Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preschool Open House

Kathryn had her preschool open house on Thursday, Oct 13. Tommy had conferences so it was just us girls. K was most excited for the provided snacks and to play with friends outside. I insisted that we needed to see her classroom and see her in action.
With both graciousness and courtesy (Montessori words) she gave Eleanor 3 or 4 presentations. In these pictures they are doing metal insets.

Kathryn is at a traditional Montessori (the teachers are all Montessori certified - the Montessori name isn't trademarked so if you're in the preschool market make sure the teachers are certified) so she's there 5 mornings a week for 3 hours. (Last year she did 3 day/ 3 hours- everyone went on to kindergarten so it was kind of like starting new for her-- their Montessori program only began last year.)

It's pretty amazing some of the stuff she's doing math, geography, cursive (do I think sometimes she spends the morning goofing off? Yes! hopefully the upcoming parent/teacher conference will tell me otherwise!)

It's child led with the teacher (or guide) giving "presentations" to the children. What they do is called "work." The classrooms are called "Children's House." The classrooms are multi-aged 2 1/2-6. I'm pretty sure she'll go to a public Montessori in our district next year- she does have the option to do kindergarten at her current school next year.

There are 5 areas of Montessori education- I cut and pasted the following from:

Practical Life

Young children have a strong urge to become independent. Practical Life activities help them to perfect the skills they need in daily life. Whilst learning essential life skills, the children are also developing hand-eye co-ordination and the capacity to focus their attention for the entirety of an activity. Successful completion of such tasks gives children a real sense of their own achievement, and this builds their self-confidence.

Sensorial Exploration

Children are vividly aware of the world, constantly exploring it and taking in impressions through all their senses. The sensorial materials encourage children to order and classify the physical properties of the world they live in. These activities stimulate and develop the senses, refining children’s powers of observation, perception, exploration and communication.


Montessori mathematics materials enable even a very young child to achieve a natural appreciation of mathematical concepts through his or her own efforts. This avoids the mental blocks which so often occur in children faced with purely abstract concepts. Specially designed equipment helps children to grasp concrete ideas along with sensory experience of numbers, quantities and mathematical operations. Gradually children can move confidently to complete abstract mathematical problems. Many Montessori educated children leave the Children's House with a genuine love of numbers and mathematics.


In the Children’s House children learn to express themselves. The freedom offered to the children creates many opportunities for them to communicate with their peers and the adults. We emphasise the development of vocabulary based on real experiences and the early preparation required for reading and writing. Advanced activities take the child well beyond the basic skills into reading and writing for interpretation, creativity and pleasure.

Cultural Exploration of the World Around

The Montessori approach covers a wide range of subjects which reflect the broad interests of young children. The Montessori environment stimulates these interests and extends knowledge and understanding of art and crafts, geography, history, music and science and the natural world. Cultures from around the world are explored and celebrated.

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