Children’s House (Preschool-Kindergarten)
Children’s House multi-age classrooms are designed for preschool (ages 2.9 through 5) and kindergarten students. Each class is organized by academic areas, such as math, language and cultural. Children progress through the curriculum at their own pace. Lessons are provided individually and in groups. The multi-age classroom provides endless opportunities for your child to develop socially and academically.
Kindergarten students divide their time between the multi-age classroom and the Kindergarten classroom. The two environments, though intentionally different, facilitate and support the enormous growth that happens in the kindergarten year. Students benefit from a more rigorous academic program that allows them to study specific topics in depth and complete long-term project work. Kindergarten students are leaders in their multi-age classroom and have additional responsibilities as role models.
The school day starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:15 a.m.
Grace and Courtesy (Social and Emotional Learning)
Grace and courtesy build the foundation upon which social and emotional learning takes place in the Children’s House classroom. Your child will practice skills that will help to develop positive friendships, resolve conflict, manage feelings, and be aware of personal boundaries. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning).
The Practical Life lessons are the fundamental building blocks upon which the entire Montessori philosophy is constructed. Work in this area helps to develop your child’s coordination and concentration, while fostering your child’s natural sensitivity to order. Practical Life also includes the integration of graceful movement with courteous behavior so that children are mindful of themselves within their greater environment. Children are empowered with the ability to choose work that is of interest to them. Practical Life nurtures independence and a love of learning building the foundation upon which success in all of the more “academic” areas of a Montessori program are achieved.
The Sensorial curriculum is designed to enable your child to discover and isolate the use of their senses (touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing). Sensory input provides information to your child’s brain where it is processed for future use. Lessons in this area help your child to develop the skills of observation, comparison, judgment, reasoning and decision-making skills.
The Children’s House math materials allow young children to perform complex mathematical operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as well as an introduction to geometric shapes and solids. Children engage with concrete materials which enable them to learn otherwise abstract concepts. Your child will receive math lessons sequentially and progress through the curriculum at an individualized pace.
“Montessori’s math materials are designed to lead your child step by step from the most concrete representation to pure abstraction.” – Michael Duffy, author of Math Works: Montessori Math and the Developing Brain.
At this age, your child is in the “sensitive period” for language acquisition according to Dr. Montessori. Children delight in conversation and begin to associate sounds, symbols, and meaning, the foundation of both reading and writing. The Montessori classroom is a language-rich environment where your child will develop the love of literature, reading, writing, and expressive communication. This foundation will build strong communication skills, which are critical to your child’s success in life.
Cultural Studies include Geography, History and Science. We seek to create awareness in the children regarding the wonders of nature and our world. In the classroom, children have a vast array of topics to explore through experimentation and project-based work. Your child will appreciate that our world is made of many different countries, inhabited by people of various cultures. Dr. Montessori believed that teaching young children about our world and other cultures would lead to tolerant adults who value peace and respect all of nature’s resources.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
Children’s House students experience STEM through the use of the Seeds of STEM curriculum developed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Each kit represents a particular field of engineering. The lessons are adaptable and meant to be taught as a comprehensive unit culminating with a design challenge. In Children’s House the students also experience STEM activities through the different areas of their science curriculum such as Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science.
Students in the Kindergarten program participate in a weekly STEM class. This instructional time develops an understanding of STEM while formally introducing the Engineering Design Process (EDP). Stories and challenge activities are used to encourage students to identify problems, brainstorm solutions and in some cases, design a prototype. Kindergarten students then move on to experience a series of CODE.org unplugged activities in preparation for pair programming using IPADS. Proper use and care of technology is also emphasized.
Kindergarten students are introduced to the exciting world of art through lessons that directly relate to world around them and the diverse topics they are studying in the classroom. Weekly, students learn how to analyze artwork and explore a wide variety of materials, from oil pastels to watercolor. The projects are geared towards building valuable fine motor skills and artistic skills. Each spring, students select several works for display in the annual Student Art Show.
- Experiment with a wide variety of art materials and techniques including: tempera, watercolor, pen and ink, wax-resist, collage, beads, oil pastels, tissue paper, and sculpture
- Complete projects that build a solid foundation in areas such as drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture
- Learn how to break down complex subjects into simple shapes, allowing for more realistic drawings of the natural world including humans, animals, and trees
- Share materials and speak about the artwork of others in a respectful manner, building a safe environment in which creativity can blossom
Each week, your child will enjoy receiving four books of various genres including stories, poetry and non-fiction. Children look forward to the surprise of opening their library bag to see which reading adventures await them! Kindergarten students visit the library in small groups to become comfortable using the library resources and selecting an additional book. Children’s House parents frequently volunteer in the library and are welcome to visit with their children to borrow additional parent and student resources.
The music teacher visits each Children’s House classroom twice a week to lead the children in a rich variety of carefully chosen singing games and activities, using the framework First Steps in Music. Movement, play and laughter are vital ingredients in every music lesson. Students delight in singing independently, as well as a group, and playing classroom instruments like shaker eggs, jingles, and rhythm sticks. Children’s House students perform as a level at our U.N. Day Celebration in October. Each December they present a simple Winter Concert. Kindergarten students enjoy stretching their musical capabilities in an additional weekly music lesson tailored to fit their advancing skill level. Each spring the Kindergarten students prepare several songs to perform together at their Moving-Up ceremony in June.
The mission of our physical education program is to provide students with a safe and positive physical environment while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Kindergarten students participate in a variety of cooperative activities and games which will develop basic locomotor skills and physical ability. Meanwhile, the students will learn to follow complexed instruction, act as leaders, and contribute appropriately within a team. Kindergarten students meet once a week throughout the academic year.
During the weekly class, your child is introduced to Spanish language and culture through games, stories, songs, poems, and visual-tactile associations.
- Identify basic words: numbers, colors, weather, body parts, animals, and holiday and seasonal words
- Comprehend and respond to basic questions in the spoken language
- Gain an understanding of the culture of Spanish-speaking countries