Kindergarten (5-6 Years Old)
|Full Days||7:30 AM-6:00PM|
|School Days||8:30 AM-3:30 PM|
The Montessori kinder program is the start of a more academic experience. Montessori preschool prepares the child for seamless entrance into this level of learning. Having worked with sensorial materials, the child can easily make sense of the math concepts and these concepts are themselves also taught with hands-on materials. Having had the gentle, step-by-step linking of sounds and letters, the children are also comfortably ready for the final steps of learning to read and it comes easily.
With the introductory steps in preschool, some have already started reading and they do not feel that they have been taught. Rather, they feel that they have taught themselves to read and write. They are beginning to recognize groups of letters as words. They are given picture cards with the matching word written on the back. These are sight words. They practice over and over again, happy to be learning this new skill.
Writing comes along at a similar pace. When they are ready, children use simple, interesting topic suggestions, with coaching from their teacher, and write their own stories. This is done regularly, and they get to be good at it. They read kinder level books stocked in the class and write stories about what they read. Thus, they become readers and writers.
In Montessori schools, children really enjoy math. The constant linking of concepts to materials makes math much more comprehensible. It makes sense and it is user-friendly. At Dayspring, kinder children learn linear counting, the decimal system, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, four-digit addition, fractions, and story problems.
They also begin to learn more about the physical earth and universe around them. They learn about the animal kingdom including invertebrate and vertebrate animals, the five kinds of vertebrates, and parts of different animals. They also learn about the plant kingdom, including the parts of a tree, a flower, a leaf, roots, fruits, and a seed. They learn about the solar system. They do simple experiments, such as making a small volcano in the classroom and they give reports.
And finally, they also learn about the world as a geographical place, populated with people. They learn about countries of the world, not only to learn names of countries and cities and where they are located, but also other interesting and useful information. They learn that people are equal everywhere and learn to value different cultures, and enjoy learning about other cultures, people and languages.
A highly valued hallmark of Montessori is integrating more than one level of children together. Part of the purpose is to inspire and teach the younger children through the example of older children. But also it provides the way for older children to tutor younger children, which is normal and a deliberately planned arrangement. At every level, part of the personal experience of children is teaching, explaining, showing leadership and learning to nurture and be patient. The responsibility of teaching helps children learn the material at a higher level because they may well have the opportunity to teach it to someone else soon. This always adds another dimension of excitement and engagement.