Early Childhood Education
For the 3 to 6 year old child, the goal is "normalization." A normalized child has the capability, tools, and desire to explore and participate in the universe. They can demonstrate:
- A love of work which included the ability to choose work freely.
- Concentration and focus.
- Self discipline which includes perseverance and the ability to complete an entire cycle of an activity.
- Sociability which refers to patience, respect, help and sympathy towards others, and harmonious working relationships in a group.
The Montessori classroom is a "Prepared Environment." Children learn more directly from it than from the teacher so it must aid every area of their development. The Primary classroom contains activities and material that meet the needs of the 3 to 6 year old children. The material are grouped into 5 main areas:
The Sensorial material help the child develop all of his senses. He will learn to discriminate objects based on color, size, shape, length, taste, sound, texture, etc. Internalizing these concepts also provides a basis for development of other skills, such as music, math, and language.
The Practical Life activities help develop independent living skills. A child will learn to hang up her coat, open her own lunch box, fold her own blanket, put away her own mat, sweep or sponge up her own spills, and to pour her own juice or milk.
The Practical Life activities also develop fine motor and gross motor coordination. The child will learn to pour grains and then water from large and small pitchers with no spillage. He will carry large, heavy objects as well as tiny, delicate objects without dropping or breaking them. He will use large objects such as ladles, and small objects such as tweezers to transfer objects from one place to another. This area also includes exercises in Grace and Courtesy: saying please, thank you, excuse me; offering and accepting politely; waiting patiently to take turns.
The child first works with various Pre-language activities. He learns certain terminology: "on, under, under, behind, first, last, etc." He practices exercises that increase the auditory memory span. He does matching, categorizing, sequencing, rhyming. He learns the letter sounds, names, and sequence in the alphabet. The Montessori language program is phonetically based and it does meet the needs of both left and right brain learners.
Math explores the properties and manipulation of numbers. The material illustrates the dynamics of our base 10 number system and teaches the child to carry out the various mathematical operations. Math is demonstrated to the child by first introducing quantity, then the symbol, and then their association.
Mathematical concepts are also worked with: spatial relationships, patterning, counting, time, calendar, etc.
The activities that fall into this category provide a fun and easy way to learn geography, science and art. The child matches and grades the bells to train her hearing of music. She manipulates puzzles and matching cards to learn the continents, planets, plant parts, and animal parts. She colors special drawings to identify parts of a flower or bird. She learns that the earth is made of land, water, and air. She learns to recognize the animals and life forms that live within those elements. She also observes living creatures, such as a hermit crab or turtle, brought into the environment. All of these enhance the awareness of the world around her.
All primary students receive 2 half-hour sessions each week studying Spanish. Through songs and movement they learn the words for the colors, numbers, foods, simple common expressions, and other basic vocabulary.
Christel Nordhausen was born in a small farming village in Germany and immigrated to the U. S. when she was 6. She received her B. A. degree from Drew University in New Jersey in German literature and math and her M. S. degree at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
For over 5 years she lived in Texas, Mississippi, and New Orleans before moving to Boise in 1978. She immediately felt close to Idaho's mountains and high desert and many wonderful people. Undecided between going to Veterinarian School in Pullman or studying Child Psychology, she started working in a Montessori school to help plan her future. She fell in love with the Montessori method. She received her NCME (National Center for Montessori Education) Primary Certification in Boise, taught for many years, then went to Milwaukee and acquired her AMI (Association Montessori International) Elementary Certification (ages 6 - 12) in 1992. She began teaching Montessori Elementary that year and eventually opened Rose Hill Montessori in June of 1996.
When not at school, she loves to visit with friends, travel and spend time in the outdoors: camping, hiking, biking, and working in the garden.
Lonna Kelly grew up in Denver, Colorado. She moved to McCall, Idaho in 1986. Her family moved to Boise in 2001.
Lonna's greatest accomplishment is her family: Husband Tim, and sons, Ryan and Neil. She enjoys being a grandma. She loves to watch NFL football, read and walk. She also loves to be home with her family whenever time allows.
She began working at Rose Hill in July, 2006. She really enjoys working with the 3 to 6 year olds.