Every aspect of the rich curriculum at the Follow the Child Montessori is designed to be faithful to Dr. Montessori’s principles of early childhood education; principles that have been validated by current scientific and educational research. Dr. Montessori believed that learning is a natural process and that children learn best by doing. Follow the Child’s shelves offer the most beautiful, well-designed and integrated Montessori materials available to stimulate children to follow their natural interests and to hone their skills. The elements of the traditional Montessori curriculum include:
Through exercises such as washing, lacing, pouring, and preparing food, children learn to care for themselves and their environment. At the same time, they build essential fine motor skills and interpersonal communication skills as they work cooperatively with their peers. Learning to concentrate, complete tasks, and build confidence pave the way for later academic success.
Students explore number concepts, geometry, money, time, weights, and measurements by using concrete, hands-on materials. The Golden Beads, Hundred Board, Stamp Game, and Spindle Boxes extend students’ knowledge and move them further toward more abstract concepts at a pace that is right for each child.
Phonics-based materials lead children through a natural and enjoyable acquisition of reading and writing skills. Using the extensive array of Montessori language materials in carefully sequenced order, children move seamlessly toward reading and the rules of grammar and punctuation. Sandpaper Letters, the Moveable Alphabet, Metal Insets, and the Montessori Farm are but some of the language materials available to students.
Long before learning styles were formally described, Dr. Montessori understood the advantages of teaching children how to acquire knowledge and information by utilizing all their senses. By using materials such as the Pink Tower, the sound and tactile work, and the Geometric Cabinet, children learn how to gain access to other cues that aid learning. Children also begin to appreciate their world from a multi-sensory perspective.
Science and Culture
Children’s natural curiosity about their world is fully unleashed as they experiment with magnets, simple machines, and properties of matter and as they explore the seasons, plant and animal life, and how things work. Culturally, children are introduced to the wide diversity of geography and national customs that make up our world, as well as the history of the universe through the use of Puzzle Maps and countless artifacts and models from around the world.
Dr. Montessori saw children as the guides – and our hope – to a more peaceful world. Every activity in the classroom is governed by the principles of respect, responsibility, and positive, meaningful interaction between children and adults. Children learn about peace through the use of stories and by example, settling differences through conflict resolution, and by practicing self-control throughout their classroom experiences. Of timeless importance, peace is a fundamental and important aspect of the curriculum and one that Follow the Child Montessori values and supports.
“These words reveal the child’s inner needs: Help me to do it alone.” Maria Montessori
The traditional Montessori curriculum at Follow the Child Montessori is taken to new heights by the inclusion of enrichment opportunities that span the arts and foreign language. — both within, and in addition to, our normal programs.
Art and Music
Appreciation for the fine arts is a universal language and one that opens the doors to a lifetime of cultural awareness and enjoyment. At every age, students are exposed to the many sides and styles of music each month as we study the different cultural music styles of the continents around the world. As part of our Art and Culture Festival in May, the children learn and perform songs in different languages.
Study of the great artists and opportunities for artistic expression with fine materials are an integral part of Follow the Child Montessori’s curriculum, and our staff includes gifted artists who ignite the creativity of students as they create their own art in different mediums. Our children work on their individual pieces throughout the school year which have included weaving, watercolor, pastel, sculpture and collage. At our Art and Culture festival in May, the childrens’ artwork is displayed and our children’s parents bring food to share that represents their families’ cultural heritage. The artwork, songs and food are truly a celebration of our world cultures.
In order to keep pace with the globalization of tomorrow’s world, children will need the desire and the ability to communicate across cultures. Early childhood is a sensitive period for the acquisition of language, and Follow the Child Montessori, we teach Spanish language and culture every week in a meaningful, energetic, structured way. Our continent studies provide additional opportunities for children to sample the languages and cultures of other countries, as well.
Speech and/or Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy and/or Speech and Language Therapy are provided to students as needed, on a weekly basis by professionals specializing in working with young children through the Howell Public Schools. Intimate groups of 3-5 students participate in these supplemental sessions while enrolled in Follow the Child. Small-group work time provides the children with a safe, supportive place to practice their newly developing skills, and build confidence in their motor and/or speech and language abilities.
Half Day Sessions: 8:30 to 11:30 or 12:30 to 3:30
The Montessori Half Day Sessions will provide the traditional Montessori curriculum in a well prepared, aesthetically pleasing environment. The environment invites the child to “work” alone or in small groups, allowing him to build concentration and social skills. Age appropriate lessons are given both individually and in small groups in every area of our classrooms with an emphasis on the individual needs of each child. Core math, language, science and geography, social and cultural studies, art, music, Spanish, poetry and literature are an integrated part of the curriculum, exposing children to all subject matter. Time is allowed each day for circle activities, snack and outdoor play.
Full Day Session: 8:30 to 3:30
Follow the Child’s beautifully prepared, stimulating, multi-age classrooms are filled with child-centered materials, children navigate every area of the classroom and experience all aspects of the curriculum, including math, language arts, science, and geography. Working individually, in small groups, or with the entire class, children are gently guided to the level and type of materials that will advance their knowledge at a pace that is right for each child. By following their natural curiosity in these subject areas, the children are indirectly building language and writing skills and absorbing general knowledge about their world. The full day affords the child the opportunity to explore these areas in detail or the time to complete the work he has started in the morning if he chooses. Children may also complete work in the morning he started the day before. This continual whole language approach gives the older child a sense of continuity and integration of all subject matter that he is learning and a sense of self-discipline in his work. Music and foreign language classes and educational field trips further enrich Follow the Child’s pre-primary curriculum.
Full Day Kindergarten Program
Follow the Child’s kindergartners enjoy a year of spectacular growth as they embrace their new leadership roles in the classroom. In this culminating year of the Montessori 3 - 6 cycle, students explore special units of study and focus increasingly on academic skills in preparation for their transition to elementary school. Students work with both their multi-age class and with their kindergarten peers.
Extended Care Program: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. or 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
The Montessori Extended Care Program is an “extension” of the Montessori sessions. It may be used in conjunction with the Montessori programs, or as before and after school care by public school students. The goal of the program is to provide a relaxed, nurturing environment while offering enrichment activities which allow for freedom of expression and growth in socialization. A variety of activities will be offered in areas of small and large motor development, cooperative games, dramatic play, arts and crafts, stories, gardening, cooking and outdoor recreation. The emphasis is on the individual needs of each child while at the same time creating a sense of “extended family”.
Summer Camp 2020
Our school is situated on two acres with mature trees and a natural lawn playground. We connect with nature daily and the children are free to choose from a wide range of activities available including sand box play, rock box play, large wooden block building, playhouses, climbers, music making, chalk play, bubbles, water play and watering of our garden and corn maze. Our natural playground is unique and we are happy to offer this daily connection to nature to our students.
Summer Camp - Three Day Program
Our three day session can include any day of the week that works for your schedule. Our summer camp is all about sunshine and fun! Cooking, games, art projects, outdoor play and gardening are all regularly enjoyed by our campers. We even include writing, math and language skills within our daily activities.
Summer Camp - Five Day Program
Our five day session is an extension of all the outdoor play, cooking, games and art projects that our three day program offers. The afternoons often include storytime and games to balance the day and connect with friends.