The Casa Classroom
The Preschool classroom (Casa), for children between the ages of three to six, is a carefully prepared environment that encourages children to learn individually, at their own pace. Your child has extraordinary powers of mind. He or she possesses once-in-a-lifetime ability to simply absorb information from his or her environment, like a sponge. Dr. Montessori called this phenomenon "the absorbent mind". We have prepared a dynamic learning environment with a wealth of concrete, manipulative learning materials that encourage the child to discover and learn throughout this limited period of her life. Montessori teachers are trained to observe each individual child and to put her in touch with things she is most interested in learning; the results are joy, immense satisfaction and excitement about learning.
One of the most striking aspects of the Preschool classroom is its peacefulness. There is a deep sense of respect from the children towards others and from the teachers toward the children. Through "grace and courtesy" exercises, we teach children how to problem solve conflicts, how to act politely in varying situations and how to be kind and helpful to their friends. The result is a cohesive community of young children.
The multi age classroom allows younger children to have role models and older children opportunities for leadership. Traditional classrooms, where children are grouped according to chronological age, fosters leadership on children with outgoing personalities. In the Montessori preschool classroom, even the shyest five year old is thrust into a leadership role, because the younger children look up to him and ask for his help and assistance.
The youngest child fills her days with activities centred on "Practical Life". Here, she learns to sweep, bake, scrub, polish and care for all things in the environment. She experiments with sensorial materials that educate her visual, auditory and tactile senses. She plays vocabulary sound games and sings and dances when children gather for group activities.
As the child progresses in his experiences, he is introduced to sounds and symbols which lay the ground work for reading and writing in the future. He is introduced to numbers and the decimal system - with the most amazing concrete materials to show him the way. He learns about land and water forms, geometric figures, the political countries of the world; he learns about the parts of plants and animals and about music and art - at his own pace, in his own time.
It is during his third year (the traditional new entrants or year one) that everything comes to fruition for the child. Reading, writing, and mathematical understanding blossom from the many seeds that were planted in the previous two years. The child leaves the programme with a strong set of academic skills; but, far more importantly, with the attitude that learning is fun, exciting and boundless. He is now ready to move on to a primary setting or continue to a Montessori 6-12 programme.