Puddletown’s primary program is for children ages three through six . Our program fosters growth in independence and problem solving; the development of order, concentration, and coordination; the nurturing of communication skills; and the stimulation of the child’s joy in discovery and learning. We often refer to the projects that children do during the day as work. We make an effort to make the idea of doing work a word that carries good connotations and that we take the choices a child makes throughout the day seriously and believe that the child is indeed working on the process of self creation.
Puddletown’s primary program meets at the following times:
- Early care 7:30 to 8:20 a.m. to a limited amount of children
- 8:20 a.m to 12:45 p.m.
- Extended day until 3:15 p.m.
- After care 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. (drop-in may be available, depending on the student to teacher ratio)
In the primary classrooms at Puddletown, the learning environment is based on the Montessori Method—an approach to learning that engages the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, and small and large motor skill coordination. Puddletown uses this method as a basis for studying language, science, mathematics, music, art, and other subjects. In addition to children’s development of movement that is inherent within the activities in the classroom, children also develop gross motor skills outdoors during our playtime.
Practical life is the area of development in which the child creates, controls, changes, and cares for her physical environment and her physical well-being. Practical life is the most basic and essential area of Montessori development. There are four goals of the practical life curriculum that make it a foundation of the child’s future life as a whole:
1. Through these activities the child grows to respect and love the physical world around her, both natural and manmade.
2. The child develops techniques and skills that are basic to other areas of development.
3. The child unites her growing body, developing intelligence, and will.
4. The child comes to discover the joy of participating and contributing in a community setting.
The success of our work depends upon this foundation. Through Practical Life, the child develops a work process that is freely chosen, undertaken with self-discipline, using physical skills in an intelligent way. The result is a free child, creating through her work a free adult.
Sensorial exercises are done with an extensive set of materials, each of which isolates one sensorial property and expands upon it: shape, weight, texture, or pitch are matched, graded (contrasted), and named. The knowledge is then applied to the larger world outside the classroom. The sensorial work allows the child to develop her sensory awareness and organize her perceptions to form concepts and abstractions. The purpose of this work is threefold:
1. The satisfaction of the work with the materials.
2. The ability to perceive one’s environment with increasing sensitivity and intelligence.
3. The appreciation of the natural order that intelligent awareness cultivates in one’s life.
Math & Language
Cognitive work in math and language develops from concrete sensorial materials that the child uses, forming the foundation for the use of symbols. The child will first be introduced to each sound and number orally before using the written symbols that represent it. With the symbols, the child begins to communicate what she knows and does. In this way we will move from concrete ways of understanding to the more abstract concepts that follow. Arithmetic, geography, reading and writing, grammar and syntax, music, art, science, algebra, and geometry are developed in gradual stages from the concrete sensorial to the abstract conceptual through sequential materials and exercises and repetition of these exercises. Each child works from her own choice at her own pace, successfully completing self-correcting materials.
EXTENDED DAY (Rest Time & Extended Work Time)
The extended day provides extra time in the classroom for older children (about four-and-a-half to six years old) to explore and for younger children (about two-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years old) to rest.
Children who are ready (a determination made by parents and guide) are invited to participate in extended day. By spending full days at school and by working with the guide in a smaller group setting in the afternoon, children are able to experience more of the lessons available for older children in Montessori. It is not intended that children will stay on an occasional basis. Please consult your child’s guide if you are considering extended day.
If your child is between three and four-and-a-half years old, your child will be taking a rest during the extended day. Twenty-five dollars will be added to your first month’s tuition so that your child may have a nap mat to rest on at school. All nap supplies should be taken home at the end of the week to be washed.