Our Learning Environment
    Practical Life

    "The exercises of Practical Life provide the
    foundation for all other activities in the Montessori
    classroom, fulfilling the child’s plea: “Help me to do it
    myself!” Through exercises in daily living, such as
    pouring and scrubbing, sewing and gardening, or
    practicing grace and courtesy, the child gains
    confidence and mastery of the environment, After
    individual skills are refined, children apply them in
    purposeful work, such as serving juice or polishing.
    Specifically, these activities contribute to the
    control and coordination of movement, development
    of concentration, and the self-esteem that comes
    with making a real contribution to the group."*

    At St. Matthew's Preschool, we strive to provide a nurturing, creative,
    stimulating and safe environment where our children can grow physically,
    emotionally, socially and intellectually every day.  We prepare our
    children to face the challenges they may encounter through various
    stages of their  learning life.

    We present the children with lessons that are age appropriate and focus
    on the learning needs of each individual student.

    Our curriculum is designed by our director and is Montessori inspired
    with a seasonal/thematic focus. New activities and learning opportunities
    are presented daily to the children, along with a teacher directed lesson
    demonstrating how to complete the work. After the lesson, the activity
    is placed on the shelf as a child choice job to complete.

    We formally assess the children's skills three times a year and work
    toward the goal of a comfortable transition into kindergarten.

    Above all, we want our students to like school and learning. It is very
    important to us that each child leave St. Matthew's with a good first
    school experience and look forward to beginning new challenges at
    their elementary school.

    "Children from birth to age six are in their “sensitive
    period” for exploring the world through their senses.
    Maria Montessori encouraged us to provide children
    with many opportunities to organize the sensory
    impressions they’ve been receiving since birth. By
    your careful selection of items of different textures,
    colors, sizes, and geometric shapes, children will
    discover relationships and exclaim, “This bolt is a
    hexagon,” or “This cloth is rough.” Sensorial
    experiences also indirectly prepare children for
    future exploration of language, mathematics,
    geometry, art, and music."*

    "All of their work with the Practical Life and
    Sensorial materials brings order to children’s
    experiences, important indirect preparation for the
    mathematical mind. The developing child yearns to
    organize, classify, and abstract. Fortunately the
    whole world obliges with toes to count, temperatures
    to read, rain to gauge, and clocks to check. The
    Montessori math lessons lead the child through
    progressive hands-on activities, emphasizing
    concepts while preparing the child for abstractions.
    The extensions and variations we offer complement
    and support work with Montessori’s legendary math

    "Montessori perceived the miracle of language
    development as 'a treasure prepared in the
    unconscious, which is then handed over to
    consciousness, and the child, in full possession of his
    new power, talks and talks without cessation.'
    Absorbing and perfecting language depends on human
    contact, but language is not taught. Words are the
    labels for our experiences. A child who has varied
    experiences and is given the words for those
    experiences will develop a well-rounded means of
    expression. Just as a rich vocabulary is dependent on
    the child’s experience, the transition to reading and
    writing is dependent on a strong vocabulary. Soon,
    the child, explorer of the world, will be able to
    express thoughts and understand and interpret the
    thoughts of others."*

    Geography & Culture (4s)

    "Geography is the study of place and how humans
    have adapted to all of Earth’s environments. Physical
    geography looks at the outward appearance of the
    environment. Cultural geography looks at what Maria
    Montessori called humankind’s ability to 'continue the
    work of creation.' Through meeting the basic human
    needs for food, shelter; and clothing, groups of
    people developed language, tools, transportation,
    rituals and celebrations, religion, music, art, and
    crafts. By celebrating other traditions with food,
    music, and stories, children can begin to see the
    uniqueness of other cultures, yet come to understand
    how much we all have in common."*

    Outdoor Learning

    There are just as many things to explore and learn
    about outdoors as there are indoors!  Our playground
    has been designed to promote positive physical
    health as well as exploration of nature.  

    We believe that young children belong outside
    running, jumping and playing in the fresh air!  Outdoor
    time is planned into our curriculum and our playground
    was designed with the concept of having the children
    outdoors daily when weather permitting.

    Our Outdoor Learning Environment consists of
    equipment and activities to build and strengthen all
    areas of development and promote self confidence.


    "Art, like language or music, is a means of expression.
    Opportunities for art should always be a part of the
    classroom environment and not a special event. When
    children are able to choose art materials freely, they
    feel respected and satisfied with their abilities.

    The adult can help children prepare for art indirectly—
    through the varied activities of Practical Life and
    the exploration of the senses—and directly—by
    presenting materials and techniques carefully, and by
    encouraging without judgment."*

    Music & Movement

    "Sometimes called “the universal language”, music
    adds a sensory dimension to life like nothing else.
    Children have an innate capacity to appreciate music
    of all types, and an uninhibited inclination to move,
    dance, and make music. Music is present in all
    cultures, often reflecting the character of a people
    by the style, melodies, tones, and instruments used.
    With music or without, provide children with plenty
    of opportunities to perfect their movements and
    refine coordination. Both music and movement can
    provide children with a way to express their own
    unique spirits."*

    Astronomy (4s)

    The study of Astronomy exposes children to the idea
    of Earth's place in space. We introduce the universe
    and the solar system. Our lessons also touch on
    astronauts and their transportation into space. The
    children always enjoy
    our Astronomy lessons. We love observing how these
    lessons seem to stir up their amazing sense of

    Botany (4s)

    Through the study of Botany children can learn that
    without plants we could not breathe the air that we
    need to sustain life. An early appreciation of plant
    life will develop a sense of wonder and love for all
    living things.
    This love will empower our children so that they will
    strive to be responsible caretakers of the Earth.

    History (4s)

    History is the study of how people, places and things
    have impacted the Earth. We begin our HIstory
    lessons with introducing to the children the concept
    of time and how it is documented. We love seeing
    their excitement when the grasp the understanding
    of past, present and future.

    Geology (4s)

    Through the study of Geology, the children can
    explore what the Earth is made of and it is
    constantly changing. The exploration of rocks, gems
    and fossils will all be explored throughout our Geology

    Ecology (4s)

    One of our most important responsibilities to our
    children is to teach them good stewardship skills.
    Through our ecology lessons, we will introduce what
    the Earth needs to keep the balance of nature safe
    and how we can help. It is our goal to give the children
    an early start in understanding the job of caring for
    God's wonderful creation.

    Physical Science (4s)

    This has to be one the children's absolute favorite
    subject of study. They love doing science
    experiments even at this early age.
    Through our lessons, the children can learn about
    physical changes, concrete and beginning abstract
    concepts and beginning science skills.

    Zoology (4s)
    Zoology is the study of animals. Our zoology lessons
    will introduce the idea that there are other living
    things on our planet The children will have the
    opportunity to learn about and explore animal needs
    and characteristics. We also explore the importance
    of caring for animals and our responsibility of
    respecting all creatures.

    Bible Lessons & Daily Devotions

    We are a faith-based Christian school. The children
    will have a daily short and simple devotion time. We
    introduce Bible stories and lessons to the children
    that are age appropriate and meaningful to our young
    learners. We pray before snack time and model strong
    Christian character. We stress kindness always to
    everyone as a way to serve God.

*Description from Montessori Services...www.montessoriservices.com