Along with academic subjects (Math, Language, Science, Geography, Practical Life, Sensorial) the Montessori curriculum contains practical lessons on appropriate social behavior entitled “Grace and Courtesy”. These lessons, which stem from Dr. Montessori’s desire to foster capable and functioning members of society, are designed to educate children on positive social conduct and respectful, cooperative interaction with the classroom, environment, and community at large. They serve to reinforce the theme of respect for every child and participant in the environment that runs through all aspects of the Montessori classroom
Below is an example of a typical one-year school year curriculum (The curriculum changes every year on a three-year cycle).
For the most part, this curriculum covers the world outside of our classroom. We are taking the child from the “Big Picture” and moving steadily down from:
- Our Earth – including the lithosphere
- Our continent – including Canada, Mexico, and USA
- Mercer Island (and surrounding cities – Bellevue & Issaquah)
- All the way to “Our bodies” including our five senses, feelings, etc.
Throughout the year we will have three continents we will focus on:
- North America
- South America
The children will have the opportunity to explore new and different cultures. It is our goal to aid the child to have an understanding and appreciation for those who are different from us.
We will also be studying botany along with other subjects: seasons, holidays, etc.
Weekly Spanish and Chinese lessons (counting, colors, objects, etc) given by Miss Roxy and Miss Ruby.
Music, Art, and Yoga are also incorporated into our school day.
Other concepts incorporated into our curriculum
1.) Every month we will introduce a “Value of the Month”. Some of these will include: Friendship, kindness, respect, love, empathy, honesty, integrity.
2.) Books! Lots of them to help gain insight into the many feelings/emotions that can sometimes hinder positive interactions between children and/or the classroom environment.
3.) Community involvement – each year we have two important events that all of the children have the opportunity to participate. We adopt a family (and a men’s shelter) for our “Holiday Giving” program. We also support sick children and their families by sponsoring the St. Jude’s Trike-a-Thon. These are both great organizations that really make a difference!
4.) Recycling – for years the earth has been depleted too fast to sustain a healthy balance. The earth’s natural resources are being consumed at a rate that reinforces the idea that we are living for today and the future generations will be paying for the consequences. The children will participate by using recycling bins in the classroom. We have also added a compost bin (by the gate on the playground) so we can expand our capacity to reuse classroom garbage.
5.) The Peace Blanket – this year we have a “peace blanket” in our classroom. When two children encounter a problem that is difficult to resolve, they can work it out by placing the peace blanket on the floor. Each child has a turn expressing their feelings by taking turns by holding a (cloth) dove. This is a positive way to teach conflict resolution and problem-solving.
6.) We have our own garden patch in front of the classroom by the fence. Some of the plants we’ve grown include: pumpkins, carrots, corn, herbs, tomatoes.