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curriculum (see programs for more details)

Overview of Curriculum

The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He works, however, not as an adult, for completion of a job, but for the sake of an activity itself. It is this activity, which enables him to accomplish his most important goal: the development of himself—mental, physical, and psychological powers.

In addition to the goals of our program listed at the beginning of this handbook our curriculum includes the following areas:

Practical Life: Young children have a natural urge to partake in the activities of daily living and be a participating member of family life. Simple chores adults may take for granted fascinate the child, engaging them in the meaningful learning of life skills. Practical life activities help children develop and coordinate movement, awareness of the environment, orderly thought patterns, independent work habits, and responsibility. The lessons in Practical Life include:

Preliminary Exercises- preparing the fine motor skills for more challenging activities (spooning, pouring, stringing, etc.)
Care of the Environment- learning to respect and care for the tools in the space where the child lives and learns (food preparation, sweeping, dusting, washing, polishing, etc)
Care of the Person- learning the basics of self care skills (hand washing, nose blowing, dressing, nutrition, etc.)
Grace and Courtesy- learning social skills (walking carefully, communication, manners, table setting, hosting a guest, life-interaction…)

Sensorial: The materials and activities in this area allow children to pursue their natural tendency to classify sensorial impressions and sort by size, shape, color, touch, sound, and weight. The sensorial materials isolate specific qualities, have a built in control of error, allow for repetition, and make abstract qualities concrete. Sensorial activities lay a foundation for math, geometry, geography, botany, art, and music.

Math: These activities make the abstract concepts of mathematics concrete for hands on learning. Each activity isolates a particular concept and integrates with other activities to form a strong foundation for further exploration. Beginning preschool math activities include 1 to 10 (sequences, quantity, numeral names, combinations often, basic arithmetic), teens, tens, introduction to the decimal system, and the operations of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division.

Language: Children are immersed in language the moment they enter the classroom. Spoken language is encouraged as children communicate with each other individually, in small groups, and in large groups. A library of books is available for enjoyment and information. Stories are read and told individually, in small and large groups. Phonemic awareness is taught through hands on activities and games, the alphabet is learned with fun and interesting sorting and matching works, handwriting is practiced through tracing shapes, sandpaper letters, and using chalk boards, moveable alphabet letters are used for writing words, and labels are used all over for word recognition.

Science: Sensorial exploration and experimentation is key as children learn about the natural world. For example, science trays and activities allow for open-ended work while other activities isolate individual concepts such as sink and float, magnets, botany, etc. Care for plants and animals overlap with practical life activities and teach science as well as responsibility. 

Geography: These materials help the child learn about the facts of the material world. Hands on activities introduce children to the names and types of land masses, bodies of water, continents, countries, etc.

Cultural Studies: The diversity of our world is celebrated through language, music, art, traditions, food, stories, and history. A variety of cultural themes are integrated into all curriculum areas. Peace education is an integral part of the Montessori classroom and begins with respect for, understanding, and acceptance of differences as well as the celebration of the unifying aspects that connect us all.

Music and Art: Informal and formal music education occurs through singing, listening to music, introduction of instruments, introduction of musical notation, and exploration of sound.

Physical Development: Care of the body is equally as important as challenging the mind. Movement is built into all Montessori activities allowing the child to develop gross motor as well as fine motor skills. Yoga and other types of more formal exercise are built into daily group times. There are at least two periods of gross motor activity time each day with activities that include running, skipping, swinging, navigating an obstacle course, ball play, group games, and activities using other props such as scarves and ribbons.  Yoga classes are held on Wednesday with two different styles of yoga.

Universal Values and Global Perspective: Montessori deliberately teaches children not only appropriate patterns of polite behavior, but seeks to instill basic universal values within the core of the child’s personality. These values include self respect, acceptance of the uniqueness and dignity of each person we meet, kindness, peacefulness, compassion, empathy, honor, individual responsibility, and the courage to speak from our hearts. The Montessori philosophy is international in its heritage and consciously seeks to promote a global perspective.