Year three of the Montessori pre-school program, the Kindergarten year, is the culmination of the earlier years' experience. Our Kindergarten students, aged 5-6, build upon their foundation of moving from the process to the product, from the concrete to the abstract, continuing to develop critical thinking skills at their own pace. It also allows our year three students to be the "big kid" at school and help mentor the younger students.
Many parents will ask why they should consider continuing their child's education for the Kindergarten year with Keene Montessori School. This is a decision that requires a lot of thought and has to be right for your child and your family. Kindergarteners at KMS have a wide range of maturity levels and abilities, just as in public school. Our class sizes range from 3-12 students, providing every child the opportunity to stand out as an individual. Our Kindergarteners continue to work on what is developmentally appropriate for them individually, rather than all children doing the same work at the same time. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and are responsible for helping to choose and complete their own work. These students gain confidence as they have special jobs, help the younger students and learn to solve problems.
As in the earlier years of the Montessori programs, we continue to focus on learning for understanding by guiding children. This is done using concrete materials to prepare children for abstract skills. These impressions become the foundation for a lifetime of learning by allowing the child to form a mental picture of concepts like "how big one thousand is" and "how many hundreds make up one thousand", as pictured above. Research has shown that young children learn by observing and manipulating their environment; not through textbooks and worksheets. At the end of the Kindergarten year, children may have skills that are beyond their peers.
Beyond acquiring the academic skills that will establish the foundation of learning throughout their lives, our students are encouraged to develop self-confidence and a familial feeling towards their teachers and classmates. The combination of excitement for learning, self-confidence and positive feelings about their school help our students in future years by teaching them the skills necessary to adapt to new situations and make transitions more smoothly.