Pre-School Program (Ages 3 - 5)
In order that a child may gain the maximum benefit from the Montessori program, it is recommended that he start at the age of 2 1/2 or 3 and attend the school for three successive years (or four years in the case of a child who starts very young). In this way, he will have the time and the opportunity to work through the vast array of Montessori equipment, in its intended sequence.
The practical life curriculum allows the child to develop a meaningful degree of independence and self-discipline. It also sets a pattern for a lifetime of good work habits and a sense of responsibility. This process helps them develop an inner sense of order and a higher ability to concentrate and follow a complex sequence of steps.
The sensorial curriculum is designed to help the child focus their attention more carefully on the physical world, exploring with each of his senses, the subtle variations in the properties of objects.
A whole language approach to reading, composition, and literature is used in the Montessori classroom. Dr. Montessori's research confirmed that children learn best by touch and manipulation, not repeating what they are told. Her manipulative approach to teaching reading, is as painless and simple a process as learning to speak. As soon as children, no matter how young they are, show the slightest interest- we begin to teach them how to read. When they are ready, they pull it all together and are able to read and write on their own.
Montessori students use hands on learning materials that make abstract concepts clear and concrete. This approach offers a logical strategy for helping students understand and develop a sound foundation in math and geometry. We use the "Unified Math Approach" which introduces the students to the fundamentals of arithmetic, geometry and algebra. We do not arbitrarily separate arithmetic, algebra plane and solid geometry. They are all integrated in the math curriculum. The entire purpose of the Montessori math curriculum is to make the abstract concrete, until the child can visualize mathematical processes at work. Step by step, the materials become less concrete and more symbolic.
Science is an integral element of the Montessori curriculum. Among other things, it represents a way of life: a clear thinking approach to gathering information and problem solving. The scope of the Montessori science curriculum includes a sound introduction to botany, zoology, physics, chemistry, geology and astronomy.
History, Geography and Cultural Activities
We are all members of the human family. Our roots lie in the distant past, and history is the story of our common heritage. Our goal is to develop a global perspective and study history and world cultures. As early as three years of age the students work with specially designed maps and learn names of the continents and countries.
Most Montessori schools introduce a foreign language to develop an appreciation for the cultures of the second language, and to be aware of the different languages and cultures of the world. At MCC we expose our children to a variety of languages and cultures, using a variety of methods and instruction forms.