Children's House (Preschool and Kindergarten)
Our three Children's Houses serve children ages 33 months to 6 years. Each classroom has about 27 students, one lead Montessori-trained teacher, one Montessori-trained assistant, and one aide. Our program emphasizes language development, mathematical thinking, peaceful problem solving, and physical, social, and intellectual independence.
Children stay in the same classroom for three years, ensuring that teachers get to know their unique learning styles and that they become strong, confident leaders. Children ages 3 and 4 are enrolled in our tuition-based preschool, Bright Water Montessori. Prospective kindergarteners must enter a lottery to be enrolled in our free, public charter school, Bright Water Elementary.
Our work with the children centers on each child's desire to "help me to do it by myself." We provide many practical life and art activities, from baking, sewing, and painting to scrubbing tables and caring for plants. We provide a wealth of language activities that inspire children to be passionate about storytelling, learning the sounds of the alphabet, writing, and reading. To help build children's mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills, we encourage children to work with manipulatives that teach them to count and to understand quantity. Our overall approach is to serve the whole child and help him or her fully develop socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually
Here is a typical day:
• Arrival: The children arrive between 8:45 and 9:00 am (or can arrive as early as 7:15 am for our before-school program). They begin their day by hanging up coats, putting on indoor shoes, and greeting friends and teachers.
• Morning work: Children have an uninterrupted morning of hands-on activities in four main areas: practical life (everyday activities like flower arranging and food preparation), sensorial (hands-on exploration with the five senses), language (spoken and written language), and math using manipulatives like blocks and beads. The teacher shows children new activities one-on-one or in small groups.
• Snack: Children help prepare morning snack for their classmates and have their snack two children at a time throughout the morning.
• Recess: They go outside to our nature playscape for 30 minutes of outdoor play.
• Lunch: We provide a healthy hot lunch in the lunch area.
• Nap or rest: Depending upon their needs, children rest in the classroom or take a full nap.
• Afternoon: Children continue their hands-on activities until their parents pick them up, between 4:00 (when the school day ends) and 5:30 (when after-care ends).