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.
Kristen Stuertz teaching career started in 2010 when she received her California Teaching Credential. After having two girls she took some time off to stay home and eventually enrolled her daughters in a Montessori school. She then decided to get back into the classroom by working at her daughters school. She spent three years learning more about Montessori through her children’s experience and was so impressed with the philosophy and academics that she decided to pursue her Montessori training with the Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute, she graduated summer of 2018.
Kristen and her family moved to Boise in 2014 and have come to feel right at home! They are exploring and venturing out into the more remote places of Idaho. She enjoys checking out new places to dine, gardening, reading, watching British mystery series and spending time with her family.
Jordyn Turney was born and raised in the mountains of Arizona. She loved reading early on and went to a small public school that emphasized the importance of community, impressing on her the impact of caring teachers and close-knit, peaceful classrooms, which fall perfectly in line with the Montessori philosophy. Upon entering into the educational field, she quickly fell in love with the varied and unique personalities of the 3-6 age group. Helping young children learn grow into the people they will later become is one of the greatest privileges, and Jordyn couldn't imagine working with a more motivating and inspiring educational philosophy.
Since moving to Idaho in 2013, Boise and the surrounding area has become Jordyn's adopted hometown. Jordyn spent a few years as a Montessori assistant and substitute; she went through AMS training for the 3-6 year old classroom in Montana and is fortunate to have landed at Rose Hill Montessori, doing her internship under the guidance of Christel Nordhausen.
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.
Carrie Hutchings was born and raised in the Treasure Valley. She and her husband, Aaron, love living in Boise and raising their two children here.
Carrie worked with at-risk youths and kids with developmental disabilities until her first child was born and she decided to stay home with her two children. She home school her children for their first few years of schooling and during that time (while doing exhaustive research for schooling options) discovered the Montessori philosophy and intergrated much of it at home with her kids. Upon deciding that it was time to just be mom and not mom/teacher, Carrie and her husband enrolled their children at Rose Hill Montessori where Carrie was able to accompany the kids on field trips, oversee the yearbook committee, etc. In 2019 she join the staff at Rose Hill working with the 3-6 year old Primary classroom. She enjoys watching them learn and grow and loves seeing their smiling faces every day.