Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten
Children in our Montessori pre-K and kindergarten program are at an age in which they possess what Maria Montessori called the “absorbent mind” — an ability to readily absorb all aspects of one's culture and environment. Individual work is encouraged, as an aid in the child’s self-construction.
The following areas of activity cultivate the child's development and ability to express and think with clarity.
Practical Life Exercises: Activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their home, such as preparing food and washing dishes, along with exercises of grace and courtesy. These tasks help children develop muscular coordination, enabling movement and the exploration of their surroundings. They learn to work at a task from beginning to end, and develop their powers of control and concentration.
Sensorial Materials: Children build cognitive skills, and learn to order and classify impressions by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment.
Mathematics: Children learn and understand the concepts of math by manipulating concrete materials. This work gives children a solid understanding of basic mathematical principles, prepares them for later abstract reasoning, and helps develop problem-solving capabilities.
Language Development: The Montessori environment is rich in oral language opportunities, allowing the child to experience conversations, stories and poetry. Our materials help children link sound and symbol effortlessly, encouraging the development of written expression and reading skills. To further reading development, children are exposed to the study of grammar.
Culture: Geography, biology, botany, zoology, art and music are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities. Children learn about people and cultures in other countries. Through familiarity, children come to feel connected to the global human family. Lessons and experiences with nature inspire a reverence for all life. The comprehensive art and music programs give children every opportunity to enjoy a variety of creative activities, as well as gain knowledge of the great masters.
Faith: Our classroom exposes children to spirituality in the Catholic tradition, through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Presentations follow Montessori principles. Children are exposed to scripture and Bible stories and explore their meaning using materials designed for that purpose. Presentations are given individually and according to the interests of the child. No lessons are forced or required to complete the Montessori curriculum, but children are encouraged to enrich their understanding of God.
(Read the Clayton Tribune's profile of Little Way.)