4 Weeks - 15 Months Old
An extraordinary amount of development takes place in the first year of life. We serve your baby’s needs in the following four sensitive periods of infant development:
Our infant Montessori environment is cozy, warm, and specially designed to encourage and stimulate movement and motor skills. We nurture your baby's independence through the use of developmentally appropriate materials and activities that support them through each stage of infant growth.
Because we “follow the child,” our infants can safely explore their classroom based upon their curiosity and mobility level. Our attention is focused on strengthening muscles and developing the gross motor skills of each infant.
Developing movement in the youngest Montessori children also lays the foundation for future cognitive development. Children who are free to move and explore learn to pursue their own interests. And learning to move to get something just out of reach is a lesson in problem solving.
Our infants are also taught ASL (American Sign Language) so they can communicate their basic needs to our highly trained Montessori staff.
Naps and meal times are individualized based on each infant's unique personalities and needs.
15 months - 3 years old
The toddler years are the time when children use their bodies, senses, and emerging problem-solving skills to learn about and make sense of their world in the most meaningful and effective ways.
Dr. Montessori recognized that the first few years of a child’s life are critical to the development of personality and intellect. Toddlers are actively seeking out information, they learn quickly and easily, and they are especially interested in demonstrating independence.
This is the time for children to explore and discover through active play, since children learn best by doing. Our highly trained Montessori teachers give toddlers responsive, individualized attention to help build skills in:
Our toddlers enjoy daily recess on their own outdoor playground, weekly P.E. classes, and daily music and movement lessons. Toddlers engage in both self-led and teacher-directed art lessons. Language lessons are taught in English, Spanish, and ASL. Our toddlers also learn valuable practical life skills for eating, dressing, toileting, and more.
Snacks, lunch time, and naps are on a specific schedule to provide structure to the toddlers' day.
3-6 years old
Our primary program offers a unique, mixed-age classroom environment. Here, children engage in individual learning experiences, as well as one-on-one interactions which are integral to the Montessori Method.
As children get older, they tend to see things that adults find ordinary as very interesting and special. Practical life exercises like sorting, pouring, or washing dishes absorb them completely.
We recognize this period as the beginning of control and coordination of mind and body. That’s why Montessori learning revolves around tangible, hands-on experiences. Children use concrete materials to learn math, movable alphabet letters to explore language, and cubes, cylinders and other objects to categorize, find spatial relationships, and more. In the process, children are discovering independence, confidence, and innovation.
Practical learning experiences explore key subjects including:
Lower Elementary Program
6-9 years old
Elementary aged children are actively social and begin to demonstrate an ability to think abstractly. Montessori education, at the lower elementary level, is designed to spark the imagination and to address the child’s need to interact with others.
Through observation, teachers outline individual plans for each child’s developmental level. Children are encouraged to learn both in cooperation with each other and independently. A multi-age classroom provides a community of support.
Our lower elementary classrooms are warm and inviting spaces. They are filled with intriguing materials, fascinating models, and colorful maps. The Montessori materials provided in each classroom are tools that stimulate the child into logical thought and discovery.
In our lower elementary classrooms, children have jobs and feel a sense of ownership within their environment and their individual work plans. They are self-motivated and enjoy the discovery and interactions that Montessori works provide.
Without the ability to picture what is beyond the senses, a child could not grasp the great mysteries of our universe. All elementary education begins and flows from the lessons of history: how the universe was formed, how life formed on earth, how man developed, and how man met his fundamental human needs of communication through the development of math and language. These studies result in an awareness of our interdependence and an inner gratitude for life. Our children will become the future world peacemakers.
There are many important subject areas your child will learn about each year, including:
Upper Elementary Program
9-12 years old
In the upper elementary program, children are taught to express themselves and to self-teach by researching. Through research, they are able to share an abundance of knowledge with each other.
This non-competitive environment fosters a love of learning and allows their natural curiosity to lead the way.
Our upper elementary classroom offers a customized learning environment allowing for many opportunities for individualized attention as well as fostering self-paced learning.
The classroom is an extension of the students’ world. As such, the emotional aspects of the upper elementary students play an important role in their development. We help the students understand how to work and be a part of a community in a positive and productive way. At this level, we do not shy away from difficulties or issues; instead, we work through them in a healthy manner.
The classroom is very calm and productive, but at times also lively and exciting, as collaborative activities take place. Empathy education and team building create an ever-changing and engaging environment.
In the upper elementary classroom, your child will continue to learn:
Middle School Program
12-14 years old
The adolescent years are an important time of growth, change, and mystery. As children move beyond the elementary classroom, they embark upon the journey of adolescence that will ideally lead them to maturity.
Our Montessori middle school classroom is designed to meet the changing needs of the adolescent student while encouraging a continuation of the love of learning and discovery.
Student’s needs at this stage include:
By having these needs met, the students can experience a rewarding and positive educational experience.
Based upon their needs, students often work in small groups to accomplish projects and are encouraged to work together on individual assignments.
Our Middle School curriculum includes:
All of our students are taught Spanish as a second language. In today’s society, especially in the United States, having the ability to speak Spanish can be greatly beneficial in one’s personal and professional life. Infants and young children are essentially sponges when it comes to learning a new language. Research indicates that the brain is at its optimum to learn foreign sounds in children under age 10. Students who learn a language early improve their chances for native-like pronunciation and a high level of proficiency later in life.
American Sign Language (ASL) is taught to all students at NPMS. The benefits of learning sign language at an early age are numerous. ASL is one of the most widely used languages in the United States, and the fourth-most studied second language at American universities. At least 35 states have recognized ASL as a modern language. Research has shown that pairing signs with English help learners formulate mental pictures. This multi-modal experience can help create new pathways in the brain for storage and retrieval of information.
Art and music are not taught as isolated subjects in an authentic Montessori classroom. Just as artistic and musical expression are interwoven into the human experience, they are integrated into the life of the classroom in many forms.
Children can express their creativity through a variety of media, including paint, chalk, clay, and textiles. Student are given the opportunity to sing, dance, and play instruments. Music and art are also explored through the context of history and culture. Children listen to and learn about different musical forms from classical and beyond.
Students in our lower elementary classroom partake in character education lessons. Character is the intentional effort of living out one’s core values and working on continuous growth through ethical and compassionate decision-making. Character education is a learning process that enables students to understand, care about, and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue, citizenship, and responsibility for self and others. Upon such core values, we form the attitudes and actions that are the hallmark of safe, healthy, and informed communities that serve as the foundation of our society.
When we put ourselves in another person’s shoes, we are often more sensitive to what that person is experiencing and are less likely to tease or bully them. By explicitly teaching students to be more conscious of other people’s feelings, we can create a more accepting and respectful community. Through our empathy curriculum, upper elementary and middle school students gain a deeper understanding of empathy and learn how to put it into practice in the classroom and beyond.
We are in the process of beginning our own school garden. Gardening is a wonderful way for children to connect with nature and nurture living things. It provides learning opportunities when studying parts of seeds, flowers, and plants. Children love to dig in the dirt and get great exercise while doing so. We are fortunate to have a beautiful courtyard garden space where our children can be part of the growing process. They will have ownership of the gardens as well as the food and flowers produced in them.