Our mission statement is: Nurture the child. Support the family. Nourish the staff.
It describes our original vision in 1975, and it is still the cornerstone of our program at Mandala today.
Underlying Maria Montessori's method was a philosophy based on the dignity and spiritual worth of the child. The basis of the Montessori philosophy of education is that all children carry unseen within them the person they will become. In order to develop their unique potential, they must have freedom-freedom to explore, freedom to be creative, freedom to choose. This freedom is achieved through order and self-discipline."
Extracted from www.mandalachildrenshouse.com
"If your child comes to Mandala, his or her day will look something like this. All young children do best when they have predictable routines, so we follow this schedule consistently every day. The times are slightly flexible, so we can accommodate the activities of the day. For instance, if Snack takes less time, the children may have a slightly longer time on the playground. Or, we may shorten Playground Time if we want to do a longer Small Group project. But the order of the day never changes.
When the children first arrive, they go into right into the story room where a teacher greets them and reads a short story to the group. This is a quiet time that helps children transition from their parents to school. By the time the story is finished, all the children have arrived for the day, and the children move to their small groups for Table Time.
Table Time is a focused learning time where each teacher meets with her own small group for about 15 minutes. This period sets the tone for the day and serves as a bonding time for the group. The teacher begins by greeting each child and the children say 'good morning' to each other. From there, the teacher demonstrates one of the Montessori jobs or activities that are available in the classroom. Each child has an opportunity to try the job or a part of it. After this, each child is asked what they want to work on that day. It helps the children focus their energy and find an activity to start their day. They are then dismissed to individual Work Time.
Work Time- A Time of Individual Choice
During this time, the children are self-directed and are able to choose freely from activities in the prepared environment. They may pick from activities in a variety of areas:
In the Practical Life area, children choose activities from every day living: polishing shoes, using tools (hammer, screw driver, socket wrench, etc.) sanding wood, wet and dry pouring, flower arranging, silver polishing, tying laces, zippering, etc. These activities teach children skills that help them to be more independent, to care for the environment and each other, and to develop small muscle coordination.
In the Sensorial Area, children choose from activities that use their five senses, such as color sorting, matching sounds/smells/textures/weight, grading objects by size, using peg boards, etc. These sensorial exercises also provide a foundation for speech, writing, and arithmetic.
In the Language Area, children work in areas that enhance oral language and set the foundation for reading. All of the activities are important building blocks that prepare the child to become a successful reader. Some of the activities included in this area are puzzles, metal insets, object/picture matching, picture/picture matching, lotto games, story dictation, classification of objects (i.e. put all the flying things in one pile, all the crawling things in another), 3-5 part story sequencing, rhyming words, opposites, letter recognition, and letter sound recognition.
In the Math Area, the Montessori activities teach the child the concepts of quantity and symbol. We use the child's senses to first introduce these concepts. We introduce quantity using the number rods. There are 10 rods in graduated segments. Each segment represents a unit. We introduce number symbols (i.e. '7') with sandpaper numbers. The child traces the rough numbers with his finger. We then put quantity and symbol together in a variety of exercises. We begin introducing the first three numbers and then add a number at a time, up to 10. We then introduce such concepts as: teens, tens, hundreds, thousands, counting by two's, and the Hundred Board.
In the Art Area, children have an opportunity to work creatively using a variety of materials to create an expressive piece of art, including gluing, painting, water colors, markers, scissors, tape, stamps, stencils, and color crayons.
In the Patio Area, children paint on the easel, use a sand/bird seed/or water tray, play with the doll house, and play with boats in a water canal.
In Dramatic Play, children have an opportunity to work cooperatively, to try on and practice adult roles and gain skills in socialization, as well as learning skills in independent living.
In the Block Area, children can build with blocks and Legos. They may also set up tracks and use trains and cars.
In the Cooking Area, children are able to participate in food preparation, and they practice spreading, cutting, stirring, pouring, and learning how to follow a recipe.
This is an extremely important time in your child's day. This is when children work on the development of their large muscles, building coordination and strength. This is also a time when they can practice social skills. The children may choose from a variety of activities including: swinging, sliding, playing basketball, running, climbing, playing in the sandbox, crawling over and under the tubes, and participating in imaginary play.
Small Group: Coping Curriculum
Small Group is a focused time for teaching social-emotional skills. This is a quiet time of day where each teacher meets with her eight children (divided into groups by age for the year). The children form trusted relationships with the teacher and with each other. Each day, the teacher leads her group through one of many structured activities in a theme area from our Coping Curriculum. These activities are designed to teach young children communication skills, problem-solving, and stress relief. Using a combination of relaxation exercises, puppets, symbolic play, role-play, and creative art, the children are given an opportunity to express their feelings and develop personal powerfulness. They learn empathy for others and a respect for their world. They also learn coping skills as they master difficulties and work together to solve problems.
Monthly themes include topics such as: Trust and Belonging, Self-Acceptance, Feelings, Making Friends, Kindness and Care for Others, Cooperation, Respect for Differences, Conflict Resolution, and Growth and Change.
Music and Movement
This is a large circle time. We introduce songs, finger plays, and movement activities. Periodically, we bring out simple instruments (tambourines, sand blocks, triangles, drums, etc.) to accompany the songs. Music is a wonderful way for children to be exposed to and practice using language. We also use a parachute with music to teach rhythm and cooperation."
Extracted from www.mandalachildrenshouse.com