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Years of research have proven over and over again the many benefits of learning a second language as a child. With no teaching required, your child has the natural ability to start speaking a foreign language. Early exposure to the language - any language - triggers this inborn talent. During the critical "window of opportunity" (ages one - twelve) it happens effortlessly. After all, you didn't teach your child to learn English (or his native tongue) - it just happens, like learning to walk.
The children are introduced to Spanish once a week in the classroom. They learn the names of fruits, colors, numbers, modes of transportation, parts of the body etc. For all the words taught, our Spanish teacher always 'materializes' the word the children are able to associate and remember very well. With the help of music, movement, games and other activities we have maximized the opportunity of learning a new language.
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The word Yoga means, "to join". Yoga joins body, mind and spirit. A more concrete way to work with children is "body, head and heart". Like Montessori work such as water work, yoga helps the child calm and center his body and his mind. It has been reported in the medical news that children today are developing disorders that have never known before. They say it is caused because children are becoming inactive from sitting in front of computer and television. They are not even getting enough body movement to stimulate the functioning of the internal organs. Dr. Maria Montessori realized the importance of movement. She warned us about the danger of children sitting at desks. She eliminated the desk for both the teacher and the child and built movement into the Montessori work. But even Montessori children require movement and stretching. Yoga is a fun way to get the most inactive children involved in moving the body. A few benefits of yoga are:
• Provides movement and stretches the muscles
• Stimulates the internal organs
• Helps the child calm his mind
• Increase the ability to focus and concentrate
• Increase attention span
• Increase awareness of the body
• Help connect child to his body
• Promotes a sense of well being and increases self-esteem
• Builds peace from inside
• Helps normalize weight
• Breathing deeply in and out the nose
An excellent set of computer programs that incorporates Montessori principles are used in the classroom. Each child gets to work on the computer up to two times a week. A child begins at her or his level and progresses at her or his own rate. Lessons are accessed through menu screens and/or navigation buttons. When pressed, on-screen instructions direct the child to make verbal responses or to use the mouse
to make interactive patterning movements. These instructions also free the child from depending on an adult presence while working with a learning program. The child can also ask for help at any time by clicking a help button. The program responds by repeating the word or phrase that is the current focus of the lesson. These programs incorporate a multi-sensory format involving animation, sound, and visual displays of various Montessori materials or objects.
Our children enjoy cooking once a week. They practice several skills that they can use outside the classroom, while also gaining self-esteem from learning they can craft a meal. They learn how to measure ingredients, share with others follow directions, all while creating a wonderful meal and having fun with their peers.