“It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”
- Maria Montessori
Montessori is a system of education based on the understanding that every child has an innate motivation to learn.
We know that children learn best by using all their senses, not just by listening, so we provide carefully designed Montessori materials to support a child's need to feel, smell, manipulate, and hear, and a thoughtfully prepared environment that promotes physical, academic, and psychological development. Traditional education divides learning into arbitrary categories, but the Montessori curriculum is a deeply interconnected one, with children never learning unconnected facts, but always focusing on integrated patterns of knowledge. At every level, our program is rich with multi-sensory, self-directed learning; conflict resolution skill-building; and an emphasis on both collaboration and independent thinking. Our students learn not a laundry list of quickly outdated facts, but the skills necessary for a lifetime of learning and discovery.
The Infant Program
At Great Foundations Montessori, we understand that you as parents are at the center of your child’s healthy development. We see ourselves as partners to you, and encourage your input in helping us develop the best possible care for your child. Every day, Great Foundations Montessori shares with parents the joy of watching each child we serve grow and develop.
Our Infant Program provides a warm, nurturing environment where your child feels safe and content, and where you can have peace of mind knowing your child is in a safe, loving, and healthy environment. Keeping with the Montessori philosophy, we have created an interactive environment filled with everything your infant needs to safely support his or her healthy development, including:
Ample floor space where children develop their gross motor skills by rolling, scooting, kicking, and crawling
Objects and materials placed at eye level to encourage visual perception, mouthing, and hand grasping
Stairs, slides, and bars to help toddlers explore standing and walking when they are developmentally ready
Access to the outdoors so your child becomes comfortable experiencing changing environments
The Toddler (Pre-Montessori) Program
The Toddler, or Pre-Montessori, program is designed to have children gain skills that will ensure their success when they enter a Preschool classroom. To better fit the needs of the younger children, the student-to-teacher ratio in the Toddler room is much lower than that of the other classes.
The Pre-Montessori program emphasizes the following areas:
Autonomy and independence
Sense of start and finish
Grace and Courtesy
Verbal math and language skills
Balance and movement
Social behavior (individually and in a group)
The Early Childhood (Montessori) Program
The Preschool classrooms are multi-age, each containing 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds. This ensures that each child is able to progress at his or her own pace in social, emotional and academic development, and that each child can act as both a teacher and a learner in the classroom. In these classrooms, children are free to work at their own pace, collaborating in small groups guided by a Montessori-accredited teacher.
The Preschool environment unifies the social, physical, and intellectual functioning of the child. The environment provides the children with an early and general foundation that will enable them to acquire more specialized knowledge and skills throughout their school career. The foundation includes:
A positive attitude towards school
Inner security and a sense of order
Pride in the physical environment
Habits of concentration, initiative, and persistence
The ability to make decisions
A sense of responsibility to other members of the class, school, and community
The Kindergarten Program
Great Foundations Montessori’s kindergarten program is committed to exceeding California State standards and is designed to provide the foundation that children need for success in later years. As the children develop and progress through our kindergarten program, we work with them to master skills in:
Children develop foundational skills that prepare them for later learning in language arts. Phonetic awareness is the ability to understand that a word is made up of a sequence of speech sounds paired with the ability to manipulate those sounds. It is the most essential element of language arts instruction in kindergarten. Students will learn the letters of the alphabet and will match letters with their associated sounds. Vocabulary will be developed through direct instruction in specific concepts. Books will be read daily to the students in order to help them identify and use comprehension strategies. Students learn to write letters, words, and beginning stories.
By the end of kindergarten, students understand small numbers, quantities, and simple shapes in their everyday environment. They count, compare, describe and sort objects, and develop a sense of properties and patterns.
The kindergarten curriculum provides the foundational skills and knowledge for students to learn core concepts, principles, and theories of science at higher levels of education. The standards are organized in sets under broad concepts. This organization is intended to help the reader move between topics and follow them as the content systematically increases in depth, breadth, and complexity through the grade levels.
History and Social Science
Students in kindergarten are introduced to basic spatial, temporal, and causal relationships; emphasizing the geographic and historical connections between the world today and the world long ago. The stories of ordinary and extraordinary people help describe the range and continuity of human experience and introduce the concepts of courage, self-control, justice, heroism, leadership, deliberation, and individual responsibility. Historical empathy for how people lived and worked long ago reinforces the concept of civic behavior: how we interact respectfully with each other, following rules, and respecting the rights of others.
Extended Day/Child Care
Extended childcare programs are available for children year round. The program is offered from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. This program offers the children a chance to socialize and engage in informal play. Many of our extracurricular and elective programs are offered during these hours