“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”
Students at Avant Garde Montessori from three through six years of age enjoy the benefits of a three-year curriculum designed specifically for them. The Montessori early childhood classroom, or Children’s House, is an environment designed to meet the needs of the children. Children need real work to prepare them for real life. "Never do for a child what he can do for himself," Maria Montessori once stated.
The heart of the classroom and curriculum for the first-year students is in the practical life and sensorial materials. In working with these materials, guided by the trained Montessori instructor, the students develop their motor skills, master sequential activities, and literally develop their brains through working with their senses. Social skills are important throughout the three years and begin to blossom when the three-year olds learn what it means to be part of a community.
The second-year and third-year children build upon each previous year becoming leaders and mentors to the younger children. Children learn readily from one another, and the younger ones thrive under the tutelage of the five- and six-year-olds. It is in the second and third years that the children are given more academic lessons.
Montessori methodology teaches to move from the concrete to the abstract. For example, we enrich the vocabulary of the young child before asking them to decode the symbols of written language. We allow the child to hold 1000 beads in their hands before understanding that a numeral represents a quantity.
Graduates of AGMS’ Children’s House move on to the next level with all the tools they need to succeed. Their confidence and self-reliance sets them apart from other students. Their problem-solving skills and their integrity serve them well as they move forward in life. We invite you to schedule an observation in one of our Children’s House environment to see the Montessori philosophy in action.
Practical Life Experiences
For preschool-aged children, there is something special about tasks which an adult considers ordinary: sewing, folding clothes, setting a table, etc. In this area of the classroom, children perfect their coordination and become absorbed in an activity. They gradually lengthen their span of concentration. They also learn to pay attention to details as they sequence activity.
The sensorial materials help preschoolers to relate new information to what they already know. Children learn fine discrimination of color, size, texture, and sound through exploration, language, and games.
Children often become interested in numbers & chronology in preschool and like to position items as they enumerate them. By counting concrete quantities, separating them, sharing them, and recording them children demonstrate for themselves the basic operations of mathematics. Counting games become an everyday activity in the preschool classroom.
Children are introduced to the sounds of the language in preschool through games and materials. Proceeding at their own pace, they are introduced to the skills necessary for writing, reading, and spelling.
Children learn to work with globes, maps, and flags. Gradually preschoolers learn the names of the continents and countries as well as information about climate regions and products. Children also learn the common land formations.
Science and Nature
The natural environment is an extension of the preschool classroom. Discovery projects and experiments stimulate a child’s natural curiosity. The plant and animal kingdoms are studied to foster an appreciation for all living things.
Music and Creative Movement
The most appealing musical element to preschool-aged children is rhythm, and the natural response to rhythm is physical. Children in the preschool class are introduced to many songs and dance. Children are also introduced to the instruments of the orchestra and their unique sounds.