Preschool (2.5-5 Years Old)
|Full Days||7:30 AM-6:00PM|
|School Days||8:30 AM-3:30 PM|
|Half Days||8:30-11:30 AM, 12:30-3:30 PM, 12:30-6:00 PM|
Dayspring provides for facilitating fundamental growth of the preschooler as he/she is more and more becoming equipped to face life as an active, aware, communicating child. We also introduce him and her to the world of Science, Geography, Mathematics, Language, Sensorial Activities, Practical Life Activities, Art and Music through a curriculum designed to bring each child to his/her best level. The introduction and ongoing learning experiences that follow come through working with hands-on, concrete materials. The child learns abstraction through understanding its application in the real world.
The Montessori classroom is designed to instill a love of learning, along with the independent motivation and means to pursue it. As they continue in this environment, they earn a sense of confidence in their own ability to figure things out. Their own developing sense of understanding provides a foundation for their future. These are academic skills that are essential for a good academic future, And it begins in the preschool classroom, as already the preschooler works on his/her own and begins to discover things for himself/herself.
The areas of the prepared Montessori environment at Dayspring are the following:
• Practical life area where children experience movements for sensory development. The exercises consist of children caring for themselves and the environment. Children learn daily life skills, such as taking off and putting on jackets and shoes, combing hair, washing hands, pouring water, sweeping, etc. Children also experience cutting, pasting, folding, and manipulating materials to improve small motor coordination. Children instinctively enjoy learning these skills, because they address the natural desire for order, the satisfaction in coordination, the comfort of repetition, and the pleasure of independence.
• Sensorial area where children’s sensory awareness in dimensions, sequencing, numerical discrimination and gradation, sounds, colors, shapes, sizes, smells, weights and touch are heightened. Children’s minds are awakened to mathematics in this area.
• Math area, where the provided materials are highly developed and sequenced, with proven effectiveness, that brings children to an abstract conceptual grasp of math. Children work with concrete manipulation of physical materials to understand abstraction of numerical and cardinal functions.
• Language area, where children develop a strong foundation for language and literacy. Children learn writing and reading through working with physical materials that correspond to the abstract language. They also learn and improve upon their spoken languages a normal part of the classroom experience, both one-on-one, and in group settings.
• Geography and science area, invites children to experience the different cultures of our planet. The children discover differences and similarities from all around the world and begin their cosmic task of understanding their world.
• Art area, where children are encouraged to utilize their innate creativity to paint, draw, color, and otherwise create art. By participating in the art area, children learn to apply their creativity, and to appreciate creativity in others, as well.
The directress (certified Montessori teacher) serves as a guide or coach to the child. She provides enough orientation to each material so that the child has a sense of how to proceed. The child then works with the material until he reaches the point of understanding and discovery on his own. The child has the freedom to choose where he wants to go, which materials he/she wants to work on. He/she may want to do a material over again, perhaps many times. The directress is trained to have heightened observation skills and can understand the learning process of the child. She knows when to step in and provide some suggestions or clarifications. The freedom of the child to discover through the use of the materials is always within the natural limits of using the materials as they are designed to be used, and the child is also required to follow the sequence of materials as intended. This provides a natural development of insights and growth of knowledge in preparation for the next steps.
Because the process is self-directed, the child learns to manage his own education and learns that education is his own responsibility. He also finds this to be satisfying and that ultimately he will know when he is ready, and which way he should go next.