(3 – 5 Years)
Children instinctively seek to care for themselves, their homes, and their natural environments. They want to feed themselves, sweep the floor, rake leaves and pour milk into their cup. What Dr. Montessori called “Practical Life” is a valuable component of the South Bay Montessori Preschool program. Children practice simple dressing exercises, cutting fruits and peeling vegetables. They help prepare and serve the morning snack. They plant and tend vegetables and flowers in the school’s garden, water and care for the class plants, and arrange fresh flowers. Through these activities, children develop coordination as well as self-reliance.
Sensorial materials isolate a defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, sound, temperature or smell, encouraging children to distinguish, organize and describe their experiences and impressions.
Montessori math materials enable children to understand concepts through concrete explorations. Once the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are familiar, the child is ready to work with fractions, elements of geometry and algebra, and problem solving on paper.
A phonetic approach to reading begins with sandpaper letters to identify sounds and shapes, and to trace letters, training the muscles needed for writing. With the movable alphabet, children construct words, phrases, sentences and stories in preparation for written expression.
Cultural exercises expose the child to geography, history, physical, and life science basics. The children gain an awareness of the world around them by exploring other countries, their customs, foods, languages, and wildlife. Through multicultural studies we lay a foundation of mutual understanding and tolerance. Music, art, foreign language, and physical education are part of the integrated cultural curriculum.
(Enriched Activities Included in the Curriculum at No Additional Cost!)
Our music program develops children’s awareness and love of music through singing, movement, and listening. Our curriculum includes basic theory, history, appreciation, and performance.
Learning a foreign language plays an important part of the Montessori experience. The children learn vocabulary and conversational skills through singing and games. Twice a week, our Language teacher provides the children with stimulating materials from flash cards to work sheets.
The foundation for art and drawing is the same as that for writing: exercises that develop the muscles of the fingers and hands for holding pencils and making controlled movements. In addition, the development of the senses through the sensorial exercises aid the child’s awareness and artistic appreciation of his environment. Montessori’s method to the arts is a good example of her indirect approach to learning, which leads to increased creativity.
We realize the importance and necessity of physical fitness as part of every child’s well being. Children enjoy creative movement and are offered lots of opportunity for a wide variety of physical skills such as bicycling, throwing and catching a ball, balancing on a beam, running, climbing, dancing, marching, etc.