The Children’s House
Early Childhood: 3 to 6 years
The Children’s House is the core of the Montessori Method and is the curriculum of the 3 – 6 year old child. These classrooms are the starting place, and mainstay, of Montessori education around the world. Developmentally, children at this age need to explore and discover in order to address their insatiable curiosity. These children possess an Absorbent Mind.
Our early childhood classrooms are specifically designed to stimulate and engage children’s senses. Each classroom has two adults: a teacher with a unique role accompanied by an assistant. With careful guidance from their teacher, children have the freedom to work independently based on their interests. MSB’s distinctive learning environments are aesthetically inviting with an array of learning materials, plants, animals, art, music and direct access to nature. Specially designed, hands-on materials that engage children in learning are everywhere. When children are provided self-direction, and learn through self-discovery, they cultivate strong characteristics such as motivation, concentration, self-discipline and a genuine love of learning.
Children around the age of 3 begin school in the morning program, ending at 11:30. Once a child is ready to stay for lunch, around the age of 4, they may remain at school until 12:30. Once a child turns 5 they may join the extended day program and are dismissed at 2:45.
A Learning Community
The Children’s House is a place where children, 3 – 6 years old, can work at their own tempo and follow their curiosities without interruption. It is a place where they can feel at home. Our Early Childhood Program consists of mixed-age classrooms, taking full advantage of the crossover within the developmental stage between 3 and 6 years. Children learn to cooperate with children of different ages and to respect each other’s efforts. They learn to care for themselves, aid others and be conscious of their environment. The classroom is a microcosm, a flourishing community where children display, and are shown, respect and dignity.
An Environment Built for Learning
Above all else, our classrooms are prepared with the child in mind. The physical space and routines are harmonized to enhance exploration and independent learning. The room is set up at child height, enabling children to reach what they want without relying on adult help. We believe that children learn more by direct experience and less by simply listening to an adult talk. Our specially designed Montessori materials are simple, elegant and stimulating. They appeal specifically to the child at this stage of development. This prepared environment only includes items that will engage children and encourage spontaneous activity. Each classroom also has an equivalent outdoor footprint to enhance childrens’ sense of our interconnectedness with nature.
Our daily work in the classroom is clearly defined by a challenging Montessori curriculum that is composed of: