(ages 2.9 – 6 years)
One of the most striking aspects of the Children’s House is the peacefulness. There is a deep sense of respect between the teachers and the children. Through “grace and courtesy” exercises, we teach children how to problem solve conflicts, how to act politely in various situations and how to be kind and helpful to their friends. The result is a cohesive community of young children.
A multi-age Montessori classroom encourages older children of the environment to foster leadership skills. The younger children benefit by having role models in the classroom. In the Children’s House, even the most shy 5 year old is encouraged into a leadership role, because the younger children look up to him and ask for his help and assistance.
As the child progresses, they are introduced to sounds and symbols which lay the groundwork for reading and writing in the future. They are introduced to numbers and the decimal system with the most amazing concrete materials to show them the way. They learn about land and water forms, geometric figures, and the political countries of the world. They also learn about the parts of plants and animals and about music and art at their own pace.
It is during the third year (the traditional kindergarten year) that everything comes to fruition for the child. Reading, writing and mathematical understanding blossom from the many seeds that were planted in the previous two years. When the child completes the Children’s House program, they feel confident that learning is exciting and boundless. They are now ready to continue to the next level of Montessori education.
(ages 6 – 10 years)
Our curriculum adapts to the child. As a result of our multi-age classrooms, children work at many academic levels. Traditionally, a Montessori educational setting allows for children to challenge their minds and to reach for expansive goals. This philosophy also allows time to internalize a concept before moving on. Elementary age children are naturally curious. We support their inquisitive nature with a broad curriculum. Instead of giving them the right answers to questions they may ask, we ask them the right questions, leading them to discover the answers for themselves.
Being in community with one another is, perhaps, one of the greatest joys of a Montessori Elementary program. The children operate a democratic community of young scholars, where individual opinion is valued and personal responsibility is expected. Children are encouraged to take risks, and mistakes are considered learning opportunities. Process is valued more than the product and the children work to satisfy their own needs.
Working in uninterrupted blocks of time, the child can choose the order and scope of their work. Through a respectful relationship with the teacher, the child creates a work schedule to take advantage of the entire reach of the curriculum. In addition, the child keeps careful track of their work, planting the seeds of organization and time management. The curriculum offers a wide range of subjects that extend well into the higher levels. Yet, we follow the interests and abilities of each child, with a goal of self-directed, enthusiastic learners.