Casa Program (2 1/2 – 6 years of age)
Many research studies indicate that young children need a higher level of consistency and order in their routine. Our Casa Program offers children from 2 1/2 to 6 years of age a familiar environment, a consistent community of children and trained Montessori Directresses. The Montessori classroom is a sensory rich environment in which the children go throughout the classroom, find their work initially with the help of the directress (teacher), then independently in order to promote a love for learning and higher concentration levels. The Montessori classroom is divided into 5 areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math and Culture.
The practical life area is the foundation for all of the areas of the classroom. Practical Life activities such as tying, buttoning, polishing, sweeping, folding, pouring, ironing, washing, caring for plants, etc. will only help the child awaken an intense interest, awareness and individual knowledge about his-her environment. It will also provide opportunities to develop independence, self-confidence, self-esteem, responsibility, concentration and control and coordination of movement.
Montessori designed specific sensorial materials to support the child`s transition from concrete to abstract thinking to reasoning. These materials represent abstractions and will help the child discriminate sequential variations in size, height, depth, width, shape, colour, while strengthening the muscles used for writing. Through these activities, the child also learns the corresponding language and has freedom to manipulate and learn from the materials as they are self-correcting.
Language development is vital to human development. The Montessori environment is rich in oral language opportunities, allowing the child to experience conversations, stories and poetry. The sandpaper letters help children link sound and symbol effortlessly, encouraging the development of written expression and reading skills. To further reading development, children are exposed to the study of grammar.
The children have at their disposal a variety of specifically designed developmental educational materials designed by Maria Montessori. These hands on materials enable each child to become familiar with the numbers of the decimal system and the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Children learn solid mathematical concepts and the materials lead them to the abstract, so that their understanding has a firm foundation.
Geography, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art and Music are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities. Children learn about people and cultures in other countries with an attitude of respect and admiration. Through familiarity, children come to feel connected to the global human family. Lessons and experiences with nature inspire a reverence for all life. The comprehensive art and music programs give children every opportunity to enjoy a variety of creative activities, as well as gain knowledge of the great masters.