Our Primary classroom, which we call the “Children’s House”, is for the age group of three to six years old. It is carefully designed for children to “learn by doing”. It is a calm, structured space where your child experiences a blend of freedom and discipline in a space specifically designed for his or her optimal development. This environment blends practical life and sensorial activities with social and academic skills.
The teachers present a variety of lessons, called “work”, to the children during the Montessori work cycle. These materials engage the children in the study of language, (phonics, spelling, writing, language, reading skills, and introductory level Spanish), math (one to one correspondence, numerals, the decimal system, and basic mathematical operations), culture and geography (puzzle maps, landforms, and the study of different countries), and science (botany, zoology). Art and music are integrated into the curriculum as well.
Our Kindergarten curriculum is taught using the Montessori Method in accordance with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do before going into First Grade.
Our school day begins promptly at 8:30 a.m., and a typical day in our Children’s House consists of a morning Circle Time, morning snack (served family style), the Montessori Work Cycle, outdoor time, lunch, nap/rest period, afternoon snack, and then the afternoon Enrichment Activity. The school day ends at 4:30 p.m. Care is available for children who arrive before 8:30 a.m. and those who remain with us after 4:30 p.m. Before Care activities consist of free play and socialization; however, there is a structured curriculum for the After Care program.
The children in this program are ready to start a more detailed curriculum. A child’s mind is developing at an enormous rate until around the age of ten; Maria Montessori called this the sensitive period or absorbent mind.
In our Pre-K and Kinder program, children are encouraged to work at their own pace and on a task as many times or for as long as they need to feel satisfied with it. The learning environment is divided into five major sections (Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, and Cultural) organized from left to right, top to bottom — just like the way we read and write. Practical Life work teaches life skills, further develop fine motors skills (preparing our students for writing), and promotes longer focus periods.
Sensorial work encourages children to learn by using their senses and activities in this section heighten those senses. It is also the beginning of future geometric tasks. Sensorial materials are very visibly pleasing, as well as pleasing to the touch, and helps students become more aware of their full environment, opening their minds up to more advanced thinking. Practical Life and Sensorial work are the first lessons presented to students in our Children’s House, and they remain open even after the students advance to the Language, Math & Cultural lessons. In the Language section, children work on phonetic sounds, basic parts of speech, and handwriting skills by using visually pleasing concrete materials in preparation for reading and writing. Math is taught from a global view such as what is a number and its place value using concrete materials to a more specific view in the abstract such as facts. In the Cultural section, children learn Zoology (the basic animal groups and parts), Botany (parts of plants as well as environment appreciation), and Geography (the continents and their parts and specific landforms). In addition, there is a Peace curriculum that promotes understanding and respect for self and others and Art appreciation.