5 AREAS OF THE CASA CLASS
Practical Life - The pinnacle of the environment. Children will work with materials common to everyday life to help enhance independence and fine motor development. These skills include cleaning, caring for the environment, and care of self.
Sensorial - The Sensorial materials help a child to develop and refine the five senses. The materials often work at isolating one sense, leading the child to make classifications of the environment.
Math - The math materials build upon the child’s experiences in the Sensorial environment. Math is presented with concrete, scientifically developed didactic materials. The child experiences the concept of order, sequence, measurement, calculations, and exactness. As the child advances in understanding, the material transitions from concrete to abstract thought.
Language - Like math, the language materials are first concrete and gradually advance toward the abstract. Letters are first explored by touch, and introduced as sounds to help with phonetic word building.. When the alphabet is absorbed, words are built with a movable alphabet. Once a child is reading, the functions of language are introduced.
Culture - The culture environment is overflowing with interesting subjects: Zoology, Botany, Geography, History, Science, Art, and Music. The culture shelves feed the desire to know about the world, and our place in it. As the children grow, their world and their role in it expands. By recognizing that we are all part of a larger, global community that is interconnected to all life on earth we develop the ability to understand that all of humanity must be agents for peace and harmony.
Timeless Teachings in a Changing World
The greatest sign of success for a teacher...is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'
The 'children's house' was created and molded for the child, and the child alone. It takes the conventional approach of teaching and flips it on its head. The child's inner guide is what leads the way, and the teacher is trained to follow that guide, embracing the passions and interests of each individual in the class.
At Lodestar the environment will be consistent and prepared, along with the teachers. The teachers will show students how to use the material with one-to-one lessons or within a small group. The students may choose work independently. These intimate lessons help the teacher assess the absorption taking place.
The teacher also observes the children at work, constantly noting what they are drawn to in the class. This helps the teacher create lessons in favour of the interests, complimenting the sensitive period the child is experiencing.
The mixed age range encourages students to learn from one another, lending to a functioning community created in the class. The children often observe each other at work, marking all angles of the learning process.
The children will active members of the Bracebridge community. Our community program will take advantage of 'Ride the Wave,' the public transit. The program is nature-infused, intent on embracing the world around us, and we plan to take advantage of the beauty that is Bracebridge with plenty of outdoor time. We hope to see you around town!
"The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interested mainly in the how and why...the problem of cause and effect."
The elementary program continues on in the same vein as the Casa environment. The class is in a state of preparedness, ready for our students to unleash their interests. There is a long, uninterrupted work cycle where the students may pursue their own work among a diverse set of Montessori materials. The program will encourage self-motivation and cultural/social awareness. Our elementary students will bask in freedom of creativity, utilizing their imagination daily.