Children’s House Program
The Montessori Children’s House (Primary) program, for children ages three to six, is designed to meet the needs of your child in this crucial phase of life. These early experiences shape their perceptions about the world and their attitudes about learning.
Many parents are often surprised to see the calm environment of a Children’s House classroom; in fact, it is designed to help your child become his or her best self. We support his natural drive for independence by encouraging a conscious choice of activities of interest without interruption. The resulting feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction prompt respect from the children toward others.
Unlike conventional classrooms where your child is expected to pay rapt attention to the teacher, in the Primary classroom the guide is trained to observe each individual child. You won’t see a Montessori teacher standing in front of the classroom writing on a chalkboard, but rather down at your child’s level, individually engaging or working with a small group.
Your child will be introduced to activities and concepts based upon the Guide’s observations of his or her developmental needs and readiness. After this initial lesson, the child has the opportunity to come back to the material for independent exploration. The art of being a Montessori teacher is in finding the activity that combines both interest and the right challenge—not too hard and not too easy. In this classroom, your child will become engaged with an activity, developing an increased ability to focus and concentrate.
We carefully teach your child how to care for his or her own needs and provide opportunities to practice and improve. From zipping up a coat to preparing a meal, to solving a complex math problem, children are given the opportunity to complete work on their own. When children can successfully care for themselves and the environment in which they live, their demeanor becomes one of self-accomplishment and self-confidence. As we foster this independence, we hear the children begin to say, “I can do it on my own.”
Hands-on Learning Materials
Scientifically designed Montessori materials help to develop a new skill or reveal a new concept through your child’s use and exploration. Some provide the opportunity to perfect the practical skills of caring for one’s own needs or for the classroom environment. Montessori materials are made to bridge the gap between tangible and abstract concepts, with built-in fail-safes to allow for independent learning and self-correction. Some of the materials are for:
- Language – Materials to enrich vocabulary and open the door to writing, reading, and the parts of speech.
- Mathematics – In Children’s House, some materials build on your child’s natural interest in counting and introduce an understanding of the decimal system and the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
- Art and Self-expression – Montessori materials also encourage artistic self-expression through the introduction of skills and media.
- Geography – Colorful globes, flags, and maps are introduced in Children’s House, giving students a greater understanding of the world around them.
- and much more
Throughout the classroom, there are a plethora of materials to choose from – each one with a thoughtful lesson behind it.
Because the learning is individualized, your child can work at his or her own pace while participating in a mixed-age classroom community. Younger children benefit from example, and learn from the activities of the older children, while each older child gains the self-confidence that comes with responsibility and leadership.
Grace and Courtesy
Through “grace and courtesy” exercises, we teach children how to appropriately work through conflicts, how to act politely in various situations, and how to be kind and helpful to their friends. The result is a cohesive and self-aware community of young children.
Socialization and Play
The teacher may invite children to join a group for songs and stories about social, biological, geographical, and historical themes of interest. Your child will have a choice to participate or continue on with his activity. Indoor classroom space extends to a safe and contained outdoor environment with gardens and activities, so your child can work outdoors.
The Three Year Cycle
Montessori is a continuum of education that allows your child to build upon their experiences each year. In the first year, the days will be filled with activities centered around “Practical Life.” Here, they learn to sweep the floor, bake bread, polish silver, and clean the leaves of plants. They experiment with sensorial materials that educate visual, auditory and tactile senses. They play vocabulary sound games and sing when children gather for group activities.
As the child continues, they are introduced to sounds and symbols which lay the groundwork for reading and writing in the future. They begin to learn numbers and the decimal system – with the most amazing concrete materials to show the way. They learn about land and water forms, geometric figures, the political countries of the world. They learn the parts of plants and animals and about music and art – all at their own pace, in their own time.
It is during the third year (the traditional kindergarten year) that everything comes to fruition for your child. Reading, writing, and mathematical understanding blossom from the many seeds that were planted in the previous two years. The child leaves the program with a strong set of academic skills; but, far more importantly, with the attitude that learning is fun, exciting and boundless.