Children's House

ssmaThe Children's House program is the first introduction to the unique Montessori ways of cultivating independent, critical thinkers from the start of their formal education. Unlike a traditional school setting, mixed-age classrooms for 3 to 5 year olds engage the children in individual learning experiences, as well as one-on-one interactions with classroom Guides.  
Sometime adults forget that young children are experiencing things in their home and external environments for the very first time in their lives. Practical things like sorting, pouring, or washing dishes can be fascinating to them. Using tactile materials to explore language, math and science concepts are fun and engaging, especially when children have the freedom to move about the carefully-prepared environment independently, with support from their guides. 
Language: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening
At Shining Stars Montessori Academy, we are committed to fostering exceptional communication skills. Language rich Montessori classrooms incorporate study in all four areas of communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Pre-reading and pre-writing preparation in work of practical life and sensorial areas refine auditory, oral, visual, and sensory/motor skills. Language study spans all classroom areas as an integrated source of preparation for a well-planned approach to future learning.

Following a child's natural interest in all aspects of math, including geometry, weight, order, counting, and time, the aim of the math curriculum at the Primary level is to help students organize and categorize thought processes. Concrete learning is hands-on and promotes experimentation and invention. Studies of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with the decimal system (the Golden Bead material) prepares students for abstract study at the Lower Elementary level.

Between the ages of three to six, children learn through inquiry and curiosity. Experimentation and discovery are encouraged through studies of earth, astronomy, ecology, botany, physics, and chemistry. Scientific study is offered through observation of nature, and experiments. Some early science lessons include animal sorting and matching, identification of animal body parts, plants, and trees, and investigation of plants and animals. More advanced lessons include shell identification, animal classification, rock and mineral identification, and study of prehistoric animals and fossils. Classrooms also feature live animals, such as fish, hamsters to care for and learn from.
ssmaCultural Studies
The Shining Stars Montessori Academy classroom offers a rich cultural curriculum. By exploring cultural activities including maps, music, food, and artifacts, with a focus on the similarities of people throughout the world,. In this manner, our students build awareness of the world around them. The diversity of our families and faculty, in conjunction with the cultural materials to study geography, social studies, and history, music and art helps our students develop a respect for all people and cultures.
Each month the curriculum integrates via the humanities (reading, writing, and the arts) studies of the continents of the world and areas of global/international cultural exploration. 

Primary World Language Exploration at Shining Stars
In the Shining Stars the Primary classrooms, World Language exploration is integrated three days per week into the Montessori environment. Students learn Spanish in group and individualized instruction and activities. Age-appropriate learning materials help build a solid foundation in vocabulary for the years to come.
The Shining Stars Montessori Academy World Language curriculum exposes the children to monthly themes in Spanish in a range of concepts such as greetings, numbers, colors, and farm animals to reinforce and build new vocabulary. The Spanish Language Stars instructors introduce basic vocabulary through circle-time songs and activities three times per week for 30 minutes. Following the introduction of small-group Montessori lessons, students have the opportunity to connect new knowledge with Montessori World Language manipulatives. Through presentations of art, music, geography, and ethnic festivals from around the world, our children are exposed to cultural experiences that enhance their understanding of others in our global community.

Arts Integration – The ‘Absorbent’ Mind Initiative and the Visual Arts at Shining Stars Montessori
The Shining Stars Montessori Primary program visual arts program seeks to foster creativity, problem solving, and self-expression as it relates to each child’s level of development from toddler to middle school. Students use a wide variety of materials and methods to truly absorb and understand the objectives of lessons. Lessons include drawing, painting, collage making, and printmaking. Objectives include recognition and understanding of line/shape/form, concepts of color, concepts of texture, basic patterns of organization, whole-to-part relationships, and change processes. The program emphasizes the planning, preparation and process needed for the completion of artwork. Through study of famous artist and their works, students are able to be inspired by pieces by artists, including Vega, Romare Bearden, Alice Lee , Picasso,Paul Goodnight, Monet, Van Gogh, O’Keefe, Kandinsky, and Matisse. Each child gains self-esteem and is able to grow in his or her imagination in a relaxed atmosphere.