> Childrens House ( 3-6yrs) > Children's House Extended Day > Highlawn Elementary > Supplementary Programs

Children's House

Hours: 8:45– 11:45 AM (Ages 3 to 4 ½)
Extended Day Hours: 8:45 AM – 2:30 PM (Ages 4 ½ to 6)

The Children’s House is the realm of the 3 to 6 year old child. It is a warm and welcoming Prepared Environment, especially designed to build concentration and self-discipline. The Montessori directress is the link connecting the child to the environment.

Students new to the Children’s House program, starting as young as age 3, attend our school from 8:45– 11:45 AM Monday through Friday. As children show academic and social readiness to work independently, usually between ages 4 ½ and 5, the directress will invite them to stay for Extended Day. These children stay for lunch beginning one afternoon a week. The children’s workday then extends from morning into the afternoon with opportunity for more in-depth exploration.

Children, ages 3 to 6, directly learn through their senses and absorb information effortlessly through movement and hands-on materials. The focus of Montessori education is not academic readiness or the mastery of specific skill, but development of the whole child – socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

The mixed age classes offer opportunities to learn which do not exist in same-age settings. The older, experienced children become leaders and role models to the younger children, who absorb social values and cultural impressions from the activities of the older children. The children learn details of math, language and geography just from walking through the classroom! Through leadership, the older children gain self-confidence and responsibility. A natural, family-like atmosphere develops spontaneously, resulting in a bond between the children and also with the Guide. From this comes the greatest level of social development - mutual care and respect.

All classrooms include four distinct areas: practical life, sensorial, math and language. A fifth area, often referred to as cultural or science, combines work from both sensorial and language.

Practical Life offers opportunity to instill care for self, care for others, and care for the environment while setting the foundation for concentration, independence, and eye-hand coordination. This area helps develop self-confidence while laying the groundwork for all other areas of the curriculum.

Sensorial exercises allow the children to manipulate materials, classify and clarify information into finer and finer distinctions, and comprehend their world through the use of their 5 senses. Dr. Montessori referred to these materials as “materialized abstractions.”

Language development occurs naturally and spontaneously before the age of six. Montessori exercises focus on both spoken and written language. The classroom is rich in oral language including conversation, stories, songs and poetry. The children learn phonetic skills necessary for composition and reading. The hand, which has been developing control and coordination in Practical Life activities and Sensorial exploration, is now ready to begin the formation of letters. Through effortless learning the child now “explodes” into reading and writing!

Mathematics materials help develop the child’s innate “mathematical mind” as he manipulates concrete materials which isolate a specific concept in preparation for later abstract work. The materials lay the foundation for arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Mind and body become integrated through exploration with the didactic materials.

Highlawn has five Children’s House classrooms. Each classroom serves 24 children, directed by an AMI certified teacher and one assistant.

Children's House Extended Day

The Children’s House Extended Day Program is offered to children 4½ and older. This session runs from 8:45-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The afternoon extended day allows the older children to have more academic, smaller group experience in their classroom. Extended day is offered to children at about four and a half years of age as the teacher feels the child is ready. Children are invited to start one afternoon and slowly increase the number of afternoons. The decision concerning the child’s readiness for the extended day is always made by the classroom teacher, with input from the parents.

Readiness for Extended Day is determined by observing the child. Guidelines the teacher will use include the following.

The child:

  • has a desire to stay for lunch and the Extended Day.
  • has given up taking naps or no longer naps everyday.
  • can work independently for extended periods of time.
  • can focus during the more difficult and complicated lessons.

Highlawn Elementary

Hours: Monday though Friday from 8:15 AM – 3:00 PM

Montessori education at Highlawn does not end with the Children’s House experience. It continues into the child’s elementary years constantly focused on the changing developmental needs of the child. Maria Montessori wrote, ”The successive levels of education must conform to the successive personalities of the child.” As the elementary-aged child gradually moves from the concrete learning of Children's House to the more abstract ones of the elementary, Highlawn Montessori meets his developmental needs each step of the way.

The elementary program builds on the child’s Children’s House experience. Highlawn’s elementary environment balances concrete, hands-on materials with the child’s developing imagination and powers of abstraction. The Montessori elementary program serves 6-12 year olds by focusing on:

  • Integration of the arts, sciences, geography, history and language.
  • Presentation of the formal scientific language of zoology, botany, anthropology, geography, and geology.
  • Presentation of knowledge as part of a large-scale narrative that reveals the origins of the earth, life, human communities, and modern history.
  • Mathematics curriculum presented with concrete materials that reveal arithmetic, geometric, and algebraic correlations.
  • Open-ended research and in-depth study using primary and secondary sources as well as other materials.

The elementary program collaborates with the Johnson County Corinth library to provide a literacy program that includes quality interactive literature experiences, library skills, library technology skills, guest speakers and more. Students attend regular small group and whole group field experiences focused on science, history, geography and the arts.

The curriculum is also enhanced by resources brought in from the community such as professional musicians, naturalist interpreters, hydrologists, drama instructors, zoo docents and people with first hand knowledge of cultural practices. The elementary students enjoy weekly Spanish instruction as well as regular visits to the classroom by volunteers including Japanese and French language teachers, local chefs, skilled seamstresses, and multicultural experts.

Supplementary Programs

In addition to our regular schedule of classes, Highlawn Montessori also offers options to working parents or those who occasionally need additional hours of care for their children. These options include Before Care, Explorer’s Club, and the After School Program. Summer Camps are available during the summer months.

Before School Care

Our Before Care program is open to children enrolled in any of our regular classes. Children attending Before Care join one of our AMI trained teachers in her classroom. The program coordinates with regular classrooms, allowing the children to participate in a Children’s House environment in which they are free to move about the room choosing work of interest to them. They may serve themselves snack, and occasionally a child will bring in breakfast to eat during
this time. Before Care is available on a drop-in basis from 7:30 to 8:40AM, five days a week. At 8:40 children are dismissed to their own classrooms. The cost is $6.00 per morning.

After School Care

Our After School Program is an extension of the Children's House class. This program provides a relaxed, cozy, home-like atmosphere under the direction of a trained Montessori teacher. The afternoon program is optional, upbeat and lots of fun. This program offers the best of both worlds; the nurturing and comfort of home and the challenging stimulation of Montessori. Children participate joyfully in many activities; care for the environment, science, cultural activities, art, music, movement, cooking and games. The children may choose to participate in an organized activity or work freely in a fully equipped Montessori classroom. The limit of twelve students and communication between the Primary Children's House Teacher and After School Teacher will enhance the child's social, emotional, spiritual and cognitive growth. Parents have the option of enrolling their children on a fee-based schedule for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days, with varying dismissal times until 5:45pm.

Explorer’s Club

Extended Day and Elementary students may join our Explorer’s Club following regular afternoon class time, one or more days a week. Specific programs are led by Montessori trained teachers. Each Explorer's Club day has a different theme varying year to year. Explorer’s Club is available five days a week from 3:15 to 5PM, on a monthly block basis. Cost is based on the number of days available in any given monthly block. Pre-enrollment is required.

Summer Camp

During the summer months one or two week long programs may be offered to currently enrolled children. Each camp session focuses on the fun of exploring a particular activity or subject. The children may also work with regular Montessori classroom materials as they choose. These camps are scheduled from
9AM to 1PM. Children bring their lunches and often enjoy eating outside during this time. Pre-enrollment is required.