- Practical Life
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.
- Grace & Courtesy
Lessons in grace and courtesy give young children the tools for polite interactions with others, such as learning a proper greeting with a handshake; saying please, excuse me, and I apologize; offering food to others from a tray; using a napkin; and eating politely with the correct utensils during meals. Our students learn to keep themselves safe by memorizing important addresses and phone numbers, learning how to ask adults for help, and practicing safety procedures inside and outside of our school.
- Sensorial Exercises
The sensorial exercises are central to developing a strong literary mind. As children sequence by size, color, sound, and texture, they become sensitized to 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 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 young students.
- Geography, Botany & Zoology
Lessons in geography, botany, and zoology open the wonders of the world’s continents, 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. While geography knowledge is lacking in most American schools, our very young students have a strong working knowledge of the earth’s geographical features.
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, skip-count for multiplication, and perform simple division. When asked, most students in the Children’s House say math is their very favorite subject.
Language lessons enable students to understand vocabulary, spelling, reading, and writing composition. Tracing sandpaper letters helps our youngest students recognize the shape and phonetic sounds of the alphabet, which they then can use to create compositions based on lessons in zoology. Even our youngest students develop a sophisticated vocabulary and command of the English language; typical MMS students are solid readers and writers in kindergarten and bring reading homework home each evening. See the student work gallery.
Full day Children’s House students also attend Studio Art classes, Music, Spanish, and Physical Education one or more times per week.