3-6 years Half Day: 8:30 to 12:20 noon Full Day: 8:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Children from 3 – 6 years possess the incredible ability to absorb the world that surrounds them. Maria Montessori believed that these years are the most critical period for nurturing a child’s natural curiosity and for laying the foundation for the discipline and habits for all future developments.
The goal of Mountain West Montessori’s Children’s House is to nourish independence and to aid the children to move toward a mastery of self and the environment. The Montessori Children’s House classrooms are prepared environments designed to encourage children in their self-directed discovery of the world. Interest based activities encourage children to develop a love of learning and trust in their own ability to learn.
Fundamental to Montessori philosophy is the classroom with different age groups. Each Children’s House Classroom includes children ages three to six, and children may work individually or in small groups, learning from and sharing with one another. Our Children House Classrooms are held in open and bright settings and are surrounded by an acre of fruit tree, pecan trees with beautiful gardens. Each classroom has an average of 18 –24 children and one trained Guide (teacher) and one assistant.
A child of age three and four can attend the Half Day Program from 8:30 to 12:00 p.m. Four to six year old children can attend the full day program from 8:30 –2:30 p.m. These programs include working and developing in the following areas: Practical Life, sensorial, cultural, math and language activities.
The main goal of the Children’s House program is to help children develop a rapport with their environment and to support them as they develop physical, social and intellectual independence. The Children’s House Guide (teacher) is trained to be sensitive to the interest of each child and answer to the needs of each one as he is ready, by presenting carefully designed lessons and materials on a one-to-one basis.
Practical Life Skills
Practical life activities are important because they help children develop order, concentration, coordination, and independence. Practical skills are grouped into: care of self, care of the environment, control of movement, and grace and courtesy. Students take turns doing chores to maintain a clean and pleasant environment, learn tasks that teach fine motor skills and enjoy nature daily.
Children explore their environment through senses and when they are young, everything is new. Montessori’s sensorial materials helps students learn discrimination, classification and order which refines their senses and thus supports an awareness of their surroundings. Montessori sensorial development materials include a sequence that begins with: Cylinder Blocks or Knobbed Cylinders, the Pink Tower, and Brown Stair or Broad Stairs and moves to Red Rods or Long Stair and Knobless Cylinders, Sound Cylinders, Smelling Bottles and Touch Boards.
Mountain West Montessori takes advantage of our close proximity to the Texas/Mexico border. We teach in Spanish and English and incorporate many of the traditions from both sides of the bridges. In addition to celebrating our local customs, students study the cultures of their choices and present facts, food, costumes and crafts at our Peace Day.
Children are born with an innate ability to interpret the world in mathematical terms. In order to develop their talents, Guides introduce math at very early ages. Concrete objects introduce basic addition and subtraction concepts to prepare their brains for abstract concepts. Spindle Boxes and Teens Boards introduce assist with counting and the concept of zero; Teens Boards introduce numbers after ten and help develop place value and relationships between numbers.
Children have two periods of intense language development. Montessori observed that these periods occur from birth to five years old and then again from seven to nine years of age. The first language explosion occurs as students identify sounds and speech patterns; the second explosion builds on the patterns and turns into an increase in vocabulary, maturation of structure and experimentation with writing and reading.
Daily Children’s House Activities
8:15 – 8:30 Arrival
8:30 – 11:30 Learning with Guides (teachers)
11:30 – 12:00 Lunch
12:00- 12:30 Outdoor play time