Preschool Program (3 – 5 Years)
In the Montessori Preschool classroom, exploration and discovery are how a child becomes educated. They master their bodies, develop social skills, and learn to solve problems. A world that is rich in texture, color, developmentally appropriate materials and the beauty of nature is at their reach. Their world is safe, and the words “no” and “don’t touch” do not belong here.
Respect for the child and the understanding that each child is an individual are the principles upon which our teachers are trained. The teacher does not disturb or interfere with an exploring child, yet she focuses her full attention on the child when help is required. She is a facilitator, and she models those qualities she wishes the child to develop: curiosity, respect, compassion, humor, and honesty.
Care giving, personal attention and human interaction are vitally important to a young child. Expensive toys and gadgets do not take the place of a caring person who looks deeply into your child’s eyes and smiles many times each day. The teacher’s qualities are thus an integral aspect of their classroom environment and the dedication and creativity this requires is something that we cherish in our well established faculty which includes 6 teaching teams of Montessori credentialed teachers and qualified teaching assistants. Each of the teachers are with their students for the entire day so that the relationships are built on consistency and a special bond between each student and their teachers. The classroom age span is from just under three to five years of age so that the bond between the student and the teacher is a solid foundation for the child’s emotional and academic growth.
The lessons and materials presented during the curriculum periods in the classroom cover the traditional Montessori Method including the 5 basic areas of the classroom: Exercises for daily living (Practical Life), Math, Language, materials that enliven the child’s exploration of touch, texture, sound, color and shape (Sensorial) and cultural subjects including Art, Music, Science, Geography and Botany. The class also has study “units” each month that cover a wide range of natural sciences, self-awareness, and geography, just to name a few. After a lengthy “work time” in the classroom each morning between 9am to 11am. The group will also participate in circle times, music activities, group discussions and “share” as well as special occasion activities which can include field trips, visitors to the classroom, class social events and fundraisers. We are thrilled to have Parent Volunteers for many of these activities although there is no volunteer requirement for parents.
The class goes outside for a playtime to explore the natural setting of our play grounds. This unstructured playtime is very important to allow the children to use imaginary play and have time to self-regulate, an important component of child development especially in our modern world. Our play areas are filled with exciting play equipment and natural flora and fauna including water birds, fruit trees, plants, little lizards, butterflies and a broad view of the lake (securely fenced for safety of course).
Lunch is served by the children in table groups, where proper manners, good nutrition and self-sufficiency are emphasized. We have a “No Sugar” Policy which prohibits sweets, candy, cakes and sodas. Milk is served with lunch. Following lunch is a Nap Time for children who need to sleep during the day and a Rest Period followed by a second “work time” for children who no longer need a nap. Cots and bedding is provided.
Our curriculum period ends at 3pm after which we offer extended daycare for working parents until 6pm. We also offer a variety of After School classes that are on-site and convenient for working parents who might not have the flexibility to take their child to an outside class. Topics like Classical Ballet, Gymnastics, Ceramics, Arts and Crafts, Spanish, and Cooking are offered on a sign-up basis for an additional cost.