At the West Mountain Montessori School, we believe in providing a positive learning environment for your child that enhances his or her level of development. We also believe in developing independence and critical thinking skills to make responsible choices. Montessori provides advantages to guide your child through important formative years and beyond. Our academic program is supplemented by field trips, in-school events, and guest speakers who enrich the learning experience.
With positive guidance and direction from trained staff, your child will be exposed to situations that will stimulate:
Practical life exercises are everyday activities carried out by children in a logical sequence in a prepared Montessori environment. The aim is to assist the child in the adaption to their surrounding environment.
The activities are classified under three headings: Care of Person; Care of Environment; and the lessons of Grace and Courtesy. The exercises satisfy many of the basic needs of the young child and are introduced at a time when they have sensitivity to movement. The young child performs the activities to satisfy a need from within.
Practical life exercises are the building blocks towards higher learning in a Montessori classroom. A three year-old learns not only how to carry a pitcher of water without spilling, but also to have the confidence and motor skills to do so.
These attractive materials educate and train the child’s mind to discriminate and appreciate their senses. Each of the materials isolates one defining quality such as colour, weight, shape, texture, sound, smell and so on. The materials help to organize and classify the many impressions a child already has and they provide an opportunity to explore the environment. Dr. Montessori also designed several sensorial games, which involve careful listening, the use of memory, proper handling and respect for materials. The control of error lies in the materials and through practice, the child is indirectly prepared for mathematics, reading, writing, scientific observations and many other meaningful activities.
This is one of the basic learning areas in a Montessori classroom. Language experiences, which being long before the child enters school, are enriched in the classroom, where language is presented in a more formal and ordered manner through carefully sequenced materials. The pre-reading and reading readiness activities include the development of visual and auditory discrimination, of vocabulary and an interest in words. Word analysis or reading skill activities focus on the sandpaper letters, initial sound work, and moveable alphabet spelling. Phonetic reading and non-phonetic reading skills (phonogram work) begin when the child masters their word analysis skills. Writing is reviewed as a fine motor skill and its development is assisted by the manner in which a child is taught to handle Practical Life and Sensorial materials. Fine motor skills are then further refined with the aid of Metal Insets and specific writing exercises, beginning with Sandpaper Letters.
A child can learn basic concepts of mathematics in either of two ways. By using concrete materials during the years when they enjoy manipulating equipment or by abstract methods when they are in the elementary grades. Dr. Montessori demonstrated that if a child has access to mathematical equipment in their early years, they can easily and joyfully assimilate many facts and skills of arithmetic.
The morning half day program incorporates the Montessori curriculum outlined above. The full day program incorporates the Montessori curriculum in the morning followed by French, Mandarin, Visual Art, Drama, Music and Physical Education in the afternoon.