Stepping Stones Pre-school program is designed to meet the developmental needs of the 3-6 year old child. It is our school’s profound belief that the child’s work is internal and is motivated by a sense of self worth and self-confidence gained through “learning by doing”.
The child is given individual lessons and is invited to choose activities that interest them. The foundational lessons in Practical Life Skills and the Sensorial Materials, equip the child with skills necessary to explore and experience the various areas of the classroom and outdoor environment.
The Montessori materials await each child’s moment of interest in language, math and cultural subjects. Because the materials are engaging, many students are involved in academic work but the goal of the pre-school program is to nurture self-motivation, self-discipline and independence.
Practical Life: The lessons and exercises of practical life reflect the daily life skills necessary for care of self, others, and the environment. The materials are meticulously arranged so that the child experiences, logical sequencing, attention to detail, exactness and purposeful activity. Fine muscle control, concentration and a sense of order are developed while engaging in this area of the curriculum.
Sensorial: The sensorial materials are finely engineered to isolate and categorize qualities perceived through the senses. The materials have a built in control of error allowing the child to identify mistakes and make immediate corrections for themselves. Through work in the sensorial area each child develops perceptual and sensory abilities and refines their observational skills, laying the critical foundation for future learning based in reason and judgment.
Language & Literacy: The Montessori classroom is a language rich environment where children are provided the correct names for objects and concepts. Story telling, discussion and conversation are encouraged and guided by the teacher, providing opportunities to build vocabulary and confidence in self -expression. The initial introduction to letters is through letter sounds (phonetics) and using the Sandpaper Letters. Progressing to the Moveable Alphabet, the student is then encouraged to build words. In this way the child is introduced to reading, which is further supported with the use of simple texts.
Mathematics: The Math curriculum encourages the manipulation of concrete objects to gain experience in; one to one correspondence, sequencing, quantity, place value and recognition of numbers. With this as a base, the children explore the functions and patterns of the four math operations. Number relationships such as squares, cubes and fractions are isolated with the Montessori materials and lay the foundation for mathematical reasoning.
Cultural: Cultural activities such as art, science and geography are integrated through daily work and in seasonal topics of interest. Work with world puzzle maps, the botany cabinets and zoology materials introduce children to the interdependence that helps sustain our societies and the natural world. We have weekly music lessons as part of the school day.