Children ages 24-36 months are accepted into this program. Daily activities include welcome, free time, circle time, music and movement, gross motor activities, indoor/outdoor activities, lunch, nap, art, music, story time.
* Child to teacher ratio is 8:1
Pre-K and Kindergarten Program
Children ages 3-6 year old are accepted into this program. Daily activities include welcome, free time, circle time, music and movement, individual and group lessons, outdoor time and training on Pre-Math, Reading, Phonetic Writing skills.
* Child to teacher ratio is 8:1
In addition to our focus on reading and writing, our curriculum includes Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Science and Culture. We also emphasize a child’s physical, emotional and creative development. Currently, we incorporate arts, yoga, creative exploration, science projects, and music and movement. Foreign languages, Spanish and Chinese, will be provided in the future.
The purpose and aim of Practical Life is to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society. It is therefore important to “Teach teaching, not correcting” (Montessori) in order to allow the child to be a fully functional member in his own society. Practical Life activities prepare the child for reading and writing by helping the child to control their body.
“The special attention necessary to handle small fragile objects without breaking them, and to move heavy articles without making a noise, has endowed the movements of the whole body with a lightness and grace which are characteristic of our children”
Dr. Maria Montessori’s Own Handbook, page 135
In the Montessori classroom, Sensorial materials are materials used to help a child develop and refine his or her five senses. The Montessori materials for age 2 1/2 to 6 are designed to help the child develop the necessary skills for later intellectual learning. Use of these materials constitutes the next level of difficulty after those of practical life. The child’s repetitive use of sensorial materials helps the child to develop order, concentration, coordination, and independence. As the child gains self-confidence they gain inner discipline. They also become normalized in a process known as 'normalization'.
“First, the children's cycle of repetition, concentration, and satisfaction would begin. It would lead to a development of inner discipline, self- assurance and preference for purposeful activity”
Normalization is described by Paula Polk Lillard”s book Montessori, A Modern Approach, page 8
The Practical life and sensorial areas of the classroom provide a firm foundation for the child’s language development. As the child develops a sense of order, they learn to concentrate. The coordination helps them improve and learn to work independently. The materials provided in the classroom help the child enrich their language skills along with opportunities such as conversations, stories, and poetry. Phonetic skills and the study of grammar helps children develop their reading skill, sequencing, classification, and gradation activity which lay the groundwork for both reading and math. During the process of child development, language development is one of the crucial steps as it aids the child’s natural development of verbal communication and literacy. An observant teacher, an environmentally prepared classroom, and the appropriate materials will prepare the child for language readiness and development at an early age.
“ Language is the central point of difference between the human species and all others. Language lies at the root of that transformation of the environment that we call civilization. Language is an instrument of collective thought. Hence, language is truly the expression of a kind of superintelligence”
Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind.
Mathematics is a language for understanding and expressing measurable relationships that are inherent in our life experiences. We often think that mathematics is difficult because we have been introduced to it at an abstract level, with our the clarification of concrete experiences. Learning comes much more easily when children work with the concrete educational materials that graphically show what is taking place in a given mathematical process. Maria Montessori introduced children to use hands on learning material that makes abstract concepts clear and concrete in a Montessori class.
In the Montessori math curriculum, all the math materials are graded from simple to complex and concept to abstract. The child’s mathematical mind tends to estimate and be able to quantify, see the identity, similarity, difference, patterns, make the order, sequence, and control the error. Montessori mathematics materials address the nature of the child in the development of willpower, self-discipline and ground rules. The child learns patience and self-control as he follows the ground rules. He develops self-discipline as he works on the materials and follows the rules. By comparing all the facts that a mathematical mind should have, we can say that the Montessori math curriculum is skillfully designed to suit the child’s need for grouping up with the mathematical mind.
“That the mathematical mind is active from the first, becomes apparent not only from the attraction that exactitude exerts on every action the child performs, but we see it all in the fact that the little child’s need for order is one of the most powerful incentives to dominate his early life.”
Maria Montessori (1967) The Absorbent Mind, page-189, 190
The Cultural area of the Montessori classroom covers a variety of subjects. Geography, Science, Botany, Zoology, and History are included here. Art and Music are also considered a part of the Cultural Area of the classroom. The Montessori cultural studies is another aspect that makes the Montessori classroom different from other ones. Maria Montessori felt that having knowledge and understanding of such subjects is what makes one a 'cultured' person.
Earth Science is an essential aspect of the Montessori curriculum. It represents a way of life through which a clear thinking approach is used to gather information. In this subject the children learn problem solving, self management, social and emotional control and how to care for the environment. Earth Science nurtures children’s fascination with the universe and helps them develop lifelong interest in observing nature. It also introduces the idea that children are connected to the earth and how that idea enables them to discover more about the world in which we are living.
In a developmentally appropriate Montessori classroom everything should be organized in such a way that will spark the imagination for the children. In Geology, children are introduced to all kinds of rocks and asked to classify them by their characteristics. The Montessori curriculum introduces history and geography as early as age three. In the early years, children are given concrete examples, stories and pictures of people all over the world. This helps in building a foundation in geography and history for the child. Because of this, children will start working with specially designed maps and begin to examine their own cultural heritage as well as others. Geography and the world can be taught through music, celebrations, food, globes and maps, books and pictures but also through each others’ traditions.
“Knowledge can be best given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture”
Maria Montessori, Human Potential 3