Integrated Enrichment

The humanities are an important part of human culture, and it is no different in our Montessori community.  As all areas of study, the arts are integrated into the daily work of the child, seamlessly woven into the fabric of the child’s school life.

Physical Education

Movement is a key component in the development of the human brain.  Learning through movement has been scientifically proven to create strong synaptic connections, and to improve the depth of learning.  The Montessori Method promotes the child’s self-control by providing many varieties of movement opportunities through the academic works.

Primary - Children have a innate learning tendency to perfect their self-control.  They are willing to exert great effort to balance, carry, walk, pull, push, and otherwise impact their surroundings through their own physical efforts. Children as early as age 3 are perfecting their movements while working on math, language, geography, geometry, Practical Life skills—rolling a rug, scrubbing a table, walking on a line while carrying a tray of objects.  Our Primary students are introduced to basic yoga poses, and work on developmentally appropriate gross motor movements like hopping, skipping, bouncing a ball.

When children being their All Day Primary (Kindergarten) year, they are required by the State to have a formal Physical Education program.  We participate in Gym and Swim at the YMCA once a week.  Students enjoy approximately 45 minutes of gym activities and 45 minutes of swimming lessons with trained professionals.

Elementary and Adolescents - Our weekly Phys Ed program for our older students includes a variety of activities that not only address refinement of self-control, and physical fitness, but allows children to explore a range of skills that they might use for fitness on into their adult years. Phys Ed activities are held either on campus or out in the community, and specialists teach children the skills and rules necessary for performance, enjoyment, and safety. Recently our Phys Ed program has included golf with fitness training, yoga, basketball, ballroom dancing, roller skating, swimming, and archery.

Music

In the Montessori Primary classroom, music is a sensorial work which leads into reading and math. Music is an integral part of the daily life of the child—music greets the children as they enter the classroom in the morning, is celebrated through group songs at Circle Time, and is experimented with through classroom rhythm instruments and the Montessori bell works. Primary students learn to discriminate pitch and dynamics with these bells, eventually learning to arrange the bells in a chromatic scale and even to pick out some songs by ear.

Elementary students begin to learn some music theory—understanding notation, rhythm, tempo, dynamics—while investigating the Montessori Tone Bars.  Like the bells, children can use the tone bars freely as their interest guides them, to experiment with songs they know or even to create their own compositions.  Students are introduced to the recorder, learning to play in groups and alone.  Music appreciation is nurtured through daily music played in the classrooms; research reports on the great composers such as Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart; and participating in discussions with musicians though our school’s interface with the Youngstown State University Music Education program.

Adolescent students fulfill a monthly music study requirement by choosing between critiquing a musical performance they attend that month (such as a concert, recital, or musical theatre production) or doing research reporting on a particular musical era, instrument, composer, or performer.  Students listen to a variety of music from different periods of history and cultures.

Foreign Language

Our foreign language program is provided to open the pathways in the brain for the acquisition of languages  Foreign language also includes elements of understanding the culture from which the language generates.  Currently, our foreign language curriculum is Chinese.

Primary Chinese - Children as early as age 3 are introduced to the sounds of the language, and acquiring some vocabulary of day-to-day language such as colors, numbers, parts of the body, animal names, etc.  The goal of this program is not fluency but rather familiarity with the sounds, and concepts that there are different languages and different names for the same item. Our Chinese specialist visits the classroom weekly during the regular morning work time, and children participate in small groups of 3 or 4 based on their interest.

Elementary Chinese - The acquisition of vocabulary and an introduction to grammar becomes the focus of the Elementary foreign language program.  In small groups, children begin the early phases of conversational language.

Adolescent Latin -  We introduce Latin in the Adolescent program as part of the children’s daily work in order to assist them with their studies in high school and college.  Students learn to read, write, and translate, and participate in the National Latin Exam annually.

Art

Through use of a variety of media, students learn techniques through sensorial exploration.  Art materials are provided in the classrooms for students to use for creative and academic applications.  A child may choose to create a poster to illustrate a concept, or do a self-portrait as part of their Personal Timeline work.  Primary students receive lessons on using basic tools and materials such as scissors, paint, glue, etc.  An art specialist presents techniques weekly in our Elementary and Adolescent programs, where students work on longer term projects.

Art appreciation is developed beginning at age 3 to Adolescents through use of Montessori art cards, art history timelines, and research reports.  Elementary and Adolescent students may study art on field trips to museums such as The Butler institute of American Art.

Drama

As part of the natural interests of children, students experiment with the writing and producing of scenes, skits, and short plays.  This is student-generated work that occurs naturally as one of the many ways children process and communicate their interests and curricular learning experiences.  Students benefit from the guidance of their peers who are exploring theatre out in the community, and from the necessary collaboration and creative expression that is inherent in the dramatic arts.  Performances of smaller pieces involving a few of the students are given to their classroom community, or to other classrooms with similar interests.  Larger, whole classroom community collaborative projects are sometimes performed for our school families at our traditional Evening of Thanks.

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Living Montessori: Stephen Curry and Family

NBA superstar Stephen Curry, and his remarkable family, tell us how a Montessori education has helped shape their outlook on life in an exclusive interview, filmed at the Christian Montessori School at Lake Norman where Stephen's mother, Sonya Curry, is the head of school.

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