Early Childhood Curriculum

In the Practical Life area, young children learn the skills necessary for care of self and care of the environment, as well as applying lessons of grace and courtesy in everyday life.  They begin to focus and concentrate on the activities they choose, learn how to work independently and in small groups, begin to coordinate their muscles and movements, and develop an order and sequence in the cycle of work they are attending to.  Children work with and complete activities that are both practical and appealing, such as pouring, sewing, and cooking.  They discover and correct their own mistakes, and are able to complete activities containing a number of sequential steps.  Children will refine their small motor control which will prepare them for Writing, and will develop a sense of order which will prepare them for seeing relationships in Math and Language.  As they begin to take care of themselves and their environment, children will gain self-confidence and independence.  They will be able to zip, button, etc., enabling them to put on their outer clothing.  They will prepare and eat their snack when they are hungry, clean the snack table to prepare for the next person, and respect and help each other.  

Through the Sensorial curriculum, young children learn the skills necessary for the refinement of the five senses -- sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.  Concrete experiences with geometric sizes and shapes and their proper names help children to internalize the perception and begin to build the concepts that will be necessary in the academic areas.   Children refine visual discrimination and recognize likeness and differences in sizes.  They further refine the tactile and olfactory sense using materials that are concrete.  They work successfully with rough and smooth activities, hard and soft activities and matching smelling activities (spices, fruit extracts, herbs, etc.)  Children refine their auditory sense and are able to hear differences in sounds, match and grade the sound cylinders, match the musical scale by use of Montessori bells, and eventually match their voice to the tone of the bells.                                                                                                                                           

In the Language area, children learn the skills necessary for Reading and Writing.  The Language area provides opportunities to hear and use precise vocabulary, and uses concrete materials that are supportive of the spoken language.  There are early language activities as well as the twenty-six letters of the alphabet and their sounds.  Children will go on to express themselves through writing, and later will begin composing words, sentences and whole stories.  Children learn that language is a way of storing knowledge about the world.  They develop an awareness of phonics, and will recognize the sounds of the alphabet by learning to identify initial and final sounds in words.  The Montessori Sandpaper Letters and then the Movable Alphabet will help children to accomplish these goals.  Children explore and interact with a variety of written materials in order to become enthusiastic, independent readers.  They will spend time in the reading area, begin to write in journals, and begin composing their own stories in writing.

In the Mathematics curriculum, children are given the opportunity to work with, to manipulate, and to observe the effects of their actions.  In the Math area, children will understand the concepts of sorting and patterning.  They develop an understanding of quantity and the relationship/association of quantity and symbol by identifying and writing numerals 0-100, understanding one to one correspondence of objects and associating quantity and symbol from 1-9000.  Children begin to explore the meaning of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using the Golden Bead materials.  They will explore the concepts of height, length, and weight, using estimation, common objects and non-standard units.  They will explore concept of fractions, and will be introduced to and explore problem solving strategies used to solve mathematical problems with the use of activities involving real objects.  Finally, they will use oral and written language skills to clarify, organize and extend mathematical learning.

The Science curriculum is divided into three categories – Life Science, Physical Science, and Geography/History.  Young children learn that Science is a way of making sense of the natural world.  They become familiar with the natural world through hands-on experiences and concrete materials.  Children will become respectful and aware of the unity, diversity and fragility of the world.  They will identify and classify familiar objects as living and non-living; observe and identify the parts, the needs, and the growth of plants; observe and identify animals in their habitats, and discuss their basic needs.  Children will observe and compare the physical properties of objects (i.e., color, size, size, shape, weight, texture) and come to analyze and compare properties of matter in small and large amounts.  In the Geography area, children will understand that the earth is made up of land, air and water, with hands-on experiences with globes, maps, land forms, cultural enrichment and the cosmos.  They will discover different cultures through books, language, food, dance, and festivals.