Toddler Program Curriculum
(14-36 months; teacher:child ratio 1:4)
We will maintain our toddler classrooms at a teacher:child ratio of 1:4 with two teachers, keeping our class size at a maximum of 8 children. We look upon the toddler curriculum as academic preparation for the future.
The most important part of the toddler curriculum is vocabulary development. Rotating materials on the shelves every two weeks or so allow the classroom of our year-round school to continue to be interesting to the young children. Rotation of materials allows children to develop their vocabulary well, encountering a diverse set of words each time, e.g. puzzles with different animals, small models of different pieces of furniture, or wooden shapes, etc.
Fine Motor Skills
Through a series of simple exercises that involve the holding and manipulating of small objects, we assist the young child to modify their grasp to a pincer grasp. There are also multiple exercises that work towards stimulating all the muscles in the hand.
An important part of the toddler training is to get them toilet trained, and ready for the primary classroom where children function more independently. Our child-sized restrooms are not as intimidating to the toddlers, and observing other children visit the restroom is encouraging.
Young children have to be taught how to take one set of work materials from the shelves, work with it on a table or a rug, and place it back when done. They also learn how to be respectful around another child’s work, not interfering or knocking it over. By practicing “walking on the line”, children learn how to walk in a classroom instead of running, how to hold one object at a time with two hands, how to use their inside voice, as well as other lessons of grace and courtesy.
Starting from the introduction of numbers with the number rods, we work our way through various lessons that introduce and reinforce the concept of one-to-one mapping when counting. The children subsequently learn about the base 10 of our number system via the golden beads. Addition and Subtraction in the thousands are performed with the help of the beads (or their wooden representations) and subsequently the children learn of multiplication and division using charts just as conceptually. Advanced concepts such as fractional circles, etc. are also available to the children.
Starting from an introduction of the geometric solids, children slowly progress through the different levels of the geometric cabinet learning about different polygons, triangles such as equilateral, isosceles, and scalene, etc. Children are even introduced to the wooden expressions of the algebraic equations (a+b)2 as well as (a+b+c)3 via the binomial and trinomial cubes respectively.
Sandpaper Letters allow the children to learn the letters of the English alphabet not just by seeing visually, but also by developing a muscle memory that is useful in writing at a later time. Learning the sounds of the letters allow the young child to de-blend simple phonetic words such as ‟cat” and learn how to construct these words. Other steps in this journey involve learning the phonograms to construct more complex words, the magic ‟E” lesson, and then eventual reading of phonetic books, and subsequently advancing to read more complex books with time.
Fine motor skills are developed slowly through tracing and coloring of metal shapes or metal insets; the pencils used have a triangular cross-section to refine the child’s pincer grasp. Tracing different waveforms and subsequently letters allow the child to develop their writing abilities. Children in their kindergarten year are exposed to grammar and sentence analysis to identify nouns, adjectives, etc. when they demonstrate that they are ready to learn these concepts.
Designed to cater to the young child’s tactile needs, sensory materials such as the pink tower, brown stair, cylinder blocks, red rods, etc. are constructed under the scientific principle that only the parameter we wish to study is varied, while all other parameters are kept constant. These sensory materials prepare the young three year old child to learn about size in a qualitative way, and prepare them for mathematics where we learn to quantify size.
It was the genius of Dr. Maria Montessori that brought everyday household tasks such as cleaning the table, sweeping the floor, buttoning a shirt, getting a glass of water, washing hands, watering a plant, etc. as classroom curriculum. These lessons not just help the child in achieving a sense of confidence and independence, but also serve to calm overactive children and develop their focus and attention span. These lessons are a necessary and important step in paving the way for academics and are typically designed with hidden academic agenda.
Primary children learn to distinguish between living and non-living things, classification of plant and animal kingdoms, vertebrates and non-vertebrates, identifying and labeling different parts of a flower such as calyx, corolla, pistil, stamen, or body parts of a frog, for example.
The young children initially learn the names of the different continents, and subsequently learn to focus on individual continents with the help of control maps, learning about the weather, language, people, culture, native animals, etc. in those regions of the world. Children are also exposed to land and water forms, components of the solar system, and so on as elements of geography.
Primary Program Curriculum
(3-6 years; Preschool & Kindergarten; Teacher:Child Ratio 1:8)
We will maintain our primary classrooms at a teacher : child ratio of 1:8 with two teachers, keeping our class size at a maximum of 16 children. We look upon the primary curriculum as Education for Life. Education at any age should be a journey, with time to reflect upon the learned concepts, and not a race to complete the curriculum as per schedule. Your child will have the opportunity to learn the following lessons at his or her own pace.