PRIVATE PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN (PRIMARY)
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method is alternative education that protects and expands the absorbent mind of children through uninterrupted work time. Our private preschool and kindergarten program honors this method, which prepares children for rigorous academics and nurtures their innate creativity. Learn more about our objective and curriculum below or contact us today to schedule a tour of our beautiful school in Bellevue, Washington.
How do the students spend their time?
Our Montessori preschool and kindergarten curriculum offers children activities that build practical life skills, determination, and understanding. With these tools, our students spend time using their hands to explore their surroundings, engaging with peers through academic work and play, and receiving individualized lessons from loving teachers.
Curriculum Goals for Montessori Preschoolers
Emotional: In our private preschool program, your child strengthens their emotional regulation and experiences empathy through modeled behavior. With repetition, these practices guide your child into independent thinking and self-control.
Social: As your child builds confidence through independence, relationships with their classmates deepen and personalities begin to shine. These social connections offer opportunities to practice respect, cooperation, and problem-solving supported by lessons on grace and courtesy.
Cognitive: Our private preschool program is dedicated to the development of the “whole child.” As your child builds their cognitive function, they:
- Refine their sense of order within their environment, within their pre-k program and home life.
- Develop concentration.
- Hone visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory senses for discrimination and gradation.
- Gain an understanding of functional relationships, explore basic qualities of their environment, and adapt learned skills and a variety of strategies to solve problems.
- Understand the concepts of more and less, big and small, and high and low.
- Expand communication skills through language and symbols.
- Develop a conceptual understanding of numbers and counting.
Language: Your child’s comprehension of language expands as we model proper communication skills, promote verbal expression, and use books to build vocabulary and sequential awareness as well as instill a love of stories.
Physical: In our private preschool program, your child refines their gross and fine motor skills through purposeful and coordinated movement both inside the classroom and on the playground.
Music: Your child participates in weekly circles with our music specialist to promote group participation and a love of music. They build upon their awareness of beat and lyrics in order to support their language development, coordinated movement, and musicality. They practice that musicality through exploration with various world instruments.
Curriculum Goals for Montessori Kindergarten
Our private kindergarten curriculum goes beyond reading, writing, math, and science: We prepare children for life. With our “whole child” approach, we place equal emphasis on each child’s social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive growth.
For students three to six years old, we work to build fundamental skills and create a foundation for lifelong learners. Our early education goal is to help your child develop a love of learning, and grow their abilities and experiences while learning to live fully and responsibly. Our Primary 1, 2, and 3 program is the equivalent of two years of preschool and one year of kindergarten.
Children love to show off their independence, and practical life is one area that directly supports it. We build the foundations of life skills through works aimed at self-care, care of the environment, fine and gross motor development, grace and courtesy, and social skills. Work in practical life builds a strong foundation in concentration, coordination (including pincer grip), independence, and order (including left to right and top to bottom progressions), which in turn sets children up for success in all areas both in and out of the classroom.
Young children in our private kindergarten program learn by using their senses, and refining their ability to discriminate through the use of their senses enhances their learning in everything from art to math and language. Sensory learning develops all seven of a child’s naturally occurring senses: tactile (touch), visual (sight), auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), vestibular (balance/movement), and proprioceptive (body awareness in space). We do this through set recognition, repetition, and exactness in perception and sequencing. Many sensorial materials integrate an element of base 10, which helps prepare your children for their work in math.
Your child explores verbal expression, builds their vocabulary, and grows their comprehension of language. Through multifaceted storytelling, they learn to love literature and stories, which is their greatest motivator for learning to read. Young children start with foundational skills in prereading, sensitizing their abilities to visually discriminate the fine differences of letters, and prewriting, building hand muscles and developing a pincer grip. They learn the phonetic sounds, which leads to composing and reading short words, and eventually longer words and sentences. Formal handwriting leads to written expression of ideas on paper as children learn to put together the pieces of their own stories.
We feel it is important for our children to build a firm foundation of math and numbers through hands-on activities long before they move into abstract computations. Children in our private kindergarten programs learn about numbers through touching, moving, and quantifying physical objects. We teach them to place value in the decimal system, and they use that for math operations, including addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. Children also work with physical manifestations of fractions, geometric shapes, and pre-algebra.
Living Montessori children build a basic understanding of the world they live in through group and individual experiments. Science cultivates their natural curiosity and thirst for exploration as they develop the skills of observation, experimentation, and critical and creative thinking. We introduce them to the scientific method and culminate their experience with our Spring Science Fair for children ages 3 to 12. Your child learns about:
- The solar system and the universe
- The earth’s origins, inner structure, volcanoes, earthquakes, and tides
- Animal and plant life
- Health sciences and nutrition, including organic gardening for awareness of where our food comes from
- Environmental science, including recycling, air and water pollution, and sustainability
- Physical science concepts in physics and chemistry
Geography and Cultural Studies
Our children begin to explore geography with an orientation to their own environment and then move on to the world map, the continents, land and water formations, and geology. Through our cultural studies, they study history, build their concept of time (past, present, future) and learn about influential historical figures. Children also get their first taste of social studies with an introduction to the concept of culture, exploration of various world cultures, cultural pluralism, and current events.
Social and Emotional Skills
Our unique private school curriculum believes in teaching children not only about core academic subjects, but also about how to build interpersonal skills and be good citizens. This is achieved through guided practice in self-awareness, emotional awareness, emotional regulation, respect for self and others, self-control, cooperation, and team building. Social skills come from not only understanding what to do with others, but also through awareness of why we do things and what their effect is on others and ourselves.
Through exercise and play, your child develops the gross motor skills and proficiencies crucial to their physical early education. They build their hand-eye coordination through various sports and games, as well as develop their balance, stability, coordination, and body awareness through yoga and dance. Outdoor time on our nature-inspired playground is an integral part of our daily schedule.
In our private pre-k program, your will child explores art as a process. They develop their artistic expression using various mediums, including paint, collage, crayons, pencils, and textiles. They also learn about basic elements of art, including shapes, lines, textures, and styles, with study of various famous artists to support these concepts.
Living Montessori children learn that singing is fun, but also that music makes use of various structural components, including tempo, rhythm, dynamics, echo, and pitch. Choreographing songs with movements refines children’s fine and gross motor skills while also supporting memorization and group participation. These skills are demonstrated each year at our annual performances.