3 Year Cycle (Ages 3-6)
Our primary goal of a Montessori classroom is to help each child reach their full potential in all areas of life. Activities promote development in social skills, emotional growth, physical coordination, as well as cognitive preparation.
Having a multi-aged group in one classroom allows the children to grow as their interests lead them from one level of complexity to another. The older children get to reinforce what they know as they take upon the role of a leader, a role-model, and a teacher to their younger peers.
As children progress through the Montessori program from three to six years in age, they eventually reach a point in their development which is the culmination of a unique cycle of awareness and growth. The last year provides the child with a four hour daily cycle to continue to work with ever advancing materials in science, math, reading, and geography. During this last year, the maturity level has developed into a natural need for further academic exploration. Children feel comfortable with their increasing abilities and continually seek challenges. Each child’s natural maturity and awareness eventually sparks an explosion into reading and math. Many children learn to read effortlessly, enjoy complex math activities, and learning math facts.
The class is divided into sections based on the different disciplines of learning:
Practical Life and Art
Practical Life is designed to develop the child’s fine and gross motor skills by working with practical materials that have a purpose such as pouring, spooning, window washing, and table washing. Practical life develops concentration, independence, order, and coordination. Creativity, fine motor, and imagination are truly amplified through working in our art area as children have the freedom of expression.
Materials in the sensorial area are geared towards the senses as the child explores colors, shapes, sizes, weight, texture, taste, and scents. Children learn to coordinate the materials through correlation, building off their previous schema as they relate materials to one another. Geometric shapes are learned as well as the language and vocabulary it applies.
Montessori uses the phonetic approach to language. After learning the sounds of each letter, the children match objects or picture cards to the corresponding beginning or ending sound. Once vowels are learned, three sounds are blended together to make a word. The children discover sounds to make words and “explode” into reading. Older children build their own words and then sentences with the movable alphabet. Journal writing is also brought to life in the Montessori classroom.
All Montessori math is concrete. The children learn by touching, seeing, and counting the materials. Montessori sandpaper numerals are a wonderful way to introduce number recognition. One to one correspondence is also learned as children manipulate each material. Once this concept is achieved children are introduced to our decimal system through the “Golden Beads.” Since the children learn at their own individual pace addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are introduced once the child is ready.
Science and Cultural Teachings
Montessori children receive concrete science and can apply it in further abstract learning. The children are taught about the universe, biology, geography, zoology, and the natural sciences through hands-on activities, materials, and experiments.
Spanish Instruction is given as part of our program.