Inside Baden Montessori School, you will find a specially created environment for children ages 3 to 6. The mixed age class encompasses what is commonly referred to as preschool and Kindergarten. The Baden Montessori School directress is trained to connect the children to the hands-on materials designed for this age.
This area of the Montessori environment includes lessons in daily etiquette, along with exercises in carrying, pouring, balancing, washing, polishing and preparing food. These tasks, which are attractively designed, interest the child and provide a motive for purposeful activity. The exercises help the young child acquire practical skills, build attention span, create an inner sense of order, and build muscular coordination and perseverance. Having gained a measure of concentration, control and coordination the young mind is free to explore academic interests. This area is the foundation of the Children’s House program.
Dr. Montessori devised this group of activities to help the child develop powers of observation and discernment. In these exercises, many of the abstractions of the adult world are made concrete for the classroom. The child works with materials representing various forms, colors, dimensions, textures, sounds, tastes and smells. While working with these specially prepared materials, the child gains perception and the ability to classify. This leads to higher reasoning skills while extending the scope of imagination.
Language exercises begin casually with the child's oral vocabulary development. Sounds of various letters become the focus of impromptu language games as children show an interest. Symbols for the sounds are introduced and the child begins analyzing words that are already part of his oral vocabulary. As word-building activity grows, advanced letter sound combinations are introduced. Before long, children explode into reading and writing. Precise words relating to various concepts in mathematics, geometry, biology, geography, history and science are presented. Children who have begun reading receive lessons on the functions of parts of speech and sentences. The child delights in these exercises and, without realizing it, gains knowledge that will pay dividends throughout the later school years.
Foundations of mathematical thought are established through work with practical life and sensorial areas. Children receive exercises that aid them in understanding quantity, symbol and counting. As they master the introductory lessons, the decimal system and the four basic operations are introduced. While the children are happily absorbed in their tasks, they imprint subconsciously certain mathematical functions, which include the numerical value of squares and cubes.
Lessons in drawing, painting, music and singing are incorporated into the daily activities of the classroom. Through use of the maps, flags and books, students learn about world geography and people of the world.
The Children’s House Program is designed as a 3-year program. If a child enters at 2 1⁄2 or 3 and stays through age 6, the following developmental outcomes, given individual differences, are anticipated: