THE KINDERGARTEN YEARS...
…are the exclamation point at the end of the essential learning years of age zero to six. During this stage, children become good examples to their classmates and become self-directed individuals as they move on. Our Montessori kindergarten program, designed for children age five to six, began in 2008. The program helps children master their interest in math, reading and writing before they move into first grade in public and private schools. Over the past five years, we have had many students graduate and these children are now excelling in mainstream schools in math, writing, reading, and most of these graduates are in accelerated programs in public schools. Sonnet offers a 5 half day or 5 full day program. We require children entering the 5 half day program to have completed at least 1 year of preschool with us prior to entering our kindergarten program.
We are frequently asked, “Why should I keep my child in Montessori through kindergarten?” We recommend the following articles for your reference. Please contact us for more information, we would be happy to discuss our kindergarten program with you.
The kindergarten program continues to explore practical life activities. It is often difficult for adults to appreciate the sense of accomplishment and pride that children take in mastering practical life skills. To the adult, care of the house and body are necessary chores. The young child, however, is attracted to these activities for very different reasons. They are meaningful, creative, filled with intricate movements and achievements that hold the child’s attention. They are easily understood from start to finish; they have visible, easily imitated movements; they appeal to the child’s will; they lead to greater physical skill, perfection of movement and concentration as well as self-discipline. These skills are all necessary for the child to succeed in higher learning.
In the Montessori classroom, there are four distinct groups of practical life exercises:
- Care of self (i.e. buttoning, zipping, combing, tying)
- Care of environment (i.e. cleaning, sweeping, gardening, polishing,)
- Grace and courtesy (i.e. the development of social relations such as greeting, serving, accepting, apologizing, thanking)
- Control of movement (i.e. balancing, “walking on the line”, playing the silence game)
LANGUAGE - FROM SPOKEN TO WRITTEN
Having learned the foundational concepts of identifying letters, forming words, the kindergarten child will now begin forming sentences, and whole stories using the moveable alphabet or writing in a journal. They also become familiar with the parts of a sentence through grammatical analysis. reading time and creative writing are encouraged.
By the end of the year, the child has studied sounds, letters, spelling, phonograms, memorized sight words, and reads books. They learn to write the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet and the numbers 1 through 1000 as well as practice cursive lower case and upper case letters of the alphabet.
SENSORIAL - EXPLORING THE WORLD
The world is color, size, dimension, shape, form, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Children live in a world of senses. In order to continue their creative task of development, children need to classify and express the impressions they have already received, Through sight, touch, sound, taste, and smell, the Montessori materials enable the child to clarify, classify, and comprehend their world.
MATHEMATICS - FROM CONCRETE TO ABSTRACT
Preschool-aged children have naturally mathematical minds. They have the capacity to reason, to calculate, and to estimate. They are intensely conscious of quantity, counting pebbles on the beach or cookies for dessert. The concrete Montessori mathematical materials allow these sensorial explorers to begin their mathematical journey from the concrete to the abstract through manipulation, experimentation, and invention.
Rods, spindles, cards, beads, cubes, and counters are some of the concrete tools used to symbolize mathematical abstractions. The child does not merely learn to count; she understands the concept of “how many” because she holds the amount in her hands. Likewise, she is able to perform the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using concrete materials. She is also presented with possibilities of fact memorization at a young age when combinations like “3 + 2 = 5” offer a real fascination and can be absorbed readily.
By the end of the kindergarten year, children are introduced to numbers with quantities up to 1000, decimal systems, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with 1, 2 and 3 digit numbers.Like all Montessori materials, the mathematics materials build on each other in increasing complexity so that the child using them will experience the thrill of discovery for herself as part of a natural progression.
ART, MUSIC, AND CULTURE -
INTEGRATED INTO THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
The Arts are not treated as specialty subjects in Montessori. Instead, art and music activities are viewed as forms of self-expression, and, as such, they complement and enhance the child’s ongoing explorations, including the enrichment of vocabulary. The materials for art and music are integrated into the prepared environment as part of the day-to-day activities of the children. Various media, such as crayons, chalk, pencils, paint, clay, textiles, and a variety of papers, are available as are the opportunities for singing, humming, dancing, beating time, playing instruments, moving to rhythms, and even songwriting.
Children are introduced to people around the world, their environments, cultural practices. They are introduced to geography (land formations, countries, continents, oceans, states, flags). They will study science (human body, animal and plant classifications, etc). They take Spanish and Chinese classes which introduce alphabet, colors, numbers, shapes, animals and basic conversation.
LARGE MOTOR ACTIVITIES
Developing large motor skills is essential for the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of a child. Children have outdoor activity twice daily using the playground, garden, and sandbox. They also participate in large motor activities in the classroom, perhaps doing stretches, simple exercises, or dance and other movements.
Each child’s progress intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally is carefully observed and recorded by teachers and kept in each child’s file. Parent-teacher conferences are held in spring and fall, during which time the teacher will review these records with parents.
Calendar (date, days of)
Pledge of Allegiance, Patriotic Songs
Montessori Program Begins
Arrival/Free Playweek, months of year)
Fun facts: history, science, art, geography
Individual Montessori activities
Dismissal (half day students)
Afternoon Kindergarten Begins
Reading, writing, math and special projects
End of Montessori Program
Afternoon Program Begins
Activities may include music, cooking, art/craft, story time, reading, science
Indoor/outdoor large motor activities
Free choice activities