With the Practical Life Exercises, the children learn to take care of themselves and their environment. For young children, there is something special about tasks which an adult considers ordinary—such as washing dishes, sweeping, polishing, buttoning, and tying shoes. These activities are exciting to the children because they allow them to imitate adults. Mastering these exercises leads to increased concentration and coordination, good work habits, self-confidence, and above all, independence.
The Sensorial Materials help the children become aware of detail, contrast, shape, color, size, sound, texture, and smell. They are also a preparation for academic learning and provide a foundation in areas such as geometry, music, math, and language.
Reading and Writing are taught phonetically. The Montessori classroom nurtures language development by using precise vocabulary for all of the activities. We also enjoy Poetry and learn to recite in front of an audience.
Our Foreign Language is German. Renate Chadwick was born and raised in Germany, and she enjoys introducing the children to her native tongue. Exercises include learning vocabulary for familiar objects and actions, and participating in simple conversation, songs, and games.
The Basic Concepts of Mathematics are introduced by using concrete materials, leading the children from concrete to abstract thinking. We have materials to help beginners to recognize the numbers 1-5 all the way up through students who are able to navigate multiplication and division problems.
In Science and Social Studies, the child’s world gradually expands into the areas of geography, history, zoology, and botany. Puzzle maps of the world; country flags; classified pictures of fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals: all these lead the children to appreciate the world and to respect their surroundings and all living things.
Music, Drama, Movement, and Art are an important part of our classroom. We do arts and crafts for various holidays and events, and always have a variety of free-hand drawing, collage, and painting options available throughout the classroom. Music with hands-on instruments is taught regularly, and listening to music and dancing are a part of our daily routine.
Every year, each class does an in-depth exploration of one or two major curriculum units. As we are a three-year program, this rotates through a variety of topics. One year we might do our unit on Invertebrates, and the next year on Vertebrates, and the next year on "Extraordinary Animals". We might focus on the Solar System one year, and Magnets and Tools the next year, and Volcanoes the following year. We have at least a dozen curriculum units that we alternate between, and you will learn along with your children all about these interesting topics!