Reaching for the Stars!
As children reach the age of 3 years old and indicate signs of readiness, they will begin the transition into the preschool program. Our preschool ratio is 1:10. Children are sponges of learning at these ages and we've designed our preschool program to expose children to various learning opportunities in their environment.
Preschoolers are entering a time when independence is flourishing and their curiosity about the world around them makes them eager to learn. The Montessori philosophy seeks to encourage a child’s desire to learn as well as to help them develop confidence in their own individual interests and abilities by preparing an environment full of opportunities for exploration.
Each of our preschool classrooms will be “mixed ages” – with children from the age of three to five. As Montessori has shown, children benefit from this setting through the development of mentor/mentoree relationships. This process enables preschoolers to gain an understanding for community and relationships. Your child’s classroom will be prepared with Montessori materials in the various area of study including: sensorial, practical life, mathematics, language arts, science and geography. During “work” time, your preschooler will have the opportunity to explore the materials based on their current interests and developmental levels. The Montessori materials are inter-connected, and through the process of mastering one material, the child will be preparing themselves for the next. The materials are designed in such a way that the pincer grasp and wrist movement required for writing is practiced throughout. And often while a child is working intently on a material in one area, an underlying focus is present that is teaching them a skill from another.
Incorporated with the Montessori method is Kindergarten preparedness. Our preschool teachers have had the opportunity to speak with Kindergarten teachers and have been told that the keys to Kindergarten preparedness are: listening skills, the ability to work quietly and important social skills such as sharing and getting along with their peers. Each preschool classroom will have “group time” each day that will enable your child to practice these skills while learning about the days of the week, months of the year and other themes of study that are covered.
As part of the phonetical approach to learning to read, preschoolers will participate in activities around the Letter of the Week, the highlight of which is “Letter Bag Day” – when each child brings a bag of items from home that start with the letter. Through these activities, children move from recognition of the letters, to understanding how to write the letters and the sound they make, and into beginning to read. Allowing each child to move through this process at their own pace breeds success and builds confidence.
Arts and crafts, dramatic play and music and movement activities are incorporated into each day, as well. And because preschoolers have ample energy – they will have daily opportunities for outdoor play and large muscle activities.
To expand their learning environment and to continue to introduce them to the world around them – they will participate in various “field trips” throughout the year. Besides on site visits from the fireman, the dentist and other community professionals – the preschoolers will have the opportunity to go on field trips away from school. They will visit such places as the apple orchard and the pumpkin patch; experience live plays; go bowling; and more!
Click here to find out more about our Morning Preschool program.
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