Ages 3-5 yearsEarly Childhood/Kindergarten Curriculum
To complement the innate curiosity, creativity and intelligence of children, the Montessori curriculum is highly enriched and challenging to cultivate human potential, nurture spontaneous curiosity, and inspire a sense of wonder.
3-5 yearsEarly Childhood/Preschool
The Early Childhood program is designed to meet the physical, cognitive and social needs intrinsic to children ages 3-5 years old and prepare them for Kindergarten and Elementary success. In age-appropriate, Montessori prepared classrooms, preschool-aged children are introduced to the Montessori learning areas with hands-on, tactile learning experiences while ensuring development of higher order thinking, independence and responsibility. We take a personalized approach so that each student advances at their own pace.
Practical life exercises foster independence, self-control, self-confidence, and self-esteem. These exercises provide inviting opportunities for movement that assist in the control and refinement of both gross and fine motor skills. They also teach sequencing and logic. Practical Life exercises foster concentration since the cooperation of the body, hands, eyes and mind are required. The child learns to care for self, for others, and for the environment. In the Early Childhood classroom, there are broad ranges of activities that fall into the Practical Life curriculum. These activities include exercises as simple as putting one’s work away, to sweeping or washing a table, to getting yourself ready for recess, and pouring one’s own drink for snack.
Sensorial materials enable the child to form clear concepts of dimensions. For example, size discrimination by using cylinder blocks and shape by using the geometric solids. They enable the child through sight, touch, smell and sound the ability to clarify, classify, and comprehend the world around him. Sensorial development is critical in establishing a firm foundation of concrete reference to later build upon more abstract concepts.
In a Montessori classroom, the child receives preparation for language all around them. Through Practical Life activities the child prepares by working with tools that refine gross and fine motor skills. These activities develop strength and coordination of hand so that the child has the control and dexterity to hold and manipulate a writing instrument. Sensorial work gives the child an opportunity to train the eye to discriminate similarities and differences thus preparing for phonemic awareness, and visual discrimination of shapes and forms prepares them for reading. Development of oral Language begins by giving the young child the opportunity to work with objects of everyday life. Discussions, storytelling and poetry are used to guide comprehension.
Early preparation of the Mathematical Mind is achieved through manipulating concrete materials. Exercises include sequencing, number recognition, number quantity and progress through the function and facts of the math operations. The Sensorial and Practical Life exercises have prepared the child with a sense of order coordination, concentration and focus.
Children assemble the world puzzle map of oceans and continents. They learn to identify land and water forms through combining water with land formations. The biome puzzle maps define elements of culture and animals of the world.
The children are made aware of time as it is lived throughout the year with changing seasons, their lifetime line, and cultural celebrations.
Children explore simple concepts like absorption, sink/float, states of matter, and balance through hands-on activities and experiments.
Children care for plants and animals in their environment. Zoology and Botany puzzles, matching card work, and examples of the plants and animals give the children the opportunity to learn the parts.
5 YearsKindergarten Curriculum
The Kindergarten program is the final year of the Early Childhood Program. They are under the guidance of the Early Childhood teachers and the curriculum expands from that of Early Childhood to include more aspects from the Lower Elementary curriculum. In our Kindergarten program, each child further develops focus, motivation, persistence, and discipline through their work. In this framework of order, the child grows at their own pace and rhythm. At the same time, they find the joys of learning and developing social and intellectual discipline. Our Kindergarten program sets children up for success in the elementary grades and beyond. This is done by drawing on their concrete base to develop conceptual thinking.
The language arts curriculum enhances the child’s skills in reading, writing, listening, comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary. This core area of learning is bridged to other areas of the curriculum. Reading and writing is used for acquiring knowledge in biology, geography, history, and science. Writing plays and studying folklore from different cultures inspires the child’s writing process and develops reading strategies.
Math Montessori materials are used to provide the child with understanding of math concepts from concrete to abstract reasoning. Through continual practice, the child masters math facts and operation processes. Linking the history of math of how numbers evolved gives the child a connection to the need and use of numbers.
The child explores the study of lines and its parts. The child uses Montessori materials to form angles and polygons; learning their names, concepts of similarity, congruency, equivalency, and measurement. Art is used to compare and contrast shapes, learn characteristics, and define fractions.
Cosmic education is the centerpiece of the elementary program. Beginning with the creation of the universe through the appearance of humans, discoveries are made in the developments of time, calendar, writing, math, and fundamental needs of humans.
In a three year cycle, the child studies each continent in depth. The biomes (grasslands, forests, …) are introduced across the earth to show the interconnectedness of life at the kindergarten level. Biomes are studied within each continent at the elementary level. Mapping, building land and water forms, and studying earth, air and water gives insight to the dynamics of the world. Political and economic geography highlights boundaries, capitals, flags, and interdependence of people and materials.
Biology is the study of plant and animal kingdoms, their classification, characteristics, and habitat. The child explores this through working with nomenclature material, research, field trips, observations, and caring for animals and plants in the classroom.
The child explores the energies of the earth by studying the effects of magnetism, electricity, gravity, states of matter, and the solar system. Much of this is presented by questioning and discovering answers through experiments and building models.
Children learn how to cook and bake, use a washing machine, iron a shirt, arrange flowers, tie knots, use hand tools, plan a party, dress appropriately for any occasion, write thank-you letters, pack a suitcase or backpack, first-aid, self-defense, and everyday rules of etiquette.
The Montessori classroom is a small community run almost entirely by the students. They keep the room in order, care for classroom animals, tend to the plants, and set up for special events.
Practical life is incorporated throughout the curriculum. Math processes are used for cooking, sewing, weaving and experiments. Cultural studies incorporates many hands-on activities that require practical skills from caring for the environment to shopping, planning for needs of the classroom and oneself. Additionally, the outdoor classroom is an important aspect for exploring and caring for plants, animals and formations of the earth.