Foundations of Learning & Leadership
Foundations of Learning
- Toddler (18 months – 3 years)
- Casa Preschool (3 – 6 years)
- Lower Elementary (6 – 9 years)
The early years of education are critical to developing the skills and habits associated with learning that will serve children throughout their lives. At these early levels, much of the Montessori classroom and material design, program activities and teaching approach are deliberately designed not only to teach “things”, but also to teach children how to learn, and to love learning. They hone fine motor skills, develop concentration, and discover how to organize concepts and tasks while keeping their senses open to the world around them. Children learn how to work together and independently. They are encouraged and taught to love learning new things; not simply by exposure to many different things, but by learning how to make the most of these opportunities.
The Foundations of Learning program is deliberately designed to help children develop independence and respect as they learn, so they are prepared to embrace the opportunities that present as they enter the Foundations of Leadership program. As the child grows and moves through higher levels of education, and indeed into professional development and throughout life, it is these learning skills and the love of learning that will be critical to their success.
Foundations of Leadership
- Upper Elementary (9 – 12 years)
- Junior High (12 – 14 years)
At age nine, children typically have mastered the basics of their senses and developed a keen desire to understand not just the “what’s” of the world, but the “how’s” and “why’s” as well. At this stage, our approach migrates with the child from the Foundations of Learning, to the Foundations of Leadership. These children seek opportunities to collaborate, research, communicate, empathize, rationalize, and problem-solve.
The Foundations of Leadership approach actively provides ways for them to use the knowledge and skills they are gathering in a valuable way, helps them understand the many possibilities for putting knowledge to work for themselves and for others around them. The program puts their learning skills to the test, broadening all areas of the curriculum from math and science, to languages, to music and the arts. Students move from working with concrete materials to working with abstraction, particularly in math and science. They delve deeply into studies of great composers and authors, and work to understand the history and geography of the world. They learn to use technology to help them in their studies and activities.
The materials and approach while still designed to deliver the required curriculum, also increasingly challenge the children to work together, to be independent, to contribute to the community, and to be leaders within the school. They learn how to run group meetings, resolve conflicts, organize events and activities, research issues and develop points of view, and to help others in need.
As the child grows and moves through the higher levels of the program, they become confident in themselves; in their abilities to analyze and make decisions, in their abilities to work with and lead others, in their search to find their path to success.