The initiation of the preschool program begins in a multi-aged classroom at about age two and a half. In this setting our focus is to provide a loving environment in which self-care skills and positive socialization are embraced. Many lessons chosen during independent work time are designed to develop eye-hand-coordination, concentration, visual discrimination, and vocabulary. Children are encouraged to use their senses to classify and organize using shape, size, color, touch, temperature, sound, and weight as they are exploring the classroom environment. In addition to individual work time, each day includes a group circle time for discussions, music, stories, games and lessons in grace and courtesy. Outdoor play, movement, and art are also vital parts of the child’s day.
The first two years of learning in the Montessori classroom provide the foundation which culminates in an explosion of learning during the kindergarten year. During this final and most important year at Giving Tree, the child is able to draw upon the primary skills of self-motivation, self-discipline, concentration, and sensory based concepts and apply them in all areas of the curriculum. The Kindergarten child also has the opportunity to teach younger children and be a positive role model in the classroom.