Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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THE AFTERNOON CLASS
We’re scheduling our first day of kindergarten, but some of you may be aware that there have been children in the afternoon that are not “real” kindergartners. Our distinction between the “afternoon class” and “kindergartners” is not necessarily clear. So here’s a little primer on the final year of the 3-6 cycle in Montessori.

The mixed-age classroom is a beautiful thing. Younger children are inspired by older children who are so capable and competent in deciphering the secrets of how to tie a shoe, pour carefully, read books, and perform scientific experiments. No matter what the child’s age, he is free to progress as fast as his interests allow. So what’s in it for the older child? They have the empowerment of teaching the little ones, and there’s no faster way of solidifying skills than by making sure someone else is learning those same skills. Older children in the Montessori class are expected to be leaders and to take responsibility. They are given lessons in teaching and lots of opportunities to do so.

All of this can happen when a child begins to demonstrate that she has the social, emotional, and academic development to focus on more advanced lessons in the class. Ordinarily we teach the longer, more complex lessons in the early afternoon. The little ones are asleep and the directress can devote a lot of time to the older ones. Physically, a child should be beginning to demonstrate that he no longer needs a mid-day nap. As an astute observer of her children, the directress is well aware of the child’s abilities, regardless of the child’s chronological age. We’ll discuss with you if you think placement in the “afternoon class” is a good idea both for your child and for your family. You may prefer that your child continue to take an afternoon nap for a while so you have more family time in the evenings. Because your child is in Montessori, it’s not a big concern since your child still will be scholastically ahead of conventional kindergartners.

In that same afternoon class are real “kindergartners”, those children who are five by Sept. 1. This is the criteria most school districts use for placing kindergarten children. Our kindergartners have special work folders and perhaps special leadership responsibilities. We make sure they can answer the question “Where do you go to kindergarten?” Toward the end of the year, we’ll begin preparing them for transition into a conventional school system. This includes how to take tests and how to finish an assignment in one sitting. It’s a real honor to have achieved this leadership position, and the children gladly step up to begin developing the mindset that they are, in fact, leaders among their peers.

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