- Ages: 3 to 6 years
- Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:45am-11:45am, 1:00pm (Lunch and Free Play), or 3:00pm (Extended Day)
- Day House (Before & After Care): 7:30am-8:30am, 3:00pm-5:30p
The Montessori learning environment for 3 to 6 year olds is called the Children’s House. Children choose their work from materials displayed on shelves in specific work areas. The materials have been developed through scientific research to maximize potential for learning.
Cognitive links are strengthened as children experience abstract concepts through manipulating tangible materials. Over time, the children develop into a community that works in a state of flow with high concentration and few interruptions. This is the process whereby children move from being undisciplined to self-disciplined, from disordered to ordered, from distracted to focused, through their work in the environment. The process occurs through repeated work with materials that captivate the children’s attention. Materials and lessons are presented to each student based on their ability, readiness, and interest.
- Exercises in Practical Life are activities that the children already see in their home environment.
- The exercises link the children to the classroom and make them comfortable because they have seen them before.
- Practical Life focuses on development of independence, hand-eye co-ordination, fine-motor skills, left to right progression, concentration, self-esteem, self-confidence, care of environment (indoor & outdoor), care of self.
- Exercises include: opening and closing, pouring, spooning, folding, cleaning, cutting, washing tables, cloths and dishes, polishing, caring for plants, arranging flowers, using art materials, crocheting, sewing, needlepoint, gardening, dressing and undressing, buttoning, snapping, zipping, fastening, buckling, tying bows, lacing, using safety pins, etc.
- Directresses and older students are models of proper behavior. Grace and Courtesy lessons are provided to teach respect for others and the environment.
- Physical exercises include exercising large motor skills in the gym, balance and coordination activities and the Silence Game, which challenges students to be still and quiet.
- Students practice preparation of food.
- The sensitive period for sensorial development is transitory, lasting between 2.5 and 4.5 years old.
- Exercises are designed to refine the children’s senses and to assist in classification of information.
- Exercises introduce math through the design of the learning materials.
- Exercises have their own control of error, allowing children the ability to correct themselves.
- Each exercise isolates one attribute of the world we experience through our senses.
- Exercises focus on development of language, classifying information, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, left-to-right progression, concentration, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
- Children are given precise vocabulary to describe each piece of material. (i.e. “sphere”, not “ball”)
- Sensorial exercises and learning materials include: cylinder blocks (tall/short, thick/thin, large/small), pink tower (large/small), brown stair (broad/narrow), red rods (long/short), tough boards & tablets (rough/smooth), baric tablets (heavy/light), color boxes (language of colors & grading), sound boxes (loud/soft), tasting bottles (sweet/sour/salty/bitter), smelling boxes, botany cabinet (leaf shapes), geometry cabinet (linear shapes), geometric solids (three dimensional shapes), binomial & trinomial cubes (mathematical formula), decanomial square (mathematical formula), constructive triangles (exploration of triangles) and the tone bells (musical scale, names, language, reading & writing for some children).
- Exercises introduce vocabulary and fluency in carrying on a conversation.
- Exercises are based on cursive, phonetic sounds and lead the children to read.
- The goal of the language program is to develop total reading, which is the child’s ability to read and understand what they are reading. This begins with children learning to compose words and then sentences with the movable alphabet.
- Each child reads in his/her own time, usually between 5 and 7.
- Exercises encourage writing in cursive.
- Exercises focus on development of hand control with regards to pencil grip, left to right progression, concentration, self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, writing, reading.
- Exercises include: vocabulary cards, language training through conversation, story telling, poetry, sound games (initial sound, end sound, middle sounds), sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, metal insets (to encourage correct pencil grip & control of hand), handwriting, phonetic exercises, phonogram exercises, puzzle words, reading classification & word study, function of word games (article, adjective, conjunction, preposition, verb, adverb), sentence analysis, reading, punctuation, and dictionary work.
- Exercises introduce the children to mathematical concepts, through concrete materials.
- Understanding is taught before memorization.
- Operations are taught with beads & cards. Children first learn numbers in groups of 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1000s.
- Exercises focus on development of concentration, self-esteem, self-confidence, number recognition & counting (not by rote), operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, & division, group cooperation.
- Learning materials and exercises include: number rods & cards, numbers, beads & cards (1 to 9000), collective exercises (all operations), stamp game & dot game (changing of 10), linear counting with the square and cube chains (to 1000), memorization of operations through charts (1 to 9), fractions.
- Exercises introduce the children to geography, science, botany, biology, art and music.
- Learning materials and exercises include: the use of globes, geography envelopes, puzzle maps, flags, land & water forms, people of the arctic, desert and tropics, definition sets of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and insects. Vocabulary cards, books and music support children’s knowledge of composers, artists, instruments, dance, and the solar system.