The Power of Responsibility

Here is something you don't see in many classrooms. Two students are caring for their classroom by dusting the shelves, without being asked! 

Montessori curriculum offers children lessons in art, music, science, math, language, sensorial, and practical life. Practical life lessons start early and include a wide range of age appropriate tasks. Practical life work provides young children with the opportunity to take ownership and pride in their spaces. 

It's amazing what kids will do given the tools and opportunity!


A Love of Nature

We often talk about how Montessori encourages independence in young children, but did you know it also fosters a love of science and nature? Here a young student is sequencing the lifecycle of a butterfly using realistic picture cards and 3D animal figures. Montessori loves to bring nature and care of the natural world into our classrooms, as well as bringing the children outside into nature for them to experience and appreciate the physical world around them.


The Purpose of Work Rugs

The work rug performs an important function in the Montessori classroom. It is a tool children use to define their work space; it gives them freedom within limits. It also is one of the very first classroom objects they are taught to care for with independence.
In the classroom children choose a rug and a space to work before choosing the work itself. They are taught to respect their work by carrying the rug with both hands, finding an appropriate space where their rug will fit and still allow their classmates freedom of movement, walking around the rug rather than over it when moving in the classroom, as well as rolling and unrolling the rug with great care.
While not technically a Montessori work themselves, the rugs are a part of the classroom environment that teaches responsibility and respect.


The Prepared Environment

Have you ever noticed the utter lack of clutter in our classrooms? In Montessori we refer to this as the "prepared environment". Maria Montessori said that "the importance of the prepared environment is to, as far as it is possible, render the growing child independent of the adult." 

A calm, ordered inviting environment to a successful classroom experience. Work is displayed in an inviting and organized manner. Items are accessible to the children, and children are taught how to work in and maintain their classroom environment. 

The prepared environment, and the way the children interact with it, is an amazing thing!

#montessori #montessori4life


Music in the Montessori Classroom

The work you find children doing in Montessori classrooms varies widely. Did you know that even in early childhood rooms, the work available includes music? 

The bells are used in the primary setting to introduce concepts of music. After learning proper handling of the materials children explore tone and learn through usage the keyboard convention of directionality of sound(low tones on left, high tones on right). When they are ready children learn to name sounds, and eventually how to express sound in writing (musical notation). Children are also given the opportunity to sing with the bells or to play known melodies by ear.

Pleasure in the production of music is a wonderful early childhood experience for all children.


We Love Summer!

Did you know CELC is a year round program? 

Summer is a special time at Coastal! During this time we combine our classic Montessori learning with fun summer programming that keeps the kids loving school all through the hottest months of the year. Everyone from NASA to the Zoo stops by to visit our kids and provide fun, playful, experiential learning!


The little things...

Fine motor development is a keystone of early childhood. Technology is awesome and definitely has its place, but you won't find much of it in our classrooms. Instead of swiping virtual objects children are offered the opportunity to manipulate real objects in meaningful ways. Activities such as bead lacing build muscle tone and stamina that are important for a child's physical development. These skills are the foundation upon which tasks such as tying shoes and handwriting are built! We love that our students are offered so many different ways to develop these essential skills.


An education for life

We like to say Montessori is an education for life. When your child leaves our care, we want them to feel confident and prepared for the real life and academic challenges ahead.
For small children, a big part of being prepared is practicing independence in self-care tasks. At CELC we work with children every day on tasks like independent dressing, drinking from cups without lids, using buttons and zippers, and hand washing.
These may seem like tasks that everyone will pick up eventually, but how many times have you watched older children and adults exit a public restroom and skip washing their hands?! Caring for themselves builds confidence in young children, lays a foundation for good habits, and frees up parents and caretakers valuable time. Win, win, win!


Work is Interesting

There are many work "staples" in a Montessori classroom: the pink tower, the cylinders. However, there are also works that rotate in and out based on season or the interest and readiness of the children in the classroom. For example: if the teachers notice a child is particularly interested in rocks, a work using magnifying glasses to observe the qualities of rocks may appear.

It's amazing how much a child can accomplish when they are deeply interested in their work!


Everyday Beauty

If you have ever visited our classrooms, you may have noticed details absent most early childhood rooms. One of my favorite touches are the tiny vases of flowers on tables and counters scattered around the room.


These flowers are not gifts from the teacher, or mere decorations, but rather the work of the students. Montessori kids, from the earliest days, are taught appreciation and care for their own environment. The flower arranging lesson not only teaches appreciation for beauty and nature, but it also allows children the opportunity to follow multi-step directions, sequence steps, and estimate size and capacity. This is in addition to the practical life skills of water pouring and the fine motor skills needed to manipulate scissors. 

Our children love flower arranging, and we love watching them grow.

#montessori #montessorikids #celc #montessori4life