigger, which is loudest, which is roughest?
Math: The Practical Life and Sensorial areas of the classroom prepare the child for Math. The math materials are carefully designed, developmentally appropriate and sequenced. The children learn and master math concepts as they encounter these materials.
Language: The teaching of reading and writing forms the basis of the language area. Children begin with pre-language exercises such as matching, classifying and sequencing and then move into the learning of phonetic sounds. Three levels of reading prepare the child to read at the non-phonetic level. Grammar studies are offered to advanced students.
Cosmic Studies: Cosmic means comprehensive, holistic and all inclusive. When children are given an awareness of all life on earth and their interconnection to all life on earth, they may then understand the importance of being grateful for all that exists and those that came before us. Children are given lessons in the forces of nature; botany, zoology, geography and geology. The lessons in preschool provide the foundation to give students an understanding of the universe and how life became. These lessons develop in the lower elementary level of Montessori classrooms.
It is the head teacher’s responsibility to ensure that children receive lessons from all areas of the curriculum: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language and the Cosmic Curriculum. Children progress through a curriculum area at their own pace. Those who master a skill quickly may progress quickly and those requiring more time are allowed repetition of an activity.
Music and Spanish are two subject areas taught by outside specialists who visit each classroom. A weekly Science lesson and Physical Education are additionally taught to kindergarten students. A community service project is undertaken by all students each year.
After School Programs
After school programs are offered and currently soccer is available on Mondays and Mandarin is available on Wednesdays.