Ages 3 - 6 years
Ratio: 1-8 with a maximum of 8
The Montessori Casa program provides a prepared environment for the children. The materials used in the classroom are based on the pedagogy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, and help the child in the learning process. Spontaneous and self-directed learning is fostered in this non-competitive environment. Children are free to work independently or in groups with their peers, gaining important social skills. Self-esteem and confidence develop as children explore with the materials and master important developmental skills. There are 5 different areas of the Montessori Curriculum in the Casa Program.
Practical Life exercises are the most important part of the Montessori classroom. These activities offer children the ability to master everyday living experiences. They lay the foundation for sequential thinking, concentration, coordination, abstract understanding, and self-confidence. The children are drawn to and delighted by detailed exercises that offer them the ability to control their environment, and achieve the independence they need to function in the world around them.
Sensorial activities help the child make sense of the impressions they perceive from the world around them. These specifically designed materials define weight, size, shape, colour, sound, smell and texture. With an awareness of these concepts, the child develops clear and detailed vocabulary guided by their teachers.
The Mathematics materials provide a concrete understanding of number concepts and operations. The materials allow the child to explore the two aspects of a number - quantity and symbol. There are opportunities for further discovery of the Decimal system, and the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This hands-on approach to mathematics allows the child to experience, rather than memorize. The children work through exercises that lead to a more abstract understanding of mathematical operations, terminology and concepts.
Children are introduced to the phonetic sounds of the letters, which gives them the tools they need to understand written language. Tracing letter shapes made of sand paper and working with metal insets prepare children for the mechanical part of the writing. The language materials introduce the phonetic sounds of each letter in the alphabet. Using these sounds the child is able to build words, thus begins the process of reading. Along with preparatory exercises in Practical Life and Sensorial Education, language materials also foster muscle control for printing. When ready, children are encouraged to create stories that demonstrate the expressive part of writing. Students begin reading during this stage of development, and proceed at their own pace. Grammar and different parts of speech are taught with concrete examples that keep the children more engaged with the concepts.
Cultural activities open the child’s eyes to the dynamic and diverse world around them. These materials include the subjects of Geography, History, Zoology, Botany, and Science. Children really enjoy learning about different cultures and traditions, tasting food from different countries, learning their songs, dances and more. Activities such as music, art, physical education and field trips are included as part of the curriculum.