Preschool

ages 3 to 6 years

monday - friday, 8:30am - 3:30pm

The brain of a young child is like a sponge, absorbing knowledge about the world in every moment of the day. Countless scientific studies have shown that early childhood education is the most important time of learning for a child. There are lifelong benefits to exposing your child to a beautiful, well-designed learning environment during the preschool and kindergarten years.

In our classroom, the youngest students begin learning through Practical Life materials. These are the kinds of things they are familiar with seeing at home: washing dishes, scrubbing tables, sweeping up spills, polishing wood, slicing bananas, and folding laundry. The youngest children enjoy caring for their classroom and joining in the big tasks they have seen adults do.

Then, they begin to add work with the Sensorial materials, classroom work especially designed to use all five of the child's senses. The children build with blocks made to provide an introduction to numbers and geometry. The teacher introduces them to smells, sounds, and tastes, that they may not be familiar with. A scientist needs her senses to work well in order to study the world, and our youngest children were born scientists, ready to take in an understanding of the world.

Practical Life and Sensorial materials are unique to Montessori, and the children are also exposed to subjects more common in traditional classrooms: science, geography, math, reading, and art. In our classroom, however, all the learning about these subjects comes through using hands-on materials. A student may study the parts of a butterfly by doing a puzzle and naming the parts during the process; then practice writing by creating a book identifying each of the butterfly parts. A student may learn about place value by working with the Golden Beads: single beads for one, bars of ten beads, squares of one hundred beads, and cubes of one thousand beads. Everything in the classroom is designed to be attractive and engaging.

Once a child is shown how to use a material, he can choose that material any time in the classroom and use it for as long as he would like. Children need time and space to explore what interests them most without being interrupted.

Our outdoor classroom is a place of more free play and discovery. This space was designed to be as natural as possible in our urban location, with mature trees, garden plants to water, areas for digging for bugs, boards and stumps to construct with, a large tree house for climbing, a sandpit for digging, and a water pump.

Montessori education has a 100 year old history of growing creative and innovative children through a scientific method of teaching:

We believe that children want to learn.

Children have an ingrained ability to seek out discoveries and develop themselves if given the right environment and tools. Often the adult simply needs to step out of the way.

We celebrate the power of words.

We entrust children with the vocabulary for the things they see so they can identify and understand their world. Books then give them an even greater key to knowledge and imagination.

We honor the process of making mistakes and growing through them.

Learning is a messy process, and the greatest learning comes out of solving problems. When things get hard, adults can support but not rescue, and as children learn to try, try again they develop the strength to overcome mistakes and difficulty.

We trust the natural world as a great teacher.

Exposure to nature is scientifically proven to bring calm in the face of stress and trauma. Admiring nature connects us to the world around us, and the beauty of nature inspires art.

We work hard to serve as guides to each child on this journey.

As educators, we are not just here to impart knowledge but instead to aid each child as they make discoveries. We lay the groundwork for the next step and help each child move forward in their own timing.

 

 

A typical day in our classroom looks like this:

8:30 - 10:45  Indoor classroom

10:45 - 11:00  Line Time, when the teacher leads the whole group in songs, poems, and other classroom discussions

11:00 - 11:30  Lunchtime

11:30 - 12:30  Outdoor classroom

12:30 - 2:30  Naptime/Indoor classroom

2:30 - 3:30  Outdoor classroom