The Montessori Pre-school program is a five day per week program. We offer a full day program (8:30 AM - 3:30 PM), Morning program (8:30 AM - Noon) and Afternoon program (12:30 PM - 3:30 PM). Optional before and after school care is available to accomodate parent's schedules starting at 6:45 AM and ending at 5:30 PM.
The pre-school classroom:
AIMS to help the development of reality in the child by helping them discover their relation to the world, nature, people, God; to develop a positive attitude toward others, to present learning as a happy, joyous experience, and to offer an educational environment able to meet the child's need for order and for attaching meaning to their world.
STIMULATES development in the following areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Art Movement, Music, Science, Social Science, Introduction to the Community and Froeign Language (when possible).
MONTESSORI EDUCATION is not only a method, but contributes to a philosophy, a way of life. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human is educated by another person. They must do it themself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the hours and years spent in the classroom. They are motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies by rather to cultivate a natural desire to learn.
In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways: (1) by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by their own choice; (2) by helping them perfect all their natural tools for learning, so that their ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations.
Dr Montessori observed the importance of the sensitive periods for early learning, which has been reinforced by modern research. "Sensitive periods" are period of intense facination for learning a particular characteristic or skill. It is easier for the child to learn a particular skill during the corresponding "sensitive period" than any other time in life.
Because the emphasis is on self-learning, and development of an inner discipline, the Montessori teacher has the time and freedom to be able to work individually with all the children in the class. Learning progress from the basic to the more complex, therefore success for the child in each step of a task is more easily and rationally accomplished.
You may find many of the ideas already incorporated in your own philosophy of child rearing. Appreciation of the child's ability to learn and of his individual phase of development, provision for a stimulating environment, respect for the child and fostering a sense of personal dignity, encouraging responsibility and self-discipline. All these are part of the way Montessori can help your child.
The pre-school classroom is a prepared learning environment with five areas of interest: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, and Cultural.
The young child learn about the world around them through the use of their senses. Give the child an unfamiliar object ans watch what they do. They will examine it closely, using their sense of sight, touch, tase, sound and smell. Montessori was aware of this as she designed her materials to educate the senses.
Sensorial apparatus help the child become aware of details. Each material isolates one quality such as color, shape, sound, size, etc. The materials begin with gross differences and work toward finer differences. Sensorial materials help the child develop their ability to distinguish and categorize and then connect this new information to what they already know. Proficiency in the sensorial materials give the chld a good undersatanding of the reality around them and a good base on which to build.
The math area contains an array of materials that begin with basic numeration to comples mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, etc. Mathematics are presented sequentially and approached on a sensorial level. For example, once a child learns the concept of zero through nine, they are introduced to place values using the "golden bead materials". They can then progress to creating numbers, combining numbers (addition), repetitive addition (multiplication) , subtraction, and repetitive subtraction (division).
The language area contains a number of materials such as sand paper letters, object boxes, movable alphabet, phonics and materials to develop small muscle control for writing. The natural progression for language development is first to write. The language area contain materials such as the movable alphabet to aid the child in the process of writing by removing the labor of forming the letters. We have also incorporated a compter based phonetic writing program "Writing to Read". Most children in our pre-school class will accomplish a first grade reading level by the end of the Kingergarten year.
The cultural area includes Science, Geography, History, and Social Studies. There are many manipulative materials in the classroom for the child to explore such things as parts of plants, land forms, maps of the world and continents, parts of animals, cultures of other lands, etc. The materials allow the child to explore cultural subjects as far as as deep as their curiosity takes them.