Casa Program

Our Casa program, for children aged 2½ – 6, encourages children to explore and discover, collaborate with peers, and take ownership of their education. The Montessori Method encourages self-directed learning that promotes self-confidence, independent thought and action, and critical thinking while fostering social-emotional and intellectual growth.

What Will My Child Learn?

Rigorously trained guides carefully observe their children in the environment, identifying their interests and abilities and developing personalized learning plans tailored to each child’s needs. They guide the learning, introducing new lessons and levels of difficulty as appropriate. The guides offer the encouragement, time, and tools needed to allow children’s natural curiosities to drive learning and provide choices that help them learn, grow, and succeed.

After participating in a lesson presentation from a guide, your child is free to choose activities and to work on her own or with a partner for as long as she wishes. Since there is usually only one of each material, your child will develop patience and self-control as she waits for a material to become available.

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Practical Life

Children learn daily-life skills, such as how to get dressed, prepare snacks, set the table, and care for plants and animals. They also learn appropriate social interactions, such as saying please and thank you, being kind and helpful, listening without interrupting, and resolving conflicts peacefully. In addition to teaching specific skills, Practical Life activities promote independence, and fine- and gross-motor coordination.

Sensorial

Children refine their skills in perceiving the world through their different senses and learn how to describe and name their experiences—for example, rough and smooth, perceived through touch. Sensorial learning helps children classify their surroundings and create order. It lays the foundation for learning by developing the ability to classify, sort, and discriminate—skills necessary in math, geometry, and language.

Math

Through hands-on activities, children learn to identify numerals and match them to their quantity, understand place value and the base-10 system, and practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They also explore patterns in the numbering system. With an exploratory approach, children do more than just memorize math facts; they gain a firm understanding of the meaning behind them.

Language

Activities throughout the Casa classroom teach language, help children acquire vocabulary, and develop skills needed for writing and reading. The ability to write, a precursor to reading, is taught first. Using hands-on materials, children learn letter sounds, how to combine sounds to make words, how to build sentences, and how to use a pencil. Once these skills are acquired, children spontaneously learn to read.

Cultural Studies

A wide range of subjects, including history, geography, science, art, and music, are integrated into lessons in the cultural area of the curriculum. Children learn about their own community and the world around them. Discovering similarities and differences among people and places helps them develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of our world and a respect for all living things.

Leadership & Growth

During the first 2 years in a Casa classroom, children look forward to their turn to be leaders. In their third year, children get their turn and take pride in being the oldest. They serve as role models for younger students; they demonstrate leadership and citizenship skills. They reinforce and consolidate their own learning by teaching their peers concepts they have already mastered. In their senior years, they express confidence, develop self-esteem and self-sufficiency, and show responsibility.

They are introduced to progressively more advanced Montessori materials and sophisticated, fascinating lessons. They experience an important period in which their previous learning from working with concrete Montessori materials begins to become permanent knowledge. A Senior Casa student sees and feel their personal growth as they watch others learn information they have mastered themselves.

As the Casa program culminates at about age 6, children exhibit the independence, critical thinking, collaboration, and leadership that they have been practising during their previous years in the Casa classroom, exercising them independently as they prepare to transition into our Elementary program.

The Casa Classroom

Specially designed learning materials are displayed on open shelves, easily accessible to the children. Classrooms also include low sinks, child-sized furniture, cozy spaces for quiet reading, reachable shelves with work available for free choice, and child-sized kitchen utensils so the students can eat, prepare, and clean up their snacks on their own.

Our Casa classroom feels more like a home than a school. You won’t see desks, nor will a teacher stand at the front of the room delivering a lesson to the whole class. Instead, you’ll see children happily working individually or in small groups, at tables or on the floor near small mats that delineate their own space.

Guides gently guide students to help maintain the organization and cleanliness of this environment, keeping it orderly and attractive. They also help your child understand how to care for materials and clean up after themselves—skills you will be happy to observe carrying over in your home.

The Materials

Montessori materials are not only beautiful and inviting but ingenious. They teach only 1 skill at a time to allow the child to work independently and master the intended concept. The materials have a built-in control of error. This means the child is able to identify their mistakes and correct them without intervention from a teacher. For example, if a large block is stacked atop a tower of shorter blocks, the tower will fall down. Working with self-correcting materials helps children develop confidence and self-sufficiency and promotes critical thinking. In a sense, they become their own teachers—a skill that will last for life.

The Binomial Cube

The Binomial Cube is an advanced puzzle that allows the exploration of patterns and relationships with 3-dimensional shapes. Through manipulating it, your child will develop an appreciation of mathematical concepts that they will revisit as an Elementary student when exploring algebra.

Golden Beads

The Golden Bead Material introduces the child to the decimal system with concrete representations of place value. Children are able to see the transition that takes place when a number gets to 10 and an exchange is necessary. Quantity and place value are explored through equations in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The Pink Tower

The Pink Tower consists of 10 pink cubes that are all the same color and texture. The only difference is their size. The preschool-aged child constructs a tower with the largest cube on the bottom and the smallest on top. This material isolates the concept of size and is used to introduce vocabulary such as “largest” and “smallest.”

Metal Insets

Metal Insets prepare a child’s hand for writing by strengthening the pincer grip (appropriate grasp of a writing tool), developing the necessary wrist movement for writing, and teaching lightness of touch and evenness of pressure with a writing instrument through tracing geometric shapes.

Sandpaper Letters

Sandpaper Letters introduce the child to sound-symbol association and proper letter formation. The child traces the outlines of letters made of sandpaper, experiencing each letter through touch while repeating the sound that the letter makes. Consonants in pink and vowels in blue draw the child’s attention to this important distinction.