The Children's House
The Montessori preschool program, or Children’s House, is a “living room” for children. Children choose their work from among self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves, and they work in specific areas. Over a period of time, the children develop into a “normalized community,” working with high concentration and few interruptions. Normalization is the process whereby a child moves from being undisciplined to self-disciplined, from disordered to ordered, from distracted to focused, through work in the environment. The process occurs through repeated work with materials that captivate the child’s attention. For some children this inner change may take place quite suddenly, leading to deep concentration. In the Montessori preschool, academic competency is a means to an end, and the manipulatives are viewed as “materials for development”
In the Montessori preschool, five distinct areas constitute the prepared environment:
Practical life enhances the development of hand-eye coordination, gross motor control, and cognitive order through care of self, care of the environment, development of social relations, and coordination of physical movement.
The area enables the child to order, classify, and describe sensory impressions in relation to length, width, temperature, mass, color, pitch, etc.
makes use of manipulative materials to enable the child to internalize concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations, and memorization of facts.
Language arts includes oral language development, written expression, reading, the study of grammar, creative dramatics, and children’s literature. Basic skills in writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper letters, alphabet cut outs, and various presentations, allowing children to link sounds and letter symbols effortlessly and to express their thoughts through writing.
Cultural activities expose the child to basics in geography, history, life sciences, and earth sciences. Music, art, and movement education are part of the integrated cultural curriculum.
The Children’s House environment unifies the social, physical, and intellectual functioning of the child. Its important function is to provide children with an early and general foundation that includes a positive attitude toward school, inner security and a sense of order, pride in the physical environment, abiding curiosity, a habit of concentration, habits of initiative and persistence, the ability to make decisions, self-discipline, and a sense of responsibility to other members of the class, school and community. This foundation will enable them to acquire more specialized knowledge and skills throughout their school career.
Kahn, David, et al. The Whole-School Montessori Handbook: for Teachers and Administrators. NAMTA, 1999.
The Children's House At Sagebrush
Sagebrush has a half day program for children ages 3 & 4 and a full day program for kindergartners. Half day students attend school Tuesday through Friday from 9AM until 12PM. Kindergartners attend from 9AM until 3PM Monday through Friday. Childcare is available before and after school but space is limited and fills up quickly.