Children’s House Montessori is a Private School located in Cornwall, NY. We are members of The American Montessori Association (AMS). Our program encompasses a Nook (18 months-36month) and Children’s House (3yr-6yr old),.
Beginning with Montessori Montessori Infant & Toddler programs offer so much more than childcare. The classroom design fosters your young child’s emerging independence and desire for exploration. The environments are designed to promote your child’s growth in all areas of development. Additionally, Montessori Infant & Toddler programs provide support and guidance for families through programs that may include parent education and parent/child group experiences. What Will Your Child Learn? During the first 3 years of life, your child develops more rapidly than at any other time. During this phase, your child absorbs large amounts of information from the environment through observation and experiences. These are the years that lay the foundation for later learning—and the stronger the foundation, the more the child will be able to build upon it. Montessori Infant & Toddler programs offer a curriculum that emerges from each child’s unique skills and interests. Based on daily observations, teachers introduce new materials and activities that pique curiosity and stimulate learning. Learning objectives for your child at this age include developing skills such as language, concentration, problem solving, visual discrimination, and physical coordination. The routines of everyday living are the foundation of Montessori Infant & Toddler programs. Activities promote independence, order, coordination, and concentration, as well as support social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. These learning activities include:
Self-care: washing, dressing, toileting, and eating, according to each child’s individual capacity
Care of the environment: cleaning, food preparation and food service; plant care and animal care
Large-motor activities (indoors and out): walking, climbing, running, jumping, balancing, climbing steps, and more
Fine-motor skills: reaching, grasping, picking up objects, transferring objects, using tools and utensils, doing art work
Language: naming objects, describing actions and intentions, discussing pictures, conversation, music, and singing
Social skills: developing manners through interactions with peers, teachers, and adult-led small group games
Montessori Learning Materials
While Dr. Maria Montessori did not develop learning materials for infants and toddlers, some have subsequently been designed in the spirit of her work. The materials go far beyond plastic squeak toys for chewing on and plastic blocks for banging together. Rather, they offer authentic and meaningful learning experiences.
A Montessori classroom for toddlers safely supports your child’s drive to do things alone, developing confidence and a sense of competence. The environment is language-rich, with adults using proper nomenclature rather than baby talk so that the children are exposed to and develop a broad vocabulary. Adults also support toddlers in communicating with each other. A range of books allows children to explore on their own or read aloud with an adult. In this learning environment, children work independently, observe others, explore freely, and express their curiosity and creativity. A self-care area fosters toilet awareness and independence in maintaining personal hygiene (such as learning how to wipe one’s nose and wash hands independently). A sleeping area with individual floor beds/mats that allows toddlers to exercise autonomy in preparing for rest and allows them to get up independently once rested. There is also an area for gross motor activities to help children coordinate their movements, and low tables that enable them to help prepare, serve, eat, and clean up their snacks and meals.
In a Montessori Early Childhood classroom, highly trained teachers create a customized environment crafted to her unique abilities, interests, and learning style. This approach to learning is “hands-on.” Dr. Maria Montessori believed (and modern science has affirmed) that moving and learning are inseparable. In the prepared classroom, children work with specially designed manipulative materials that invite exploration and engage the senses in the process of learning. All learning activities support children in choosing meaningful and challenging work at their own interest and ability level. This child-directed engagement strengthens motivation, supports attention, and encourages responsibility. Uninterrupted blocks of work time (typically 2+ hours in length) allow children to work at their own pace and fully immerse themselves in an activity without interruption. Your child’s work cycle involves selecting an activity, performing it for as long it remains interesting, cleaning up the activity and retuning it to the shelf, and making another work choice. This cycle respects individual variations in the learning process, facilitates the development of coordination, concentration, independence, and a sense of order, while facilitating your child’s assimilation of information. A Welcoming Space A Montessori Early Childhood classroom feels more like a home than a school. You won’t see desks, nor will a teacher stand at the front of the room delivering a lesson to the whole class. Instead, you’ll see children happily working individually or in small groups, at tables or on the floor near small mats that delineate their own space. Specially designed learning materials are displayed on open shelves, easily accessible to the children. Classrooms also include low sinks accessible to the children, child-sized furniture, cozy spaces for quiet reading, reachable shelves with work available for free choice, and child-sized kitchen utensils so the students can eat, prepare, and clean up their snack on their own. Teachers gently guide students to help maintain the organization and cleanliness of this environment to keep it orderly and attractive, and to help your child understand how to care for materials and clean up after themselves—skills you will be happy to observe carrying over in your home. Kindergarten: The Leadership Year During the first 2 years in an Early Childhood classroom, Montessori students look forward to their turn to be a leader. In their third year—often known as Kindergarten—children get their turn and take pride in being the oldest. They serve as role models for younger students; they demonstrate leadership and citizenship skills. They reinforce and consolidate their own learning by teaching concepts they have already mastered to their peers. In their Kindergarten year, they express confidence, develop self-esteem and self-sufficiency, and show responsibility. Kindergarteners are introduced to progressively more advanced Montessori materials and sophisticated, fascinating lessons. And they experience an important period in which their previous learning from working with concrete Montessori materials begins to become permanent knowledge. A Montessori Kindergarten student sees and feels their personal growth as they watch others learn information they have mastered themselves. Kindergarten is the culmination of the Early Childhood program. Children exhibit the independence, critical thinking, collaboration, and leadership that they have been practicing during their previous years in the Early Childhood classroom, exercising them independently as they prepare to transition into an Elementary program.
Montessori Kindergarten: Essential & Empowering
See Kindergarten-level children at work in their Montessori classrooms, as Montessori educators share thoughts on why the Kindergarten year is a vital part of the Early Childhood program. What Your Child Will Learn Rigorously trained teachers carefully observe their children in the Early Childhood environment, identifying their interests and abilities and developing personalized learning plans tailored to each child’s needs. They guide the learning, introducing new lessons and levels of difficulty as appropriate. The teacher offers the encouragement, time, and tools needed to allow children’s natural curiosities to drive learning, and provides choices that help them learn, grow, and succeed. After participating in a demonstration of a material from a teacher, your child is free to choose activities and to work on her own or with a partner for as long as she wishes. Since there is usually only one of each material, your child will develop patience and self-control as she waits for a material to become available. The Montessori Early Childhood curriculum follows a 3-year sequence. Because the teacher guides your child through learning at her own pace, her individualized learning plan may exceed the concepts she would be taught in a classroom environment in which all children learn the same concept at the same time. As children move forward, they develop the ability to concentrate and make decisions, along with developing self-control, courtesy, and a sense of community responsibility. In Montessori schools, academic growth is seen as just one part of children’s healthy development. The method nurtures their social, emotional, and physical growth, ensuring that they are, as Dr. Maria Montessori put it, “treading always in the paths of joy and love.”
At CHM our Montessori teachers are the dynamic link between the children and the Prepared Environment. They systematically observe students to interpret their needs and modify the environment to meet the needs and interests of the children. They present clear, interesting and relevant lessons, model desirable behaviour and evaluate each child’s individual progress. Montessori teachers respect and protect their students’ independence and are supportive and encouraging without the use of rewards or punishments. They facilitate effective communication and are peace educators, consistently working to teach courteous behaviours and pro-social conflict resolution skills.
One of the most notable attributes of a Montessori teacher is the enormous trust Montessori teachers place in the developmental abilities of the children. This is one of the most essential characteristics of our Montessori teachers (guides). It takes a tremendous amount of faith to “follow the child”. It is so much easier to say to the children, follow where I lead and no one will get lost. Nonetheless, with careful observation and planning, Montessori teachers remain constantly alert to the direction each child is heading and actively works to help them succeed.
Montessori teachers are not the center of attention in the classroom. Their role centers on the preparation and organization of learning materials to meet the needs and interests of the Montessori children. The focus is on children learning, not on teachers teaching.