The class of children ages 2 years and 6 months through 6 years old is known as the "Children's House'' It is a carefully prepared environment designed to remove obstacles to development and to promote exploration and activity.
In a Montessori environment, the adult is a guide or director more than a "teacher." The role of the adult is to prepare the environment and offer activities or "work" for the children, since it is through this work, movement, and their own self-driven exploration that children learn best.
Art, music, and movement are all part of the everyday activities available to the children. Other curriculum areas are language, mathematics, sensorial (development of the senses), practical life (including grace and courtesy, cooking activities, and handcrafts), and cultural and nature studies.
The adult offers individual "presentations" or introductions to activities. These are chosen based on the individual interests and developmental needs of each child. A child works at his or her own pace, alone or in a small group that he or she chooses.
An uninterrupted work period is one of the keystones of Montessori education. During the three-hour morning work period, the children can choose their activities and their companions (or choose to work alone), and they can participate in individual and small group presentations offered by the adult. Large group activities, such as movement activities, singing, reading aloud, nature walks, and other opportunities for outdoor activity are also offered.
A healthy snack is provided each day. Full-day students bring their own lunch, and afterwards participate in an afternoon work and activity period.
Click here for more information on the curriculum areas in Children's House.