Our preschool program is a traditional Montessori curriculum, with an emphasis on Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics. We also incorporate art, music, and cultural activities.
The child is attracted to activities that give him independence and control of his own life. One of the most important needs of a young child is to develop his muscles and coordinate his movements. This need is addressed through Practical Life exercises such as sweeping, polishing, carrying and pouring water, and other common activities. Special Montessori materials enable the child to practice tying, buttoning, snapping, and the use of many other fastening devices. The purpose of these exercises is to develop concentration, the ability to pay attention to details as the child follows a regular sequence of actions and learns good working habits. These activities provide the very foundation on which the child approaches more intricate academic exercises.
Sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom are designed to sharpen the senses of the young child and enable the child to understand the many impressions he receives through them. Each of the Sensorial materials isolates one defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound, or smell. The Montessori Sensorial materials help the child to distinguish, categorize, and relate new information to what he already knows.
The Montessori child begins reading when he is ready and proceeds at his own pace. His experiences in Practical Life and Sensorial education serve as a preparation for this. With cut-out letters, the child builds his own words on a mat. The materials free him from the fatigue of his still developing writing skills, and yet still gives him the opportunity to pursue his interest in words. These activities serve as a preparation for the time when the child assimilates what he knows and begins writing.
The materials for Mathematics introduce the concept of quantity and its symbols, the numbers 0 through 9. The quantity is introduced by a series of rods which the child can count and compare. He matches sets of symbol cards with the rods. Using a variety of beads and symbol cards, the child becomes familiar with the numbers as a decimal system, including concrete experiences with the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These exercises not only teach the child to calculate, but they provide a deep understanding of how numbers function.