Waco Montessori School Kindergarten Program
(5 – 6 years approximately) 8:15am – 3:00pm daily
Kindergarten is a special time in a child’s Montessori education. After two full years, the Montessori Early Childhood classroom is a familiar environment to these 5-year-olds. They know the daily routines inside and out; their teachers know them well and can readily work with their strengths and encourage them to take on challenges. They are conscious of being the oldest students in the room, having lived through two years of classroom transitions, starting when they were three. It is during this third year that parents (and children!) will witness the “explosion of learning” that Maria Montessori observed more than 100 years ago:
- Repetition with the materials has led to perfection of skills.
- They have developed the ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
- They have practiced patience when working with materials that require them to follow a lengthy sequence and complete a cycle of challenging work.
- They have gained problem solving skills from experiencing situations that allow them to resolve a situation independently.
- They have learned to make positive, independent choices.
- They understand the value of constructive, purposeful work.
Children Who Value Community
The practical life exercises that engaged and fascinated children when they were younger (e.g., folding, washing, polishing, the dressing frames, etc.) evolve into a commitment to contribute and care for the community. They will be folding the napkins and placemats so they are ready for snack, preparing snack and sweeping up the crumbs left behind after snack. In the process, they will be taking conscious responsibility to perform tasks that keep the classroom beautiful and modeling this for all to see.
Language for Reading Comprehension
In the area of language, all the work children have done during the first two years with the sandpaper letters, learning the sounds and the symbols of the letters, and building words with the moveable alphabet now forms the foundation for reading. And it’s not just the task of acquiring fluency and comprehension that keeps them busy. There’s also work with nouns, articles, adjectives and verbs, etc., the foundation of grammar, writing stories and so much more.
Problem Solving Skills
In the math area, learning to count first from 1 to 10, then to 100, then to 1000, and their concrete experience with the decimal system prepares a Kindergartener well for the beginnings of abstraction. Now children can work with the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in a variety of ways and can memorize math facts. This is the first step in the all-important problem solving skills.
Developing Leadership Skills
Beyond the academic achievements that take place, Kindergarteners in Montessori are given a special and very important role. They are now the “Leaders,” rich with experience and knowledge, which they now regularly get the opportunity to share with their younger classmates. They serve as leaders, helping to guide the younger children, as older students once did for them. This encourages empathy, increased self-confidence and enthusiasm for the learning process, which they can use to adapt to any new situation throughout their life.