The Montessori curriculum is designed and referred to as a Cosmic Education, an integrated, thematic approach that examines the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience. Through its unique approach to education, the Montessori curriculum develops a student’s sense of community and love of learning driven by their innate desire to understand and explain the world around them. In this approach at the School, we challenge students not only to master skills, but to regularly apply them in practical life as part of a larger whole. As a result, our students attain proficiency in an astounding range of concepts in great depth.
Infant (6 weeks-18 months)
The Infant Curriculum focuses on fostering basic trust in the child. Foremost in the environment is the adult whose caring, respectful response to your infant's needs, both physical and psychological, conveys the message of unconditional love and acceptance.
Elements of the Montessori program are incorporated into the children’s environment for the purpose of exposing the younger children to typical Montessori materials. The youngest members of the Montessori community are kept in the Niño (Italian for “nest) which is designed with a special movement area specific to this age group’s needs.
In this space the children have access to customized stands, stairs and bars for pulling themselves up: a quiet sleeping area with individual beds/cribs: an eating area equipped with child sized tables and a physical care area for bathing and changing. Primary goals during this stage include development of movement and independence.
Toddler (18-21/2 years)
The Montessori Toddler environment is carefully prepared to aid the toddler in achieving independence. Children who are now comfortably walking leave the nest and move to a space that fits their growing physical needs. There is an observation area for adults, minimal furniture, tiled floors, maximum natural life, selected art placed low on the walls, and defined spaces to challenge the coordination of movement. A toddler toileting area encourages beginning training and bathroom independence.
At this stage, we stress social interaction with other children, development of language and practical life skills, and music and movement activities. The curriculum also includes activities that allow the young children to develop fine and gross motor coordination and visual discrimination through the senses and learning materials. This curriculum prepares the toddler for advancement to the Pre-Primary and Primary class.
This structure helps to develop confidence as they learn how to hang up their own coat, pour their own water, and clean up their own spills. A growing conviction of “I can do it” grows within the child as they explore their learning environment and engage with a wide range of educational materials designed just for them.
Primary (3-6 years)
The Primary classroom, for age group three to six years old, is carefully designed for children to "learn by doing." It is a calm, structured space constructed to meet a child's individual needs. Here, your child experiences a blend of freedom and discipline in a space especially designed for his or her optimal development.
During these formative years the social, physical, and intellectual functioning of the child is unified. The most important function of the Primary program is to provide children with an early and general foundation that includes a positive attitude towards school, inner security, and a sense of order. That foundation goes on to include pride in the physical environment, abiding curiosity, habits of concentration, initiative and persistence, the ability to make decisions, self-discipline, and a sense of responsibility to other members of the class, school and community. This foundation enables them to acquire more specialized knowledge and skills throughout their school career.
Practical Life - Practical Life is the cornerstone of the environment. These lessons are presented first to the child to form a foundation for the other areas of the environment. Practical life exercises are the child’s introduction to the prepared environment of the Montessori classroom
Sensorial - Through the sensorial area, the child is given the facilities to make clear concepts and classifications for all the information she has gathered thus far through her sensory perceptions. The sensorial materials help to order the child's mind by isolating and emphasizing one quality at a time (i.e. size, gradation). Through the physical manipulation of materials in this area, the child begins to categorize and order the objects in their world, leading to increased understanding of their role in the universe.
Language - Language exercises are offered to the child initially as an aid to the child’s own developmental process for language. By age 3, the child has already mastered basic spoken language. When the child enters the Primary Montessori classroom, the materials of language offered to the child will simply add to the foundation the child has already made through self construction. During the primary cycle, she will go through three stages of language: expansion of vocabulary, writing, and reading.
Mathematics - By nature, everyone is mathematical. We are all born with a mathematical mind, which isn’t something that we create, but something we need to awaken it into consciousness. Through exercises offered to the child, the child prepares for the emergence of the mathematical mind that exists within him.
Cultural Activities - Cultural areas include art, biology, geography, history, music, science and foreign language. In the primary program, children will be exposed to these cultural activities within the realm of their prepared environment.
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