Preschool & Kindergarten

The Montessori School offers preschool and kindergarten education for children ages 3 to 6. Classrooms are multi-aged, allowing children to collaborate with a diverse group of peers.  Read more about the specifics below.

Preschool

Beginning at age 2 years 9 months, children are eligible for our preschool program. They will join a community of children aged 3-6 for a three-year cycle as they explore developmentally appropriate works at their own pace.

  • Offered at our Richland and Kalamazoo campuses
  • Monday through Friday, morning and full day options available
  • Before- and after-school care available
  • 10-month and 12-month programs
  • 1:10 adult-to-child ratio
  • Cooking, sewing, music, gardening, outdoor time, and more!

The most important time for learning is the period between birth and six years of age. Children are eager to learn from new people and experiences. They absorb all the environment has to offer and it is our responsibility to ensure the world they experience is rich, safe, nurturing, and intelligent. The foundation of self-esteem and all future learning is constructed during these early years and the Preschool Program is designed to take advantage of this powerful, formative period.

In the preschool classroom, your child will be introduced to many different concepts and will learn both through observing and through direct interaction with our beautifully crafted materials.

  • Children learn to bake, sew, wash dishes, care for self, sweep, pour, and more with our lessons in Practical Life.
  • Activities that appeal and refine the senses are the focus of our Sensorial Exercises. Your child will learn size, shape, composition, texture, temperature, weight, loudness or softness, and many other qualities as he or she works with these materials.
  • Language is taught through a specific progression of lessons that engage the senses–children learn letters and sounds through seeing, hearing, and touching them–and through immersion in a linguistically rich classroom environment.
  • Our Mathematics materials are designed to teach your child not only how, but why. Math is hands-on and our lessons teach number values and math operations though concrete materials that children touch and manipulate. Children are exposed to a wide array of mathematical concepts to prepare them for abstract work and mathematics in later grades.
  • Lessons in Grace and Courtesy begin on the first day of school and are reinforced throughout the Preschool level. Children learn to respect one’s own work and the work of others, to wait one’s turn, and to handle materials gently and put them away neatly after using them. These and other lessons in Grace and Courtesy are essential to maintaining a quiet, respectful, and nurturing environment and to raising considerate and capable children.

See a Montessori preschool morning in action:

Kindergarten

At The Montessori School, Kindergarten is referred to as Extended Day, and is a continuation of the preschool program into the afternoon.

  • Offered at our Richland and Kalamazoo campuses
  • Monday through Friday, 9am-3pm
  • Before- and after-school care available
  • 10-month and 12-month programs
  • Usually takes place during the traditional Kindergarten year (age 5 going on 6)

Instead of their school day ending at noon with the other Preschool children, Kindergarten students continue to work with teachers until 3pm. During this time, the children build upon the activities of the morning and undertake projects and field trips that are typically too challenging for our youngest Primary students.

Admission to the Kindergarten program is based on the child’s development, not on chronological age. We evaluate the child’s ability to work successfully without a nap. This usually occurs when they are between 4 and 5 years old, and often happens mid-year as a child demonstrates the developmental milestones that indicate readiness.

Kindergarten students stay in the same room with the same teacher and children, and take on the leadership role in the Primary classroom community. This continuity is developmentally appropriate and beneficial to the child’s sense of security and well-being. Only the Kindergarten students are in our Preschool classrooms in the afternoon. Younger children are either napping or have gone home for the day. This opportunity for focused, small-group attention provides the perfect bridge to the elementary education.

Kindergarten, like all Montessori programs, emphasizes active rather than passive learning. Children learn by actively participating in their environment, mastering many skills, and experiencing hands-on learning during this time. Like other Preschool students, Kindergarten students participate in music, language, and cultural study, outdoor time, and other enrichment activities.

Watch this short video to better understand why the Montessori Kindergarten year is so important:

All-Year Montessori

Does your child attend the preschool or kindergarten program 12 months per year? Does your child stay for full days regularly? All-Year Montessori may be the right fit for your family!

The All-Year Montessori classroom will be exclusively dedicated to children who attend The Montessori School‘s Kalamazoo Campus full-day and year-round. Children in this classroom will have one continuous program from 7:30am-6:00pm, 12 months per year.

Two trained lead guides, as well as an assistant, will staff the room ensuring that a trained guide will be with these children at all times. Transitions will be eliminated as students will stay with the staff and their peers through the morning work-cycle, lunch, recess, nap (if needed), and the afternoon work-cycle.

The benefits are endless as this group of children become their own year-round, close community for a three-year cycle.

Learn More

Richland Bilingual Program

The Montessori School offers a bilingual program for children in preschool through the traditional kindergarten year.

  • Offered exclusively at our Richland Campus
  • All lessons are taught in both English and Spanish
  • Monday through Friday, morning and full-day options available
  • Before- and after-school care available

The Montessori School’s bilingual curriculum provides lessons in both English and Spanish to preschool and kindergarten students ages 3 through 6.

Teresa Cavanaugh and Lee Sanchez, our Spanish-speaking guides, work alongside the campus’ two main teachers to repeat typical Montessori lessons in Spanish. Both Cavanaugh and Sanchez are Montessori-trained and fluent in Spanish.

Rather than a Spanish class where students learn how to speak the language, children will receive the Montessori lessons in Spanish as well as English, reinforcing the curriculum and bilingual elements of the program.

Learn More