Classroom age requirements: 3 years old through 6 years old.
This class meets:
Half Day Monday - Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Half Day Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Full Day Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
PRACTICAL LIFE: The practical life materials and area are designed to allow training in daily living skills, not only with attention to small hand muscles, coordination, and lengthening concentrated work time; but also for promoting patience, orderliness, and the love of academic work. The exercises give the child instant success and prepare the child internally for the academic tasks that will follow.
SENSORIAL EXERCISES: As the name implies, the materials in this area were developed to expand the child’s awareness of learning using the five senses. The equipment is designed to focus on a concept using one or a combination of sensory skills to enhance understanding. Letters and numbers are introduced with sandpaper letters first. Thus the child internalizes the concept on a sensory level before moving to other concrete tasks.
MATH: Activities in the math area introduce numbers, concepts of addition, subtraction, place value, etc., using three-dimensional materials. Mathematical ideas are offered and reinforced with many pieces of equipment; allowing the child to “play” with the materials while gaining a firm mental picture of the process involved. The child should NEVER be expected or asked to abstract a concept (with worksheets, for example) until a firm understanding of that concept is formed first. Therefore, especially in the early stages of the year, students produce small amounts of paperwork; increasing the amount as concepts become clear and are ready to be transferred to paper. The entire process, as in all Montessori training, sets a strong foundation of conceptual understanding to build on in following years as opposed to less effective rote learning or memorization.
READING/WRITING/LANGUAGE ARTS: All children, preschool through kindergarten, enter the world of reading, writing, and language through the use of several systems, including but is not limited to whole language, phonics, and Montessori language materials. The children are formally introduced to language through environmental print (labels, signs, etc.), good library books, and sandpaper alphabet phonics. By being exposed to all three elements of language (phonics, syntax, and semantics), good role modeling, fun activities and a rich reading environment, the student is motivated and the desire to become a reader, writer, and communicator emerges from within.
GEOGRAPHY/CULTURAL: Maps and globes are used sensorially (like puzzles) to introduce the child to the world in which he lives. Preschool and kindergarten students begin with the planisphere world map of continents, North America, the U.S. states, and then move to other individual country maps as desired or needed. There are also activities that teach the children about landforms, houses and homes around the world, flags of all the countries, and Illinois history.
Art and Music: Art and music are a part of the classroom daily. Students can explore independently and as a group. Art materials are available alongside the rest of the classroom materials. Music and movement take place each day in a group setting.
Bible: Peaceful Pathways is a non-denominational Christian Montessori program. Children are encouraged to explore God's world and hear how important God thinks each living thing is. We celebrate Christian holidays. Our Christian views are brought up spontaneously as they occur as well as in purposeful prayer each day.