Programs and Services

Riverside Montessori Pre-School Programs And Services Include

  • Multi-Age toddler, preschool, junior and senior kindergarten Classes (18 months up to and including 6 years of age)
  • Bilingual Hands-On Curriculum
  • Self-Paced Academic Approach
  • Nurturing Environment
  • Advanced Toddler/Pre-School/Junior & Senior Kindergarten Programs

Curriculum and Programs

  • Montessori Credentialed Staff
  • Authentic Montessori Approved Materials
  • Prepared Environment
  • Sequenced Concrete Learning
  • Individualized Education
  • Whole Child Approach

Authentic Montessori Curriculum

  • Practical Life Exercises
  • Sensorial Education
  • Language Phonics - Author of the Month
  • Mathematics
  • Cultural Studies: Geography, Nature Studies: Botany/Zoology & Life Sciences
  • Physical Science
  • History (clock, calendar, timelines, cultures)

Enrichment Programs

  • French Intensive Program
  • French Music & Movement
  • French Poetry
  • Computer Assisted Studies
  • Creative Art
  • Role-Play
  • Yoga
  • Introduction to Spanish Program
  • Fun with Composers Music Program

Bilingual Junior and Senior Kindergarten Programs - 3 to 6 Years

Montessori is a philosophy of education with the fundamental tenet that a child learns best within a social environment that supports each individual's unique development. Dr. Maria Montessori, creator of "The Montessori Method of Education", based this new education on her scientific observations of young children's behavior. As the first woman physician to graduate from the University of Rome, Dr. Montessori became involved with education while treating children labeled as slow learners.

In 1907 she was invited to open a child-care centre for desperately poor families in the San Lorenzo slums of Rome. She called it a "Children's House", and based the program on her observations that young children learn best in a homelike setting, filled with developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners. Dr. Montessori designed materials and techniques for self-contained hands-on areas of the classroom.

Practical life, sensorial, math, language and geography materials are all within easy reach and invite exploration. A child may work alone or ask another child to share in a project, read a book, or have a snack. Within the environment a sense of community develops, based on respect for learning and for one another.

Introduction of the Materials

The main way children are introduced to the materials in the classroom is through careful presentation. A presentation is a time when the teacher slowly and precisely uses the material in its intended way while an individual or small group of children observe. During such a presentation unnecessary words and movements are avoided and actions are broken into discernible steps in order to increase understanding and the chance for success when the child uses the materials later. A particular point of interest may also be shown to attract the child to the materials.

At times it is appropriate and desirable for the teacher to offer some instruction to the child. This usually occurs at a separate occasion after times of repeated concentrated work with the materials has been observed. The teacher may then re-present the exercise in order to show variations or extensions or to help the child learn the terminology involved.

Goal and Objectives

The primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential in all areas of life. Our activities promote the development of social skills, emotional growth, and physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation. Riverside Montessori Pre-School will provide a carefully planned, stimulating environment, in which children can make learning discoveries while working independently or in a group setting with the various materials.

Our specific goals and objectives are as follows:

  • To develop a positive attitude toward school and learning.
  • To develop a positive interest in learning the French language.
  • To develop high self-esteem.
  • To build concentration for lifelong study skills.
  • To develop and foster an abiding curiosity.
  • To develop a creative imagination.
  • To develop initiative and persistence.
  • To foster inner discipline and a sense of order.
  • To develop sensory-motor skills in order to sharpen the ability to discriminate and judge.
  • To develop socially acceptable behaviour.

The Prepared Environment

In order for self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment - room, materials, and social climate - must be supportive of the learner. The teacher provides necessary resources, including opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive atmosphere. The teacher thus gains the children's trust, which enables them to try new things and build self-confidence.

The Montessori Materials

Dr. Montessori's observations of the kinds of things which children enjoy and go back to repeatedly led her to design a number of multi-sensory, sequential, and self-correcting materials which facilitate the learning of skills and abstract ideas.

Individualized Curriculum

The pre-school offers an individualized curriculum that is "child-centred". This allows each child to learn and develop at his/her own pace, all the while obtaining a sense of order, developing coordination, reaching higher levels of concentration thereby, becoming more independent mentally and physically. All of these developing characteristics result in the child gaining much more self confidence in his/her own well-being. The above characteristics are given opportunities for development through the following areas of lessons found in the Montessori environment.

Early Childhood Classroom

The Montessori classroom is a "living room" for children. Children choose their activities from open shelves with self-correcting materials and work in distinct work areas - on tables or on rugs on the floor. Over a period of time, the children develop into a "normalized community" working with high concentration and few interruptions. The classroom includes the following components:

The classroom has an elliptical line on the floor. This is generally used for "walking on the line" activities that help children develop gracefulness and for the "silence game" where children can practice sitting without making a sound. The line is also frequently used for a large group meeting area. It is here, or in some other designated area, where the class meets as a whole. Often a class will have on or two large group meetings each day. One will usually serve as an opening meeting and precede a more individualized work period, and another will serve as a closing or transitional group time preceding the next activity (i.e., time out doors, lunch, dismissal, etc.) The group meetings may be used for large group presentations of materials, movement, and music activities, group celebrations, snacks, games, and discussions.

Montessori Principles

The Absorbent Mind

One of the principles discovered by Montessori reveals the mind of the child up to the age of seven to be absorbent in nature. Everything in the child’s environment and experience is assimilated into the personality and character of the child. Because of this principle, our staff is diligent in providing a carefully prepared environment that is filled with interesting and inviting lessons that are also beautiful and pleasing to the young child. Everything is scaled to their size and is designed to be appealing to them while providing ample opportunity for movement. The children are the caretakers of their environment and are comforted by its order and beauty.

Sensitive Periods

Between the ages of three and six, children are in the developmental sensitive period for language (vocabulary, writing and reading), good manners, order, and sensorial refinement. At this time the child learns effortlessly. After the age of six, the absorbent mind begins to diminish as rational and abstract thinking emerge. Understanding the importance and significance of these sensitive periods, Montessori teachers endeavour to provide each individual child what is needed and when it is needed.

Freedom in Education

Freedom in the Montessori classroom means freedom to do what is right. During the course of the school year, the children and teacher work together to build a miniature but very real community. The children learn to honour a few carefully chosen, well-understood, and strictly enforced ground rules. Beyond that, they are free to find work to do among many interesting choices. The fruits of this freedom are individuality, self-discipline, concentration, obedience, and positive social interactions.

The Montessori Message - "Help to Life"

Maria Montessori (1870-1952) brought a message and a method that transformed early childhood education the world over. Because the message is based in principles, not theories, it continues to be right for the children of today and of tomorrow. Italy’s first woman physician, holder of doctorate degrees in psychology and philosophy and professor of anthropology, Dr. Maria Montessori keenly observed little children, sensed their needs, and tried to fulfill them through a carefully prepared environment. She called her method simply, Help to Life.