The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method and curriculum focuses upon the most vital stage of the child’s life: the beginning. It gives him/her freedom in a specially prepared environment, rich in motives for activity, which leads the child to acquire and develop the skills for reading, writing and use of numbers at the age when he/she is particularly sensitive and apt. Making decisions is the highest function of the human mind.
Our curriculum is broken into practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, science, art and music, and cultural subjects with numerous hands-on learning opportunities.
The Practical Life materials develop fine and gross motor skills, which enables the child to become more independent in daily life skills.
Through the use of exercises such as pouring, scooping, sweeping, sewing, table washing and personal care, the child becomes more self-sufficient. Real tools and child-sized implements mirror the adult world; to refine depth perception, to strengthen hand-eye coordination, and to practice care of the self and the environment.
The Sensorial materials develop the whole body as the receptor and builder of information.
Sensorial materials introduce descriptive language, size, weight, depth, proportion, length, balance, scents, textures, color, gradation, sounds, and classifications of different medium. Materials are grouped in units of 10 for pre-math skills.
Touch leads to writing leads to reading.
Tactile materials, hand-held letters, 2 & 3 part matching cards, I-Spy games, metal geometric shapes which introduce contours for pre-writing skills, and sandpaper letters all lead to mastery of the sound of each letter.
From this the child literally builds words and sentences, creates imaginative spelling, illustrates journals, stories, and reads.
The math materials are introduced in sequence from simple concepts to increasingly complex mastery, always using solid objects and counting skills before introducing abstract symbols or memorization.
The concrete materials are designed to measure, sequence, pair, and count using beads, objects, rods, and spindles.
All Materials are self-correcting. We provide various works for 1-10 comprehension, teach place value with the Golden Beads, and introduce multiplication/division as logical extensions of adding and subtracting.
In science the children’s natural curiosity is stimulated through discovery projects and experiments, helping the children draw their own conclusions.
The plant and animal kingdoms are studied in an orderly fashion to foster a love and appreciation for all living things.
During the school year we study the seven continents; we explore each corresponding language, dress, foods, arts, music, geography, land formations etc.
We study the differences and similarities between cultures, what makes us who we are, our place in our family/community/state/county/world and our place in the solar system. Unity within diversity is absorbed through each individual’s interest in relation to the whole group. Conflict resolution skill building is a daily exercise.
Many mediums for expression are available on a daily basis. Most organized art projects are reflective of the continent theme.
Art for young children is a process that unfolds with free choice of different materials, always remembering creativity and exploration are the focus. Five Full Day students enjoy art lessons with local artist, Ms. Michell Schalik once a month. Themes are planned each year to incorporate different media experiences. We have studied, compared and explored different artists (e.g., Picasso, Monet) in the past.
The Joyful Sounds School of Music provides music education classes to all 5 day students on a monthly basis. Children enjoy classes which allow them the opportunity to use rhythm instruments, scarves and wooden sticks to explore rhythm, steady beat and tempo.
Classes always include movement games and songs.The Kindergarten class works as a small group with Joyful sounds on a weekly basis.
Music is fundamental in the classroom every day. Appreciation of music is cultivated and music used by the civilizations throughout history is presented to the child. Music will find its way in to all aspects of the classroom – as a subtle background during work time, to signal clean-up time, as an integral part of the cultural curriculum, as a form of celebration and fun.”
Hands-on Learning Opportunities and Excursions
During the school year, we find it very important to incorporate a number of hands on learning experiences for our students. From field trips to bringing special visitors to our school, here are a few examples of some of the opportunities students have to engage beyond the classroom:
Level Fire Company Visit
During our visits from Ms. Rhonda and our firefighter friends, our students are taught to “stop drop and roll” and allowed us to see a fire fighter’s gear up close. Students learn the many ways a firefighter helps in the community and even get to look inside the fire engine. Expect your child to come home from school reminding you to change the battery in your smoke detectors at home.
Lohr’s Orchard and Pumpkin Patch.
Every year we take an annual trip to Lohr’s Orchard and Pumpkin Patch. On the farm, students pick apples, drink cider, hunt down the perfect pumpkins, and a enjoy a hay ride!
During the school week before Thanksgiving, we learn about the Indians and the Pilgrims, made our own butter and popcorn, and share our most thankful blessings at our Thanksgiving feast.
Family Holiday Celebration
Before saying farewell for the holiday break, we invite our students’ families to enjoy songs, a play, and delicious treats with one another in our holiday celebration.
Special Parent Visits
We often welcome in parents for special visits to share about a their culture or heritage. During one visit, Ben and Charlotte’s mom, Ms. Karen visited our classrooms and talked about Hanukah and taught us how to play the dreidel game.