Casa Program

3 years - 6 years

The Casa program was developed originally in Rome by Maria Montessori in 1907.  The hallmark of most Montessori schools, the Casa classroom is a specially designed environment rich with materials that serve to meet and enhance the natural learning tendencies of children ages 3 to 6.  Our Casa teachers are uniquely trained and educated to observe and support the child as he or she develops both skills and intellect.  The classroom is beautifully and specifically laid out in a precise manner that invites the child to discover and interact with the materials that are designed to encourage understanding and mastery.

Their day begins with an uninterrupted three hour work cycle.  This period of time is devoted to independent work, and individualized lessons provided by the teacher.  The classroom is also composed of mixed age groupings that serve to enhance peer relationships and mentorship.  This provides an atmosphere of caring and strengthens leadership skills.
 
The following are the main areas of activity in the classroom:   

Practical Life exercises instill care for self, for others, and for the environment. These activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their home; preparing food, washing dishes, watering plants, washing clothes, sewing, arranging flowers, and the like. These types of exercises help to develop muscular coordination, as well as giving children the opportunity to develop their powers of control, concentration, and gain independence.

Sensorial materials help develop the discriminatory power of all the senses. Children build cognitive skills and learn to order and classify impressions by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment. Through beautifully and precisely designed materials children are also able to discover mathematical relationships through manipulation.

Language development is weaved throughout every aspect of the classroom through rich, oral language opportunities, such as conversations, stories, and poetry. Lessons that build toward writing and reading begin with verbal sound games. The children also work extensively with sandpaper letters, allowing them to trace the letters of the alphabet while learning the phonetic sound each makes. The activities in this area also include such things as creative writing and the study of grammar.

Mathematics activities help children learn and understand the concepts of math through manipulating concrete materials. A solid understanding of basic mathematical principles can be easily gained with work in this area, preparing the child for later abstract reasoning and problem-solving capabilities.

Art, Music, Science, Foreign Language, and Geography are offered as extensions of the sensorial and language activities. With these wide-ranging activities children are able to gain a reverence for the wider natural and cultural world around them.