ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST MONTESSORI PRESCHOOL
Children’s House (33 months through Kindergarten)
Our Children's House serve children ages 33 months to 6 years. Our program emphasizes language development, mathematical thinking, peaceful problem solving, as well as physical, social, and intellectual independence.
Children stay in the same classroom for three years, ensuring that teachers get to know their unique learning styles and that they become strong, confident leaders.
Our work with the children centers on each child's desire to "help me to do it by myself." We provide many practical life and art activities, from baking, sewing, and painting to scrubbing tables and caring for plants. We provide a wealth of language activities that inspire children to be passionate about storytelling, learning the sounds of the alphabet, writing, and reading. To help build children's mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills, we encourage children to work with manipulatives that teach them to count and to understand quantity. Our overall approach is to serve the whole child and help him or her fully develop socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually.
These are special "lessons" given to each child individually to honor their own learning style and to protect the opportunity for deep concentration to develop while "working" with the materials. Once a child learns how to do an activity, it is they who are free to invite a friend to join them, become part of a small group or join a collective activity guided by the adult. Children learn how to make choices from what they have been presented, helping them discover what they are truly interested in.
Children learn "social graces", all of the important lessons in life that deal with respect. First a child must learn self respect. Respect for others is greatly honored and lived by in a Montessori environment. Children learn how to move through the room, socialize appropriately and complete activities without interrupting what might be happening for others. They learn to care for the whole community, solve problems, develop a solid sense of well being and become great decision makers while making great strides in their own academic, social and emotional development.
Here is a typical day:
- Arrival: Children begin their day by hanging up coats, putting on indoor shoes, and greeting friends and teachers.
- Morning work: Children have an uninterrupted morning of hands-on activities in four main areas: practical life (everyday activities like flower arranging and food preparation), sensorial (hands-on exploration with the five senses), language (spoken and written language), and math using manipulatives like blocks and beads. The teacher shows children new activities one-on-one or in small groups.
- Snack: Children help prepare morning snack for their classmates and have their snack two children at a time throughout the morning.
- Recess: They go outside to our nature playscape for 30 minutes of outdoor play.
- Lunch: Hot lunch is available for purchase, or children can bring a packed lunch from home. We eat our lunch in the school cafeteria.
- Nap or rest: Depending upon their needs, children rest in the classroom or take a full nap.
- Afternoon: Children continue their hands-on activities until their parents pick them up.
Pre-School and Kindergarten
The program which is called our Children's House program is designed for children from 3 to 6 years of age (preschool-kindergarten). We have a target enrollment of 20 students with a licensed and trained Montessori Guide and a trained assistant. We offer three enrollment options: Children's House (half day), Extended All Day, and All Day Montessori for Kinders.
Children's House (Half-Day Program)
Children's House for children ages 3-4 is a Half Day experience. Classes meet Monday-Friday from 8:45-11:45 a.m. The children have a three hour work cycle which includes a weekly time in the Level I Atrium of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
The Full Day Program for 3-4 year olds:
The Full Day program begins in the Montessori classroom Monday-Friday from 8:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The All Day program is provided for 3 and 4 year olds who require extended care beyond the half-day Children's House experience.
The children who enroll in the All Day program will find that it is an extension of their home environment. After the three-hour Children's House morning work cycle, they have lunch, which encompasses family rituals: the children share responsibility for setting the tables and for cleaning up after meals, they use china plates, glassware and cloth napkins. Upon completion of lunch, the children play outside in our beautiful outdoor environment.
Nap and rest is provided in a cozy prepared environment. Each child has the opportunity to nap for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Upon completion of their nap the child continues his experience in the All Day environment with the materials provided for practical life, opportunities for self-expression and freedom of choice and movement.
Full Day Montessori for children in Kindergarten:
Kindergarten students participate in Full Day Montessori Monday-Friday from 8:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Kinders begin their school day in the Montessori classroom. Upon completion of lunch and outdoor play they return to their classroom for an extended Montessori work period. These children have reached a level of maturity requiring a longer work cycle. This rich exploration is the culmination of their Children's House experience resulting in the reinforcement of reading and math skills preparation for entering elementary. This is also the period which allows the child to become a leader in the community, and provides greater opportunities for socialization with peers in the afternoon hours.
The Kindergarten lunch encompasses family rituals in which the children share responsibility for setting the tables and for cleaning up after meals, they use china plates, glassware and cloth napkins. Upon completion of lunch, the children play outside in our beautiful outdoor environment.
After daily outdoor play, the children re-enter their classrooms for an extended work cycle. This includes a music, Spanish and experiences in physical education games.