Central Montessori School’s Three-year Montessori Program Explained

by Lois Kim, Director of Central Montessori School

CMS’ Montessori education consists of a three-year curriculum, which is designed to teach children from 18 months to 5 years of age. The monthly themes are as follows:

August All About Me I January Astronomy
September All About Me II February Geography II
October Geography I March Science Experiments
November Fine Arts April Botany
December Geometry May Zoology

In the first year, children focus on mastering rudimentary content, in the second year, they develop a more in-depth understanding of the content, and in the third year, the children are able to further expand their understanding and ultimately blossom in their Montessori leadership education through a culmination of everything they have learned.

Each month’s curriculum begins with a STONE. Based on this Stone, the Biblical Word of God comes from one branch, and monthly themes from another branch. These two are incorporated and delivered to children through the Montessori Method.

Let’s take April as an example, which is the month where the subject of Botany will be explored.

In their first year, students learn the parts of a plant through song. Additionally, they learn the names of common flowers. Higher level students learn the names of flowers in written form. And all of the students will have an opportunity to plant a seed and watch it grow, and take it home. Many students love this gardening experience.

In the second year, students learn about the many different structural aspects of a tree and the shapes of leaves with the Montessori Botany Cabinet. After this lesson, they will have the opportunity to take each leaf inset from the Botany Cabinet outside to do a scavenger hunt for the different shapes of leaves. After these kinds of real life activities, the children become much more observant of the different shapes of leaves when they see a tree outside. This is a sign that the sharpness of the eye is developing.

In the third year: The child learns about oxygen and carbon dioxide with several hands-on experiments. They learn that we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Human beings need oxygen. However, in an opposite way, trees need carbon dioxide, and they breathe out oxygen. This kind of learning helps children realize the importance of trees to human beings. Previously young children cannot see any relationship between trees and themselves. To young children, trees are trees, while they are human beings. However, this kind of learning about the relationship of trees and human beings provides an opportunity for young children to develop a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship that exists between humans and plant life. The children begin to understand the importance of plant life and that all living beings on Earth do not randomly exist, but were purposefully designed to live harmonious lives. In Montessori education, we call this Cosmic Education.

According to Montessori research, there is a profound connection between cosmic education and peace. The more opportunities that children have to learn of the interdependence and connectedness of all living things, the more they come to value the integrity of all life. And through this understanding, a peaceful approach develops naturally (Concept excerpted from NAMC).

The third year is when children have an opportunity to watch videos that show the process of how paper is made from trees. Through this exposure, they begin to recognize the importance of reduce, reuse, and recycle. After these lessons, you may find that your child will “nag” at you to turn off the water while brushing your teeth. They begin to act like an “Environmental Steward,” a true leader of the Earth.

As it is explained above, this three-year Montessori curriculum is one of the ways that separates and highlights CMS from all other Montessori schools. In addition to this exclusive three-year curriculum, CMS has several great factors that make us outstanding: (1) various Hands-on Experiments catered to the child’s level based on Monthly Themes, (2) the “Prepared Environment” equipped with 100% Montessori Didactic Materials to satisfy all Sensitive Periods for each developmental stage of the child, (3) Nature Exploration Tables which are filled with topic related books, a magnifying glass and a microscope to examine, and other hands-on activities which help children measure, sort, and learn by themselves, (4) A school yard that provides gardening for children to grow their own plants and fruit that they can pick on their own crops, and make salads with the plants they grow, and (5) all different types of Extracurricular Activities such as Bike Day, Fire Truck Visitation, Fall Festival, Costume Parade, Pajama & Movie Day, Rodeo Day, etc. All of these factors, and much more, contribute tremendously to making CMS a place where children explore and discover the joy of learning with endless smiles on their faces. Now, we invite you to this vibrant and dynamic educational setting! Join CMS today!

(More information is available at http://centralmontessorischool.org)