AGES 3 THROUGH KINDERGARTEN
The “Children’s House” is a term coined by Maria Montessori, and it refers to the classroom specifically designed for children ages three through six.
The environment is specially designed to cater to the needs and development of this age group.
Our Children’s House preschool and kindergarten program provides an enriching hands-on learning environment complete with specially formulated Montessori materials for math, language, sensorial exploration, practical life activities, art, science, and geography. During this stage of development, children have a unique ability to absorb knowledge quickly and effortlessly. Maria Montessori referred to this as the “Absorbent Mind.” These children are sensorial explorers and learn through the senses. For this reason, all experiences within the classroom environment are hands-on.
The three-year cycle is especially influential during this stage of social development. Older students help younger students and model appropriate behaviors. Social growth occurs in the environment in several ways. Helping, caring, and responsibility develop naturally through modeling and practice.
Practical Life: The practical life activities link the home environment to the school environment and develop everyday life skills through real world and purposeful work. The main purpose of these activities is the development of order, concentration, coordination, and independence. Secondary purposes include: the development of logical thought, ability to sequence, formation of sets, exploration of spatial relationships, cultural adaptation, and preparation for reading and writing. These activities form the foundation for all other work in the environment.
Sensorial: The sensorial materials are a series of puzzle-like apparatus that allow the child to refine the many sensorial impressions that have been taken in through experiences in the world. The main purposes of the sensorial exercises are the development of observation, comparison, judgment, reasoning, and decision-making skills. These exercises also prepare the child for math through the activities of matching, sequencing, sorting, grading, classifying, and patterning.
Language: In the Montessori Model, the Children’s House environment utilizes the child’s sensitive period for language by starting with spoken language, then progressing to writing and reading, and the exploration of the function of words in grammar, leading to the development of expressive and receptive language skills.
Math: In all Montessori math experiences, children are presented first with a material that allows for hands-on exploration of the concept. The skills the children acquire from their experiences in the Practical Life and Sensorial areas of the Children’s House classroom prepare them for success in mathematics. Basic problem-solving skills are introduced using real life situations such as cooking and sharing.
Geometry: Geometry is presented to the young child through sensorial exploration and language work. Shapes are introduced through wooden insets, solid shapes, and triangles used to construct other shapes. All sensorial work is followed by language to clarify the concept.
History: For the young child, the focus is on developing awareness and understanding the concept of “time.”