Ages 3 to 6 years
The Children’s House or preschool program is for children between the ages of three to six who are going through an intense period of cognitive, social, and physical change. All of the lessons and materials are designed so that children learn in the best possible way – by doing. It is a special kind of doing, carefully directed within a beautifully “prepared environment” that calls to the child’s inherent desire to learn. The concrete materials allow children to explore the world through all their senses, and to develop the capacities that set the stage for all future learning: concentration, coordination, order, and independence.
Children in their third year of Children’s House, or kindergarten year, have a special role. As the leaders in the class they help younger students, assume more responsibilities and experience the real world through field trips into the community. They also receive an additional period of afternoon lessons that focus on academics while the younger students nap.
Carefully trained adults respond to the needs of the children with appropriate lessons to support each child’s growth and emerging capabilities. The curriculum in the Children’s House is made up of Practical Life, mathematics, language, Sensorial and cultural studies.
- Children develop concentration, coordination, order, independence and self-help skills
- Children are introduced to sequenced activities that can then be freely chosen and repeated as needed or desired.
- Younger children participate in Practical Life activities because they love it. Older children focus on accomplishing a goal.
- By independently practicing tasks that have a clear beginning, middle, and ending, children internalize the concepts of sequenced learning in order to develop the ability to concentrate – preparation for school and life.
- Organized in six groups: Numbers to Ten, the Decimal System, Teens and Tens, Memory Work (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), Passage to Abstraction, and Fractions.
- Beautiful concrete materials introduce the initial concept and then allow for continued experience and repetition with variety, so concepts can be mastered, expanded, applied, and revised.
- The environment is rich with opportunities to associate sound, symbol, and meaning
- Children begin exploring language with sounds, which provides a basis in phonetics
- Children progress as they associate sound with touch and symbol, as they put sounds together to create words, and then “explode” into reading – all while using carefully crafted materials
- Writing activities range from learning one’s name to stories and reports for older students
- Materials isolate concepts such as size, form, weight, and volume, eventually internalizing the abstract concept each represents
- Beautifully constructed, meticulously presented, and carefully sequenced, the sensorial curriculum appeals to the child’s need to experience the world through all the senses
- Unlimited opportunities for deep concentration and the satisfaction that comes with mastery
- Direct preparation for the math curriculum
- Cultural studies encompass geography, history, world cultures, botany, and biology.
- Answers the “How?” and “Why?” questions that are at the forefront of young minds
- Takes advantage of a diverse family community, country studies are drawn from the traditions of families in the class
- Encourages respect for their own traditions and beliefs and those of others
- Provides opportunities in art, music, cooking, dancing, and much more