"It is not that we do what we like; it is that we like what we do."
-A Montessori child
THE MONTESSORI CLASSROOM
The Montessori Classroom centers on the child's needs as the pivot for their education. During a child's early years (birth to 3), he is constantly bombarded with sensory impressions that provide the basis for formation of his intellect. By the age of 3, the child has a need to put order, exactness and language expression to these stimuli in order to have logical communication with others.
Dr. Montessori felt that the child needs not direct help, but rather a special environment to perfect his faculties and fine control of his physical being. Our environments are divided into communities by age; our Toddler Cottage serves children who are 12 months to 3 years; our Early Childhood Program serves children ages 2.5 through 6; our Elementary Program serves children ages 6 through 12. This environment contains scaled-down furniture and other apparatus; materials that contain some capacity of movement; order and exact usage to aid the mind in logical, sequential organization and language experiences in all areas to augment the content and organization of the child's mind.
Although all WEMS classrooms share these characteristics, each program is carefully constructed based on the child's developmental stages.
The Toddler Cottage routines, methods and philosophy are consistent with those of the early childhood Program to aid in the logical progression from "unconscious creator" to "conscious worker". A mid-morning snack is provided by the school.
The Early Childhood Program is based on the premise that young children flourish with gentle guidance and the freedom to work at their own pace. Children learn how to share and play cooperatively in a safe, respectful and secure setting. The daily schedule includes work time, group time, outdoor time, lunch and dismissal. A snack is provided each day by one of our WEMS families. The children prepare and serve their own snacks during work time. The Montessori early childhood curriculum is intended to be a 3 year, 5 day program to provide time for the child to advance through the materials. Every early childhood student is eligible for the 5 day program. The 3 day program is intended as an option for our youngest early childhood students who will be 3 turning 4. Building on the morning's work, the Early Childhood Afternoon Session is offered to students who are both enrolling in the 5 day program and turning 5 years old by December. It does not have to be your child's kindergarten year. Many of our children attend afternoon class for 2 years. (the year before kindergarten and their actual kindergarten year)
The primary goal of the Elementary Program is to empower children to become confident, competent students. The core curriculum provides instruction in all traditional subjects. Critical thinking, problem solving, and research skills are emphasized.
The Montessori Extended Day Programs are provided as a convenience for parents. The morning session is a time of preparation for the day and work time. The afternoon session includes outdoor time, rest time, group time, and work time.
A Summer Program is also offered for enrolled early childhood and elementary students and each session revolves around a theme.