LSM's unique curriculum is based on a combination of Montessori philosophy and best practices for early childhood development with a focus on language arts, mathematics, science, geography, culture, sensorial and practical life – all with a global perspective in mind. In addition to benefiting from the excellent Montessori philosophy and materials, children also gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in a traditional elementary classroom.
At LSM, we like to take every opportunity to create memorable, tangible learning experiences through the year including field trips, dramatic plays, talent shows, parent presentations and environmental projects.
An essential area, especially for Toddlers, is the Practical Life area. Here, basic exercises like pouring, spooning, and folding provide an opportunity to develop hand-eye coordination as well as control of balance. Lessons and modeling of grace and courtesy are an integral part of the daily routine. Children practice table manners and social conversation over lunch and snacks. The tasks of hand and body produce a strong sense of self for the child. Whether buttoning frames, food preparation, or by actually wiping up spills or cleaning a table, children expand their independence and self-esteem. In this area of learning, children experience real life situations and activities promoting gross motor activities, three finger grasp, concentration, inner discipline, care of self and of the environment.
Activities in this fundamental area provide the means for children to explore the world through their senses. The class environment, as a whole, is comprised of patterns, symmetry, and order. Children are encouraged to discriminate and match sounds, textures, dimensions, shapes, or colors, using the didactic Sensorial material. Activities such as grading a series or ten cubes into a Pink Tower, or discovering that two triangles combine to form a square, or learning dimension recognition through the Knobless Cylinders or Red Rods or sensorial puzzles is grasped through the year. Children are introduced to exercises in view of their experience and age level, with some children working on more advanced didactic materials of their own choices. Such Sensorial exercises introduce children to the greater order of the world and provide a necessary base for further study in math and science.
Young children develop language and vocabulary skills at a rate faster than any other time of their life. Language development includes speaking, development of vocabulary, expression of thoughts, recognition of letters, discrimination of shapes, sequencing, moving left to right and top to bottom. Language studies include preparation of the muscles to hold a pencil, preparation of the hand to trace outlines, and the ability to control the pressure when using a pencil. Skills including the use of sandpaper letters, letter sounds, classified pictures, mystery words, blends and digraphs, long vowel patterns, and commercial books are developed in this area. Story reading and group songs develop listening skills and self-confidence with verbal expressions. Children are encouraged to use their ever-expanding vocabulary and language in small group discussions, large group sharing, and interaction with peers.
French is an integral part of the LSM Curriculum. We believe the advantages and benefits of learning multiple languages at an early age are extremely valuable and continue long into adulthood. The brain automatically compartmentalizes each language correctly so young children have the ability to learn many languages without getting them confused. Through learning different languages at a young age, children develop a life-long love of communicating with others.
- Toddler Program: French is introduced through songs and finger plays to develop a greater appreciation for diversity.
- CASA Program: French learning is advanced and corresponds to our monthly Science themes.
- Senior CASA Program: a French Immersion Curriculum is provided to foster a lasting grasp of early French grammar, spelling, counting and pronunciation.
As an introduction, children learn rote counting through songs and finger plays during group activities. Activities such as setting a table for lunch or placing one snack by each chair introduce children to the relationship of number and quantity. Progressively, CASA members engage in more advanced Math concepts using a sequence of concrete, didactic, materials which enable them to work towards mastery of numeration and quantity through Wooden Numerals, Fraction Skittles, and Bead material for place value. Math area is meant to be ‘number rich’ to cover all primary concepts of mathematics using inviting apparatus, working from ‘symbols’ to ‘quantities,’ then leading to a combined understanding.
Science Themes and botany materials allow children to experience a wide variety of study topics through the year. With interesting activities, hands-on projects, and field-trips, children have opportunities to explore diverse science topics. The goal of the Geography area and materials such as the globe, Landforms, and related computer software is to introduce children to the idea that they are uniquely connected to every other human being both by differences and similarities; that they live in a special time that is a part of the whole history of mankind.
Music and Art
Music and Art are an essential component of a quality, early learning Curriculum. LSM provides a wide array of self-choice art, dramatic expression and group art projects to enhance the creativity of our children. They enjoy exposure to music instruments from around the world along with daily music and movement activities.
Our outdoor play areas are a rich natural environment for learning and play; children can run and climb and slide, they can find a quiet place for daydreaming and watching clouds, or they can enjoy making sand castles with their friends in our extensive sand areas.
Global learning and preparing children for the 21st century...
Another important focus of our dynamic program is the integration of technology as a valuable educational tool. At LSM, technology is used as part of our children's daily learning, preparing assessments, differentiating instruction, and communication.