2.9 - 5 year-olds
This program is for children 3 years to 5.9 years of age. Children attend either morning or afternoon class for 3 hours per day. Younger children to 3.6 years have a choice of 3 or 5 days per week. All others come 5 days per week. Children in this class must be toilet-trained.
The preschool environment is rich in materials, which encourage the young children to explore. The students have the opportunity to learn and progress at their own pace. They learn from a concrete foundation to the abstract concept. The students develop independence, self-discipline, and become responsible group members.
The Practical Life exercises in the Montessori classroom are organized in three main areas: care of the person, care of the environment, and grace and courtesy. The activities found in this area of the classroom, provide real life experiences for children. The exercises provide purposeful activity, develop motor control and coordination, develop independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. Both large and small muscle coordination and development are involved, helping a child to have control over his movements. During grace and courtesy lessons, the children are learning to develop refinement of social interactions, be polite, and learn respect for others.
Maria Montessori believed that nothing comes into the mind except through the senses. The purpose of the Sensorial activities are to help the child in his efforts to sort out the many varied impressions given by the senses. These materials are specifically designed to help the child develop discrimination, order, and to broaden and refine the senses. These materials also help prepare him to be a logical, aware, and perceptive person.
The Montessori classroom is designed in such a way that all activities gear themselves naturally toward the development of the skills required for oral and written language and reading. In the Montessori environment encouragement of self expression is fostered through communication between children and their peers and children and adults.
In the Language area of the environment, vocabulary is enriched in a number of ways. Precise names are used for all of the objects and apparatus. Vocabulary classification and matching exercises develop visual perception, enrich vocabulary development, and develop the left to right movement. A child will progress at their own pace through the reading program.
Learning mathematical concepts in a Montessori classroom begins concretely and progresses towards the abstract. They are developed from simple to complex. Process is taught first and facts come later. Order, coordination, concentration and independence are experienced by the child using the Montessori materials.
The Cultural area of the Montessori classroom covers a variety of subjects. Geography, Science, Botany, Zoology, and History are included. Art and Music are also considered apart of the Cultural Area of the classroom. The Montessori cultural studies is another thing that makes the Montessori classroom different from other ones. During the year subjects discussed in Geography are things such as; land, air, and water, maps, continents, people, food and music from other countries.