Beginning lessons are in the area of practical life, where children learn to care for themselves, beginning with putting on their own coats and hats, fastening their clothes, and tying their own shoes. Students learn to care for their environment by wiping up spills properly, polishing tables, sweeping the floor, arranging flowers, and setting up for snack and lunch. Lessons in grace and courtesy give them the tools for polite interactions with others, from learning a proper greeting with a handshake, saying please, excuse me, I apologize, offering snack from a tray, using a napkin, and eating politely with the correct utensils during meals.
The sensorial exercises teach children to sequence by size, color, sound, and texture, thereby sensitizing them for the task of discriminating letters as they begin to learn to read and write. Children begin to learn letter formation using the cursive alphabet and will ultimately learn to write reports and stories in beautiful cursive handwriting. Learning the letter names and sounds, matching the names to objects and pictures, and finally composing words using the sounds of letters leads to early reading – a true joy and source of pride for our students.
Lessons in geography, botany, and zoology open the wonders of the continents of the world, the locations and names of oceans and seas, as well as the names of indigenous plants and animals in each geographic area. Over several years, children move from recognizing a continent to naming, spelling, and drawing maps of the continents, to finally mapping each continent with its countries, bodies of water, and indigenous plants and animals.
The Children’s House mathematics program begins with the identification and comparison of size using the sensorial materials. Children then learn the names and symbols of numbers, correspond the symbols to quantities, and subsequently count into the thousands. Children add and subtract, use skip-counting for multiplication, and perform simple division. When asked, most students in the Children’s House say math work is their very favorite subject.
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