Preschool and Kindergarten (2.9 – 6 years)
A Montessori Early Childhood classroom feels more like a home than a school. You won’t see desks, nor will a teacher stand at the front of the room delivering a lesson to the whole class. Instead, you’ll see children happily working individually or in small groups, at tables or on the floor near small mats that delineate their own space.
Specially designed learning materials are displayed on open shelves, easily accessible to the children. Classrooms also include low sinks accessible to the children, child-sized furniture, cozy spaces for quiet reading, reachable shelves with work available for free choice, and child-sized kitchen utensils so the students can eat, prepare, and clean up their snack on their own. Teachers gently guide students to help maintain the organization and cleanliness of this environment to keep it orderly and attractive, and to help your child understand how to care for materials and clean up after themselves—skills you will be happy to observe carrying over in your home.
To better serve working families, VMS offers extended hours for our primary program.
Extended AM begins at 7:30am
Extended PM runs through 4pm
The VMS Preschool program provides children with many opportunities for hands-on exploration, experimentation and expressions of new ideas and skills. Our dedicated teachers help the children discover and develop their natural abilities and interests to prepare them for academic and community life. Your child’s imagination, creativity, curiosity and wildest dreams come alive in their classroom. Everything is child-sized, ingeniously designed and inviting to the touch and the young mind. Learners discover, question and problem-solve as they explore a rich and wide-ranging curriculum. Your child is taught how to complete tasks and work at their own pace, either independently, or in small or large groups with a teacher’s guidance.
Kindergarten students have ample opportunities to enhance their learning and interests by working with more advanced materials and lessons in an interactive program. Having experienced the same teacher for more than a year, these students benefit from the teacher knowing their individual progress, strengths and areas needing improvement, both socially and academically. Kindergarteners enjoy individualized lessons and spend time practicing and refining their skills in the curriculum areas of language, mathematics, geography, history, art and music. They take responsibility for their own learning and become proud of their achievements, learning to love learning. As the leaders of the Children’s House classrooms, the kindergarteners assume more responsibility and enjoy helping their younger peers.
Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Maria Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Learning projects are focused on care of self, care of environment, grace and courtesy and movement. These activities help the child to develop particular lifelong skills. Exercises which foster courtesy, such as preparing and serving snacks, help children begin to develop a sense of belonging to an interdependent community
Dr. Maria Montessori