Preschool & Kindergarten

Children’s House: Preschool & Kindergarten

(3 years old - Kindergarten)

Dr. Maria Montessori

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”
Children from three to six years old are so excited to learn. As toddlers they absorbed everything in their environment unconsciously, not knowing what was important and what was not. Now, they consciously absorb knowledge as they sort and categorize their experiences in the world.
The more experiences children have, the richer their vocabularies and more detailed their thinking. That is why our classrooms at West Side Montessori are enriched with tried-and-true, self-correcting Montessori materials that offer children a learning environment in which they are able to reach their fullest potential. 

prepared environment provides each child an opportunity to explore, discover, and follow personal interests.

Children's House teachers encourage
sensory development, introduce math and language concepts, and help the children develop practical skills they need in everyday life. This curriculum is further enriched with an assortment of science concepts and cultural explorations.

Areas of the Montessori Classroom

Every day your child will discover new creative expressions in a classroom of mixed-age children, learning from and teaching each other.
The role of the teacher is simply to prepare an environment that will accommodate the needs of all children and to link each child to it in order for the child to build a strong foundation for learning. 

The Montessori prepared environment changes daily as the teachers observe the needs of the children and work hard to stay one step ahead of them.

List of 5 items.

  • Practical Life

    Dr. Montessori created what she called “Practical Life Exercises” to allow the child to do activities of daily life and therefore adapt and orient to society. 

    The curriculum is designed to increase a child’s sense of order, concentration, and coordination through activities such as: pouring, sweeping, tweezing, and buttoning. Through these activities children learn to become more independent and feel proud that they can do things for themselves. 

    Lessons on grace and courtesy are provided. Children learn to say “excuse me” and “thank you” and to make requests politely. Classroom maintenance becomes, by and large, the children’s responsibility as they put materials away and care for plants and animals.
  • Sensorial

    Pre-school children are aware of their senses but need to bring order to them. 

    Sensory experiences include color matching; color grading; discrimination of size (width, depth, height); matching items by sound, smell, pressure; organizing items by weight; and grading items by touch. This refinement helps children make finer distinctions and sharpens their perceptual skills. 

    As a child works with the sensorial materials, she begins to classify the things around her, which leads to the child constructing her own knowledge of her environment. Through this acquired knowledge of classification, the child is given the first tools in organizing her intelligence, a step towards adaptation to her environment.
  • Mathematics

    Mathematics exploration uses real objects to demonstrate abstract ideas. 

    The Montessori math curriculum consists of beautifully crafted, hands-on learning materials, detailed lessons, one-on-one instruction, life application, and deep levels of understanding processes—not memorizing products. 

    Children begin learning math concepts with hands-on materials and gradually progress to abstract concepts. 

    They learn to recognize, recite, and eventually write the numerals 1-9,999 and to associate those numerals with the appropriate quantities. For example a child will learn to add four-digit numbers together before adding 1+1. If a child can succeed with four-digit numbers, the concept of adding single digit numbers comes effortlessly. 

    Another favorite is the bead cabinet which contains chains of beads in quantities from 1-10. The longest chain is 1,000 beads consisting of 100 bead bars with each containing 10 beads. Children, particularly 5-year-olds, love big numbers and the opportunity to count that high is thrilling. 

    The bead cabinet work also introduces the concepts of skip counting, squaring, and cubing and is used more extensively in Lower Elementary (grades 1-3).
  • Language

    Language activities are audible and visible everywhere in the Children's House classroom. 

    Detailed vocabulary is used to stretch young minds. The children don’t know that the concept of a hexagon is any more difficult than the concept of a square, or that geometric solids such as a cube or rectangular prism are not generic terms most 4-year-olds learn. 

    Children build their language and literacy concepts through music, memorization, patterns, and repetition. They learn the vocabularies of animal and plant names and how words function in our speech. Your child will analyze sounds in our language by matching sounds to tactile sandpaper letters, and eventually using the letters to compose words and sentences using movable alphabets. 

    Often children form words phonetically before they can read them independently. A world language, Spanish or French, is also introduced to the Children's House children beginning at age 3. Hearing and repeating new sounds and words excite the pre-school child’s absorbent mind and expand learning.
    Working with the moveable alphabet is a big part of the language curriculum. The moveable alphabet is a large wooden box with compartments for each letter of the alphabet. This Montessori material gives the children the greatest sensorial experience possible; they hear the sounds, feel the shape of the letter in their hands, and manipulate each sound as they construct the words. 

    The moveable alphabet gives the child’s mind the ability to express itself in written words, without the need to be able to manipulate a pencil. Beginning lessons include learning to carry the work to an appropriate work space and manipulate the letters. 

    Later lessons include building words, phrases, sentences, and even stories!
  • Culture

    The study of Art, Music, Geography, Earth Science, History, Botany, and Zoology help children orient themselves to the world around them. 

    Art, music, movement, and multicultural activities are an integral part of this joyful learning experience. Parents often share their family traditions, food, costumes, and religious festivals in a spirit of friendship.

World Language

A world language, Spanish or French, is introduced to the Children's House children beginning at age 3.

Outdoor Education

Designed to be an extension of the classroom, patios and outdoor spaces allow the children to further develop a connection to the natural environment. Students at this age continue receiving lessons from a certified teacher in Outdoor Education, a schoolwide co-curricular program.

Program Options

Half Day: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Five days: Monday-Friday
  • Afternoon Enrichment: 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Afternoon Enrichment is available for Children’s House half-day students. A 24-hour reservation is required and is billed monthly at $14 per hour per child.
Full Day: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Five days: Monday-Friday
  • Kindergarten is a full-day program