Livingston Montessori School is dedicated to helping your child achieve in all areas of education. This section will explain the curriculum we use based on the Montessori education and current child development research.
Pre-reading skills are needed BEFORE your child can learn to read. These skills include visual discrimination, phonemic and phonological awareness. Phonemic awareness is the structure of sounds in words. Phonological awareness is the ability to distinguish the difference between the sounds in a word. The Sandpaper Letters are used to teach individual letter sounds. This is to help your child establish an awareness of specific sounds of letters and develops phonological awareness. The Moveable Alphabet and other activities reinforce the sounds in words.
Other pre-reading skills include listening to different types of literature, such as stories, poems, picture books and using rhyme, rhythm and repetition in poetry, songs, and stories. Your child will be introduced to opposite and positional words, such as up, down, over, and under. Additional skills will include matching shapes, patterns, letters and words. Also, identifying parts of a book, demonstrate awareness that print is written and is read left-to-right.
Children will learn reading more quickly and easily if they are taught phonics at an early age. Our reading program uses a systematic phonetic approach to reading. Also, listening to a variety of stories, making journal entries, reciting poems, involvement in individual and group story writing, all play an important part in a child’s reading and writing development.
Many children will develop actual reading skills.
As adults, we understand the purpose of writing and its natural value. Children of course, need to be taught how to write. Writing requires controlled physical movement and extensive practice using a pencil. In the Montessori classroom, the Metal Insets help to develop the fine motor skills essential to control a pencil and tracing sandpaper letters is used to teach individual letter sounds.
The program lays the foundation in math concepts with concrete materials. The math materials can take the student from an initial understanding of the meaning of the numbers 1 to 10, a comprehension of the decimal system and all the way through the basic operatives. The materials are designed to take children from a physical concept of numbers, through to an abstract level of understanding of mathematics.
Acquiring life skills is an important part of healthy childhood development. In practical life the children, with lots of practice and through trial and error, can learn to tie shoes or pour water from a pitcher into a glass. They will make mistakes, but that should not discourage them and will learn that with repeated attempts at mastering a task they will eventually succeed. Their success, coupled with their improving ability to concentrate, will feed a desire to master new and more complex life skills, such as cooking, sewing, using computers, and gardening. Children learn to set tables and clean dishes, in addition to sweeping and dusting. In this way, children learn to care for and take pride in their own environment and become responsible for their own “Community”. At the same time, their sense of independence will grow, contributing to a positive self-image.
All Practical Life Activities are unique in that they are purposeful and calming. They appear very simple and repetitive, but are very important to the child. Practical Life Activities help the children to accomplish a high level of concentration while developing a sense of order and fine motor movement, and to take pride in a job well done. They gain an increasing sense of independence by learning to care for themselves and the environment. They learn to respect the environment, classmates, and the teachers. These skills and characteristics are essential to a child’s progress in a academic subjects.
The activities in this area are designed to bring order to the wide range of sense impressions – sight, taste, touch, smell and sound. These impressions bring the child to an awareness of differing qualities in the environment. An external order is presented to the student from which internal order of the mind can be built. The child will start with pairing and sorting activities. Memory exercises are also part of the sensorial activities.
Then, the student will progress to special activities such as putting sets of objects in order. Other activities will develop memory skills.
This area is as wide and varied as possible. Activities give the student early experiences in arts, craft, music and movement, basic science and geography. All children have an inherent curiosity about our world. In the Montessori class the teacher first introduces the students to land, water, and air. She then introduces the earth. Conversation is easily stimulated with young children about how life differs in various parts of the globe. All children display an enthusiastic interest in the world.
The introduction to science is to help your child develop and understand his environment and the significance of the delicate balance in nature. Your child is taught that plants are indispensable to all life on Earth and plants need to be respected for all the things they provide us (food, medicine, oxygen, building materials, heat) and we should also appreciate their natural beauty.
An important part of a child’s development is their activity in the outdoor environment. The indoor and outdoor environments are closely related. Students extend their social skills through co-operative interaction. Concepts explored with classroom materials are applied to the wider outdoor environment. Nature and its fascination for the young child are brought into the classroom outside.
A weekly gym class focuses on healthy life choices and physical education.