WHY CHOOSE A KINDERGARTEN MONTESSORI PROGRAM?
The Montessori classroom is a “living room” for children. It is filled with a rich variety of specially designed materials for the children to use in every area reading, writing, science, geography, practical life and sensorial development. The abundance of material makes it possible for the children to exercise more self direction- and independent work than is usually possible in a traditional classroom. They are given more choices than a traditional environment can provide. Children choose their activities from open shelves and self-correcting material and work in distinct work areas, on tables or on rugs on the floor. Over a period of time, the children develop into a “normalized community” with high concentration and few interruptions. We make high value on the child’s ability to make constructive choices, exercise self-control and work independently of the adult.
Our Montessori Kindergarten children also have the important advantage of remaining with children of mixed ages. Mixing ages provides our kindergarten children with abundant opportunities to develop leadership skills and responsibility and gives the children greater social diversity. This is the “Leadership Year.” They have friends of all ages. The mixed ages and widely varied achievement levels of the children greatly minimize comparisons and competition, which are so damaging to young children. It also does wonders for a Kindergartner’s self-esteem to be admired and looked up to by the younger children. The traditional Kindergartner, by contrast, only has children who are 5, by September 1st. In a room full of 5 year olds, only a few can be leaders.
The key concept in Montessori is the child’s interest and readiness for advanced work. If a child is not developmentally ready to go on, she is not left behind or made to feel like a failure. Our goal is to ensure that our children develop at a pre-determined rate, but to ensure that whatever they do, they do well. Most
Montessori children master tremendous amount of information and skills. Even in the rare case where one of our children may have not made as much progress as we would have wished, he will usually be moving along steadily at his own pace and feel good about himself as a learner.
The core of the Pre-K/ Kindergartner Curriculum is Academic achievement, Spiritual development and Grace and Courtesy. To practice Grace and Courtesy skills in the middle of the Year your Pre-K/Kindergartner will visit a very fine restaurant to practice Fine Dining Skills.
The Language Curriculum includes oral language development, written expression, reading, the study of grammar, and creative dramatics. The language materials include objects and pictures, to be named, matched, labeled and classified to aid vocabulary development. Textured letters allow the child to feel and see the alphabet. Phonics and the moveable alphabet lead the child toward reading.
The development of the concept that written words are actual thoughts set down on paper. (This takes children much longer than most people realize).
Selected Phonetic, decodable readers will be accessible to your child once they have been placed on a reading level.
Children will be introduced to Handwriting in manuscript initially and once they have mastered manuscript, cursive handwriting will be the next step. All children will have a handwriting journal to practice handwriting skills. If your child is unable to write letters, he will be tracing and completing metal insets.
Children begin to spell using the Moveable Alphabet to sound out and spell words as they are first learning to read. They take “dictation.” Dictation is spelling words that are called out by the teacher. The sequence of spelling, as is with all language skills, begins much earlier than is traditional in this country, during a time when children are spontaneously interested in language.
The study of grammar almost immediately begins after the child begins to read, during the sensitive period when he is spontaneously interested in language. It continues over several years until mastered. The idea is to introduce grammar to the young child has he is first learning how to put thoughts down on paper, when the process is natural and interesting, rather than waiting until the student is much older and finds the work tedious.
The Montessori math materials, are concrete manipulative. The manipulatives, show the child to internalize the concept of number, symbol, sequence, operations and memorization of basic facts. The 4 Basic Math Operations will be introduced, introduction to the decimal system, linear and skip counting, money work and telling time.
The children are given an introduction to physical and cultural geography through the use of wooden puzzle maps and other activities. Studies about countries and other activities with objects and snacks from other countries, and international celebrations are all a part of the geography curriculum.
There will be nature related activities. Studies of plants and animals include parts of various plants and animals, habitats, solar system and weather conditions that support particular plants and animals.
The Practical Life exercises enhance the development of task organization and cognitive order, through care of self-care of the environment, exercises of grace and courtesy, and refinement of physical movement and coordination. This includes daily living tasks, such as pouring juice, polishing shoes, sweeping and buttoning a shirt. To the child, these are meaningful activities that involve caring for self and other people in the environment. They promote to develop in the very young child a strong and realistic sense of independence and self-reliance. They also help children to concentrate, to expand their attention span and improve their eye-hand coordination.
Working carefully and neatly
Learning home address and telephone number
Pouring liquids without spilling
Using knives and scissors with good control
Putting materials away on the shelves where they belong when finished
Dusting, polishing washing just about anything, floors tables, silver
Sweeping floors and rugs
Caring for plants and animals
Table setting-serving yourself and others table manners
Using common household materials
Caring for young children
The sensorial materials enable the child to, order, classify, seriate, and describe sensory impressions as it relates in length, width, temperature, mass color, etc. These exercises help children develop their sense of logic and concentration.
The attendance policy for your Kindergartner is very crucial. Your child may not have more than 15 excused/unexcused absences or tardies. 15 Tardies will equal one absence. More than 15 unexcused/excused tardies or absences will result in not receiving a Certificate of Achievement for your Kindergarten year. Your Kindergartner will have to complete 2 weeks of our Summer Session in order to receive a Certificate if they have more than 5 or more unexcused absences or tardies. Possible non- participation in the Graduation Ceremony may result in your child having excessive tardies and absences. If your child is out or is tardy for any reason a follow-up letter must be given and will be placed in your child’s file.
Your Pre-K/Kindergartner will have Homework issued once a week. Homework will be issued on Friday and will be due on Wednesday of the following week. If your child is unable to hold a pencil with the correct pencil grip, he will have some suggested activities that he can do at home until he is able to hold the pencil correctly.
Field Trips will be scheduled according to Unit Studies. Students will have 3 Scheduled Field Trips during Academic School Year. All children enrolled in the Pre-K/Kindergarten program must attend all scheduled Field Trips as it is a part of their academic achievement.
All children in our Pre- K/ Kindergarten Program are expected to have stellar performance and discipline. The Kindergartners are the ROLE MODELS that the younger children will look up to. Therefore, discipline problems will not be tolerated. If your child is having a persistent Discipline problem, Parents will be advised to attend additional Educational Workshops.