The Children’s House is a unique experience for children ages 3 through 6 years old. The program is designed as a 3- or 4-year cycle. The child begins as a 3-year-old and leaves the classroom after completing their Kindergarten year. The children construct knowledge by interacting with the Prepared Environment. The classroom includes Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Art, Cosmic and Peace. Children also enjoy extracurricular activities: Spanish Language and Culture, Physical Education, and Music. There is ample opportunity for Outdoor Activities and Gross Motor Development.
Classes gather for three hours/five days per week. This cycle of learning provides an enriching environment for the development of concentration, coordination, order, and independence, as well as academic development in the curriculum areas.
Practical Life is the child’s first introduction into the Montessori classroom. In many ways, it connects the child’s classroom to their home. It includes having a snack, hand washing, dishwashing, cleaning their workspace and self-care. Practical Life activities set the foundation for the other curriculum areas.
The Sensorial area is divided by the different senses. It further aids in developing their sense of order. It encompasses the study of color, shapes, discrimination of size, texture, and sound. Sensorial language is introduced through the Montessori 3 period lesson. This includes presentation of new concepts, repetition, and demonstration of mastery.
The Art area features beginning lessons on how to use art tools such as glue, scissors, hole punchers, stencils, pencils, crayons, and markers. This allows the child to freely explore their creativity. The children are introduced to a general appreciation of art including self expression, techniques, basic art projects and Art History.
The Language area focuses on beginning auditory and visual discrimination of sound and symbol. This consists of matching, categorizing, sequencing, opposites, rhyming, storytelling, phonetic reading, writing and grammar.
In the Math area, children build their mathematical minds. Using concrete materials that can be manipulated, they begin to internalize critical thinking skills. Math starts with basic one to one correspondence, counting, symbol recognition, operations, the decimal system, fractions, money, time, and measurement.
In the Cosmic area, geography, culture, science, history and nature are presented. This allows the children to understand their world and their place in it. Again, these topics are presented concretely with materials that can be held and manipulated. Children learn about landforms, continents, and countries. They are exposed to different cultures of people. Basic science ideas of living & nonliving, plant & animal, vertebrates & invertebrates are introduced as well as life cycles of plant and animals. The Scientific Method is introduced through fun science experiments.
Maria Montessori believed peace instruction and practice should start with the young child. Our Peace area helps develop conflict resolution, social skills, kindness, and an opportunity to build inner peace.
The children move through the different areas of the classroom while also having individual and group lessons from the Montessori Guides. We encourage children to observe peers. There are opportunities to work alone, in pairs or groups. Children move on to new lessons as they are ready and work at their own pace. Younger children learn from older children. A community of warmth and support is created that promotes kindness and peace.
“Education begins at birth and never ends. If the children’s developmental needs are met, children will be able to maximize their potentials, whatever they may be.” Maria Montessori
Students in the Children’s House are referred into the Kindergarten Program through teacher recommendation. The kindergarten year is the time when many of the earlier lessons come together and become a permanent part of the young child’s understanding. Through the Montessori method your child started as a novice, grew to an apprentice and now in their Kindergarten year they become a leader.
The kindergarten curriculum is carefully structured and integrated to demonstrate the connections among the different areas. The year highlights critical thinking, creative writing, and research-based projects. In Montessori your child continues to set the pace for his or her own education and developmental growth.
Kindergarten is an extension of the Primary classroom. Monday and Friday are 1/2 days (8:45-11:45 or 12:45-3:45), while Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are full days (8:45 – 3:45). On these longer days children continue working through the Montessori work cycle within their classroom.
It is not mandatory, by Pennsylvania Law, for a child to be enrolled in a Kindergarten Program to go to first grade the following year. Students enrolled in Montessori programs must complete the 3-6 program including Kindergarten to advance to the Academy.
Children may not be enrolled in the Montessori School and in a public/private kindergarten program during the same school year.
The criteria for consideration are as follows:
- Chronological Age
- Social and Emotional Readiness
- Academic Readinessa
- Physical Development
- MUST be potty-trained