the school year starts on september 11, 2017 and ends on june 7, 2018
These materials give the child opportunities to care for themselves as well as their environment around them. The purpose of these activities is to aid in discipline, organization, independence, and self esteem through concentration on a precise and completed cycle of work. Practical life exercises are the fundamental building blocks for the construction of the Montessori curriculum. All the practice of these life lessons fall into the following categories: care of person, care of the environment, fine motor development, gross motor skills, and grace and courtesy.
These materials are designed to support the development of all five senses. All information young children take in goes through their senses. By refining their senses, we are helping them achieve more detailed forms of classification in their brains. Each of the sensorial materials isolates one defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, or size (many in sets of 10). The Montessori sensorial materials help the child to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate to new information he already knows. Maria Montessori believed that these materials help increase the child’s intellectual capacity.
These materials introduce children to one on one correspondence, numeration, sequencing of numbers, place value, and beginning arithmetic operations. Operations are experienced concretely through manipulation of materials. The materials for mathematics introduce the concept of quantity and its symbol. Using a variety of beads and symbol cards, the child becomes familiar with the numbers as the decimal system, including concrete experiences with the operations of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. These exercises not only teach the child to calculate, but they provide a deep understanding of how numbers function.
Our language-based materials prepare children for reading with a multi-sensory approach including phonics and language experiences. Children learn oral language naturally – they absorb what is spoken in their environment. The Montessori child begins to read when she is ready and proceeds at her own pace. Her experiences in practical life and sensorial education serve as preparation for this. The sandpaper letters provide a phonetic basis for reading. The language materials are carefully sequenced so that the child gains a gradually increasing awareness of the rules of phonics.
These materials include physical and cultural geography. Starting with the solar system and then focusing on Earth, children learn all about the planet we live on. With large wooden puzzle maps, the children gradually learn the names of the continents and their countries along with information about these places. The children explore customs, food, music, and language of other countries to give them awareness about the world around them.
In science, the child’s natural curiosity is stimulated through discovery projects, experiments, and exploration of our outdoor environment. The outdoor environment works hand in hand with the indoor environment through gardening, life cycles, and classification of plants and animals. These activities help children draw their own conclusions and put an emphasis on love, appreciation, and respect for all living things.
We happen to be smitten with Maria Montessori’s child development methods and find it fascinating that a woman born in Italy well before the turn of the century (1870) could so beautifully articulate a theory and practice of early childhood education that would continue to ring so true for generations to come. The Montessori method feels relevant, applicable, and even cutting edge today. The theory began to gain international attention by the early 1900s due to Maria Montessori’s successes with underprivileged migrant children in Rome’s slum district. Her work and legacy continue to be very much alive long after her death by her son Mario as well as countless Montessori educators around the world.
The Montessori method is in essence a child centric approach that emphasizes each child’s cognitive, social/emotional, and physical development. There is a focus on maintaining uninterrupted concentration on a task, which is much more easily achieved when children have the autonomy to select their work, thereby ensuring meaningful and deep engagement. The approach also believes in negotiables within non-negotiables, that is, freedom and choice within clearly defined structures.
Children’s own discovery is facilitated through their engagement in their work rather than from constant direct instruction from an educator. In this way, educators function as facilitators of learning rather than authoritative teachers. This approach shifts the doing to the child (and does not assume the child is an empty vessel needing to be filled with knowledge) and cultivates self esteem and intrinsic motivation in addition to enhanced cognition and overall development.
Most importantly, Montessori programs correctly executed focus on respect for the child, working with great intention, and offering rich environments for exploration and learning.
|the nest offers weekly extracurricular classes in the way of yoga, music, physical education, and art as part of our core program.||music:||monday mornings|
|physical education:||thursday mornings|
At a special time each day, all children are encouraged to take time to rest, relax, and reflect. Children practice mindful meditation (also known as secular meditation or breathing on purpose) on a daily basis to help them calm their bodies, re-center, and self regulate big emotions. Mindful meditation encompasses our teaching of peace, love and kindness through our thoughts, words and actions. Peace is at the core of our curriculum, and we use this time as a reminder to be still and listen to the world around us. We listen to sounds and stories from different cultures and start and end meditation and reflection in silent sitting…
|8:45 – 9:15||children dropped off|
|9:15 – 9:25||morning circle|
|9:30 – 10:05||outside time|
|10:05 – 10:15||circle|
|10:15 – 11:30||work|
|11:30 – 11:40||read or circle activity|
|11:40 – 11:50||morning children picked up|
|11:50 – 12:00||afternoon children dropped off|
|12:00 – 12:10||afternoon circle|
|12:10 – 12:45||lunch|
|12:45 – 1:30||outside time|
|1:30 – 1:45||mindfulness|
|1:45 – 2:45||work|
|2:45 – 3:00||circle time / pick up|