Ages 2 1/2 - 6
A child of preschool or kindergarten age learns by doing. The Montessori classroom is carefully prepared to allow the child to explore and discover through his or her own activity. The child's natural curiosity and joy in learning is nurtured and encouraged.
Practical Life Experiences
For a young child there is something special about tasks which an adult considers ordinary: washing dishes, paring fruits, polishing silver, etc. These tasks provide an opportunity for the child to contribute to his or her family, classroom, and larger society.
In this area of the classroom children perfect their coordination, develop fine motor control, and gradually lengthen their span of concentration. They also learn to pay attention to detail as they participate in sequencing their activities. Everything they experience in this area of the classroom indirectly prepares them for writing and reading, as well as fosters greater independence.
The sensorial materials help children to relate new information to what they already know. Children learn fine discrimination of color, size, texture, and sound through exploration, language, and games.
Children who become interested in counting like to touch and move items as they enumerate them. By combining concrete quantities, separating them, sharing them, and counting them children demonstrate for themselves the basic operations of mathematics. Counting games become an everyday activity in the classroom.
Children in a Montessori classroom are encouraged to express themselves freely. There is a great deal of story telling by the children and the teacher. There are also many opportunities for the expansion of vocabulary through daily activity.
Children are introduced to the sounds of the language through games and materials. Proceeding at their own pace, they are introduced to the skills necessary for writing and reading.
The large wooden puzzle maps are among the most popular materials in the classroom. Gradually children learn the names of the continents and countries as well as information about climate regions and cultures. Children also learn the common land formations
The children gain knowledge about the world around them by exploring other countries: their customs, food, music, climate, language, animals, and plants.
Cooking and Nutrition
The children study the basic food groups and learn what their bodies need in order to be healthy. They cook nutritious meals that revolve around their studies of other countries.
Arts and Crafts
Art in the preschool environment strives to encourage the child's own joyful expression. Children have the freedom to explore imagination through a variety of media. The emphasis is as much on the creative process as it is an exploration of design and shapes.
Music and Creative Movement
The most appealing musical element to young children is rhythm, and the natural response to rhythm is physical. Therefore, the body is the child's first instrument through which the rhythms of music are reflected and interpreted. Children in the class are introduced to many songs and dance. Children are also introduced to the instruments of the orchestra and their unique sounds.
Science and Nature
The natural environment is an extension of the classroom, and the school encourages the exploration of the outdoors. Discovery projects and experiments stimulate a child's natural curiosity. The plant and animal kingdoms are studied to foster an appreciation for all living things. We endeavor to educate the children on the joys of the earth and the importance of caring for our environment. These concepts are brought to the children through the use of school-wide composting, gardening, and other "green" initiatives.