Preschool - (2 - 4 year olds)
Why should you send your child to a Montessori school?
Montessori is education...not a nursery school. The best time to start your child's education is during the early years...2 1/2 to 4 1/2 years is when most of a child's intelligence and social characteristics are formed. 50% of the child's mental development occurs before 4 years of age. In a Montessori School, your child will learn to think in logical patterns and to deal with reality. Children with a Montessori background become better prepared to cope with the complex challenges of tomorrow's world.
In the Language area of the classroom, we have a wide range of activities. For the beginning children who have not yet learned their phonics, we begin with beginning sound jobs. These help the children to recognize the letter and the sounds to prepare them for reading. We use Zoo Phonics which associates the sound of the letter to an animal. The children have fun while learning their phonic sounds. Once the children recognize sounds, they begin putting three letter words together. Later they move into long vowel sounds, blends, digraphs and longer words. We also introduce them to grammar in this area of the classroom, with fun, concrete, attractive materials the children learn what a noun and verb are. The children begin reading small books and are exposed to writing as well.
Mathematics is taught by giving the child objects to hold, count and manipulate. In small sequential steps, each learner develops a mathematical mind at his or her own pace. Theses activities help him learn the fundamentals of simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to ensure a good mathematics foundation before he enters elementary school. The Math curriculum moves from the concrete, to increasingly abstract concepts.
In the Sensorial area of the classroom, we have jobs that focus on the physical senses. With the visual sense the children will work on sizing and matching different materials. Once again this helps to develop the eye muscles for reading and discriminating between letters and words.
The children will use their sense of touch to grade various materials from rough to smooth, light to heavy and hot to cold. Most of the touch activities are done blind folded so that their sense of touch is isolated and they don't use their sense of sight. This helps to develop their fingers for holding a pencil and using lightness of touch for writing.
The sound jobs help to develop their sense of hearing for
listening and following directions.
Learning the basic skills of caring for one self is the core of the practical life curriculum. Zipping, buttoning, buckling, bow tying, hand washing and polishing are some of the skills the child will learn.
Many practical life activities challenge the children to control their small hand muscles to complete delicate tasks such as spooning peas from one container to another.
Caring for the environment is the responsibility of every child. Learning to sweep and use a dust pan, wash a table and water plants are all common practical life activities. Nurturing independence is at the core of the Practical Life curriculum. If they need help, they are given only the assistance they need to complete the task on their own.
The science program covers topics in life, earth, and physical sciences. Included are the studies of: living things and how they are affected by the environment, plant and animal life, the human body, health education, health practices, and nutrition.
In order to stimulate their minds and curiosity as well as to prove the basic concepts of various disciplines in science, the students are given the opportunity to conduct experiments and utilize many hands on materials.
The social studies curriculum includes geography and history. In geography students learn about land and water forms, globes, maps, flags and multicultural awareness. In history they will learn time, calendar, seasons and personal family history.
The children gain an awareness of the world around them by exploring other countries, their customs, food, music, climate, language, and animals. This helps to raise their consciousness about other people, to gain an understanding and tolerance and, therefore, compassion for all the people in the world. The children use the large wooden puzzles to learn the names of the continents and gradually the names of countries.