Your children love to show off their independence, and Practical Life is one area that directly supports it. We build the foundations of life skills through works aimed at care of self, care of the environment, fine and gross motor development, grace and courtesy, and social skills. Work in Practical Life builds a strong foundation in concentration, coordination (including pincer grip), independence and order (including left to right and top to bottom progressions), which in turn sets children up for success in all areas both in and out of the classroom.
Young children in our program learn by using their senses, and refining their ability to discriminate through the use of their senses enhances their learning in everything from art to math and language. Sensory learning develops all seven of a child’s naturally occurring senses: tactile (touch), visual (sight), auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), vestibular (balance/movement) and proprioceptive (body awareness in space). We do this through set recognition, repetition, and exactness in perception and sequencing. Many Sensorial materials integrate an element of base ten, which helps prepare your children for their work in Math.
Your children will explore verbal expression, build their vocabularies, and grow their comprehension of language. Through multifaceted storytelling, they’ll learn to love literature and stories, which is their greatest motivator for learning to read. Young children start with foundational skills in pre-reading, sensitizing their abilities to visually discriminate the fine differences of letters, and pre-writing, building hand muscles and developing a pincer grip. They’ll learn the phonetic sounds, which leads to composing and reading short words, and eventually longer words and sentences. Formal handwriting leads to written expression of ideas on paper as children learn to put together the pieces of their own stories.
We feel it is important for our children to build a firm foundation of math and numbers through hands-on activities long before they move into abstract computations. Our children learn about numbers through touching, moving and quantifying physical objects. We introduce them to place value in the decimal system, and they use that for math operations including addition, multiplication, subtraction and division.
Living Montessori children build a basic understanding of the world they live in through group and individual experiments. Science cultivates their natural curiosity and thirst for exploration as they develop the skills of observation, experimentation, and critical and creative thinking:
Our children begin to explore geography with an orientation to their own environment and then move on to the world map, the continents, land and water formations, and geology. Through our cultural studies, they will study history, build their concept of time (past, present, future) and learn about influential historical figures. Children also get their first taste of social studies with an introduction to the concept of culture, exploration of various world cultures, cultural pluralism and current events.
We believe in teaching children not only about core academic subjects, but also about how to build interpersonal skills and be good citizens. This is achieved through guided practice in self-awareness, emotional awareness, emotional regulation, respect for self and others, self-control, cooperation and team building. Social skills come from not only understanding what to do with others, but also through awareness of why we do things and what their effect is on others and ourselves.
Through exercise and play, your child will develop gross motor skills and proficiencies. They’ll build their hand-eye coordination through various sports and games, as well as develop their balance, stability, coordination and body awareness through yoga and dance. Outdoor time on our nature-inspired playground is an integral part of our daily schedule.
Your child will explore art as a process. They’ll develop their artistic expression using various mediums including paint, collage, crayons, pencils and textiles. They also will learn about basic elements of art including shapes, lines, textures and styles, with study of various famous artists to support these concepts.
Living Montessori children learn that music is not only fun to sing, but that it also makes use of various structural components including tempo, rhythm, dynamics, echo and pitch. Choreographing songs with movements refines children’s fine and gross motor skills while also supporting memorization and group participation. These skills are all demonstrated each year at our annual Winter Performance.