Young Children: Preschool 18 months – 3 years
The Young Children’s Community encourages Montessori education at a very early stage in the child’s development. Our nurturing setting is perfect to establish the foundation for unlocking children’s minds to the world around them. These little ones normally move about calmly and purposefully, caring for their environment and working on lessons.
Montessori Infant-Toddler programs, after which our Young Children’s community is designed, are internationally acclaimed and are designed to address the individual child’s gregarious nature and meet developmental needs for language acquisition, exploration, order, movement, concentration, repetition, productive work, perfection and control of error, imitation, independence, and self-control.
The Morning Work Cycle
The children are greeted each morning by one of their teachers and are encouraged to join the classroom after putting away their coats and lunch boxes. Our classroom is divided into the traditional Montessori areas of Practical Life (with art), Sensorial, Language, Math and Culture. Some children move about and choose lessons they have been shown previously; other eager students are introduced to new lessons.
Teachers create an individual learning plan for each student to prepare him or her for the larger, more challenging classrooms of those 3 – 6 years of age. Morning snack time is woven into the work cycle as part of Grace and Courtesy training.
Soft chimes are rung to call the children to circle, a time when children sing, participate in movement activities, and hear short lessons on such topics as the rainforest, solar system, animal groups, the seasons, weather, the human body, and nutrition.
The Outdoor Environment
After circle time, the children don their coats for a favorite experience in their “outdoor environment.” The children exercise on their special playground equipped with climbing structures, sand and water play tables, wheeled vehicles, teeter-totters, and balance beam. During the fair weather months, classes are often held under the Ramada and the children “work” to tend the gardens surrounding the playground.
Primary: Preschool through Kindergarten 3-6 Years
In the Children’s Houses, our programs are based on the philosophy that young children flourish with gentle guidance and the opportunity to work at their own pace.
Dr. Montessori recognized that children have sensitive periods during which certain and critical information for intellectual development is literally “absorbed” by them while growing. This is the time to fill their experiences with rich language and tactile lessons.
There are five distinct areas that allow the children to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually while developing character as well as academic interests.
The activities in this area make up the foundation of the program. Practical Life skills encourage the development of a sense of order and logical thinking, as well as attention to detail, concentration, and the coordination of movement leading to self-control and independence, enabling the child to adapt to the environment.
Specialized Montessori materials are designed to order, relate, classify, explore, and realize impressions that the child has already formed. The materials help the child experience differentiations within the five senses and form the groundwork for future academic learning.
Dr. Maria Montessori designed “hands-on” materials to help the child investigate, calculate, measure, imagine, and create. Guided manipulation of the mathematics materials eventually leads the child from concrete experience through to abstract thought.
Language is woven into all parts of the curriculum. It begins with conversation, then explores sounds and their representative letters, and then on to the blending of sounds which lead to reading, writing and the function of words.
This area of exploration includes world geography, physical science, zoology, biology, botany, history, art, music studies, and Spanish language.