Pre-Kindergarten (Morning, 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon)
Our preschool program is for children who are 3 - 6 years of age. The preschool program starts at 9:00 AM and ends at 12:00 noon. The kindergarten program is 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Parents who need additional childcare, before and after school, may enroll for 7:00-9:00 AM, 12:00-3:00 PM and/or 3:00-6:00 PM. In our preschool and kindergarten classes the child to adult ratio is 12:1 or 10:1.
The Montessori preschool classroom is a high activity area where children choose their work from a variety of manipulative and self-correcting materials that are easily accessible to them from shelves within their reach. In addition to the assistants, the Montessori Directress is always present to offer instructions or help when needed. Children work in specific areas that correlate to their development and abilities. Within each area are practical exercises and materials that help develop the child’s sensorial, physical and intellectual skills.
During the preschool years, our children develop in a “harmonized and normalized community”. In this environment, children become more disciplined and focused on their work, are less distracted by ongoing activities of other children, learn to cope with the physical and social environment around them by doing activities and managing materials in an orderly fashion, and by respecting other children and their space. Each child develops and acquires skills at his/her own pace, and the Montessori Directress, like a coach, directs and creates the environment for the children who are self-motivated to learn.
Kindergarten (Full Day, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM)
The kindergarten program is a continuation of the preschool program. The biggest difference between the two programs is that the kindergarten children are in the school from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, five days a week, with an hour of lunch and outdoor activity. Children graduating from preschool into the kindergarten program are usually six or seven years old.
During the morning part of the kindergarten program, the five and six year olds are in the same class as the preschool children, but work with more advanced materials. Mixing ages provides kindergarten children with abundant opportunities to develop leadership skills and responsibility and gives them greater social diversity. The core of our kindergarten curriculum is language, mathematics, and geography. In addition to the core kindergarten curriculum, the child is also presented with history, science, and public speaking experiences.
The language work includes oral language development, written expression, reading, the study of grammar, and creative dramatics. The language materials include objects and pictures to be named, matched, labeled and classified to aid in vocabulary development. Phonics and the movable alphabet lead the child toward reading and writing. Most of the children are able to read and write very well when they graduate from kindergarten.
The Montessori math materials, through concrete manipulative materials, allow the child to internalize the concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations and memorization of basic facts. Development of the concept of the four basic mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication happen through work with the Golden Bead Material and other materials introduced by Dr. Maria Montessori. These processes tend to develop in the child a much deeper understanding of mathematics. The children are taught to tell time. They are introduced to money, fractions and story problems. They learn multiplication tables with the help of bead chains from the bead cabinet.
The children are given an introduction to physical and cultural geography through the use of wooden puzzle maps and other activities. They are introduced to the seven continents and the oceans and the animals from each continent. They learn about different countries and their capitals. They are introduced to humankind’s search to understand geologic forces such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes and Pangaea.
Science includes many nature related activities. Studies of plants and animals include parts of various plants, vertebrates, habitats and weather conditions that support particular plants and animals. Kindergarten children also learn about the planets and solar system, the human brain, deserts, photosynthesis and many other interesting topics.
Our music teacher teaches them to sing in many different languages. They learn about one famous music composer every year. They are shown work from a lot of famous artists. They also focus on the life and artwork of one famous artist every year. With the assistance of the art teacher the children replicate some of the selected artist’s work.
The kindergarteners are given rich academic education in a comfortable and loving environment.