At BHMS, the Preschool program offers children age three to five the opportunity to develop in a Montessori environment that focuses on the independent self within a community. By taking responsibility for their learning, BHMS Preschool students become self-confident problem-solvers who develop a more complex understanding of their world.
In Preschool, children begin to discover who they are intrinsically and in relation to their families, friends, and classmates. In the Preschool’s inclusive atmosphere, students are encouraged to understand that, among the many differences to celebrate, they each have a unique style and pace at which they learn.
In our mixed-age classrooms, children are given liberty within limits, the independence to teach themselves, learn from one another, and to assume leadership roles. The classroom offers a wide range of developmentally appropriate educational materials that are easily accessible and inviting to the children. In addition to traditional Montessori materials, many classroom activities are designed by our teachers, who monitor and adapt work according to the needs and interests of the children and the classroom.
Small groups and individual instruction characterize the Preschool. Teachers move throughout the classroom, facilitating children’s work choices and social interactions as they carefully observe and record the key points of each child’s day. Open-ended work periods encourage children to develop concentration, to make choices on their own, and to learn to manage portions of their time independently.
The Preschool children also enjoy a weekly music class. Through songs, chants, games, and the use of musical instruments, they become familiar with musical terms and symbols as they play and sing. Children are introduced to music from around the globe as well as more familiar and traditional rhymes and songs.
The three-year-olds and some four-year-olds in our Preschool leave at lunchtime every day. In the afternoons, the older four- and five-year-old children frequently work on small group projects to encourage their developing academic skills and collaboration abilities.
Play being a child’s most important work, each class travels to our rooftop playground for daily morning recess. Children who spend the full day in Preschool have a second period of daily outdoor play each afternoon.