(See video below)
“The Montessori program is deliberately designed to be a three-year program,
and it is only in the third (or kindergarten) year
that much of what has been developing finally blossoms.”
Tim Seldin, M.Ed., the President of The Montessori Foundation and
Chair of the International Montessori Council
Our Kindergarten class hums with motivated, focused activity. It is in the Kindergarten year that your child will be "at the top of the class" in terms of seniority.
The responsibility and pride children feel in this role gives a great sense of accomplishment. The multi-age experience offers many opportunities for five year-olds
to help the younger children and to be competent role models. In addition to reinforcing their academic knowledge, this experience enhances their self-esteem and develops
their self-confidence---two qualities which enable them to try new challenges.
Kindergarten is a time when skills that have been developing over previous years start to solidify. The Kindergarten year is a culmination. The children are unfolding as
leaders, beginning readers and budding mathematicians. They are proud of their accomplishments and eagerly await the more complex lessons their teachers present.
Kindergarten is particularly important: an explosion into new and challenging work takes place.
A Montessori classroom offers many opportunities for children to expand their knowledge during the years when they are naturally motivated. The focus of the more complex
Kindergarten curriculum and projects revolve around language, math, biology, botany, geography, physical sciences and history.
Children mature at very different rates and their periods of readiness vary a great deal. The five year old can gain an early understanding of many difficult
concepts which are the usual stumbling blocks in grade school. Long before he is faced with abstract terms (unit, fraction, etc), he explores them in simple concrete materials.
For example, he can build a peninsula, put pictures on a timeline, act out verbs, "carry one" in addition, change ten units into one ten, add fractional quarters to make one-half,
etc. The use of individual concrete materials accommodates many levels of ability.
Kindergartners are part of the multi-age morning class until 11:45. The Kindergartners of the school come together and form the Kindergarten Club
from 12:30 to 3:00.
This kindergarten time allows for in-depth exploration of the world around us. Included in the curriculum is a broad emphasis on skill building.
A special Wednesday field trip into the community
is built into this program. The children visit the library, meet the mayor at City Hall, sing at a local retirement
community, walk to the nearby nature center, make their own pizzas at a restaurant, participate in ceramics, roller skating and mini-golf. Because we are located so close to
Downtown Crystal Lake, we often walk. Other times the Dial-a-Ride Pace bus picks us up at our door and takes us to our destination. This unique program helps the children
develop a connection with our community and the larger world.
There is an option to extend the Kindergarten time.
Children staying later than 3:15 have an outdoor recreation period before returning for an additional afternoon work cycle, art projects and organized group activities.
They have an opportunity to engage in detailed group theme projects and continued skill-building activities.