The AAK Montessori!
Welcome to All About Kids Montessori, our programs are modeled after the philosophy and pedagogy of Dr. Maria Montessori. As an educator, physician, social worker and scientist, she observed children at various ages and stages of development. Her work with children led to the development of specific environments and materials that cultivate the child’s own desire to learn.
Children’s Community [Ages 2 to 3 Years]
Services We Provide
Full Day Session
Community – AAKM
The Childrens’s Community Montessori classroom is a place where children can learn and explore their environment freely. The importance of the toddler age cannot be underestimated. As Dr. Montessori wisely observed, children are absorbing everything around them. They learn because they exist and every moment of their existence involves learning.
School at AAK
Sensorial This area of the classroom enables the child to order, classify, and describe sensory impressions in relation to length, width, temperature, mass, color, sound, and smell.
Language In it’s beginning, facilitates oral language development, articulation, and expression. We focus on very basic skills of letter shapes and putting sounds together through the use of sandpaper letters and the moveable alphabet.
Toileting independently is a skill learned with consistency, repetition, and patience. By toileting consistently at the same times each day, by providing the clothes for the child to be successful, and with the inner drive and self satisfaction of being warm and dry, the child will move toward independence in this area. Parents and Teachers must be consistent to reduce confusion.
Each day the children will go outside, or do large motor activities including running, skipping, throwing balls, raking, shoveling, tumbling and jumping. Nutritious breakfast and lunch are part of practical life, it teaches children about healthy living. Transition to Primary I is determined by the child readiness and availability.
Primary I&II House [Ages:3-6 years]
Our Primary I&II clasrooms are designed for children 3 to 6 years of age We have three primary classrooms. At the Primary Montessori Day School, learning is based on the discoveries of Dr. Marie Montessori, who was one of the first educators to perceive that children between the ages of three and seven are particularly sensitive to the world around them. To take advantage of their absorbent minds, Dr. Montessori developed a multi-sensory classroom environment filled with unique materials for learning. She was a brilliant student of child development, and out of her research came a curriculum that has stood the test of ninety years in Montessori schools around the world.
Purpose and Goal
“A child perfects motor responses through repetition. He possesses a natural tendency to repeat, to perfect his performance. Repetition is essential to internalize knowledge and control over one’s own actions. Repetition represents the ‘unconscious’ need of the child to perfect his actions up to his own standards. He would not repeat if he had satisfied some standard.” —Maria Montessori.
Dr. Montessori felt that the goal for early childhood educators should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn. Most lessons in the Primary classrooms environment are given as individual presentations because the young child is creating his/her own intellect and personality. In the Primary classroom environment, this objective is approached in two ways first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his/her own choice rather than by being led; and second, by helping the child perfect his/her natural tools for learning, so that the child’s abilities will be maximized for future learning situations. Montessori materials have this dual, long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.
Practical Life Exercise
For young children, there is something special about tasks, which an adult considers ordinary—folding towels, washing dishes, paring vegetables, etc. These tasks, which to adults may seem mundane, are intriguing to children because they allow them to act as adults do. Repetition and imitation is one of the strongest urges during the child’s early years. The exercise and activities help children perfect their coordination as they repeat and become absorbed in an activity. Children gradually lengthen their span of concentration and also learn to pay attention to details as they follow a regular sequence of actions. Finally, through the exercises of practical life, the children learn life-long working habits: orientation to tasks, perseverance, self-direction, satisfaction and confidence they transfer to later academic work.
The sensorial materials in the primary classroom help children to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate new information to what they already know. Dr. Montessori believed that this process is the beginning of conscious knowledge. It is brought about by the intelligence working in a concentrated and ordered way on the impressions the child has collected through his/her senses. Children learn about their world by comparing, sequencing and abstracting different heights, lengths, weights, colors, sounds, smells, shapes and textures. Through working with concrete materials that help them abstract these qualities, children build their intellect by generalizing from the concrete to the abstract.
Dr.Montessori demonstrated that if children have access to concrete mathematical materials in their early years, they can easily and joyfully assimilate many facts and skills of arithmetic. Montessori designed materials to represent all types of quantities, after she observed that children who become interested in counting like to touch or move the items as they enumerate them. By combining these materials, separating, sharing, counting, and comparing, children can demonstrate to themselves the basic operations of mathematics.The children’s early experiences with these materials from a solid foundation that supports the understanding of abstract mathematical concepts introduced in the preschool years.
Dr.Montessori In the Primary classroom language arts provides rich opportunities for oral language development, written expression, reading, grammar, creative dramatic, and children’s literature. Basic skills in writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper letters, alphabet cut-outs, and various presentations allowing children to link sounds and letter symbols effortlessly and to express their thoughts through writing. The individual presentation of language materials in a Montessori environment allows the teacher to take advantage of each child’s greatest periods of interest. Writing or the construction of words with the “moveable alphabet” precedes reading because the decoding of words follows phoneme awareness as the first step to reading.The child begins by creating simple 3-letter phonetic words and moves on to reading phonetic words.Gradually the children learn irregular words (“puzzle words”) and words with two and three syllables by performing many reading exercises that offer the child variety rather than monotonous repetition. Proceeding at there own pace, children are encouraged to read about things that interest them.Beginning grammar is then presented through games and activities.The child’s interest in reading is cultivated as the most important key to his/her future learning.Children are encouraged to explore books for answers to their own questions, whether they are about frogs, rockets, stars, and dinosaurs.
Additional materials are available for children to pursue their interests in such topics as geography, geometry, science and nature, art, music, and history.Large motor activities, group discussions, stories, and songs are also part of the primary classroom day.
Traditionally,”day care” in Montessori schools required the children to make a transition to a day care room (enrichment center) after the three-hour morning program ended.This meant a transition to different staff members, a different community of children, and a different environment.Research indicates that these transitions are very difficult for the young child who requires consistency and order in his/her day. All About Kids Montessori means just that – and is designed to eliminate unnecessary transitions, allowing the child to remain in the familiar and protected.All About Kids setting for the full day.The Montessori environment offers an ideal child care situation providing a range of activities to serve the child’s developmental, physical and emotional needs. The children who enroll in the All Day program will find that it is an extension of their home environment.After the three-hour All About Kids morning cycle, the children play outside in our beautiful outdoor environment.Then they have a full hour for lunch, which encompasses family rituals: the children share responsibility for setting tables and for cleaning up after meals, they use disposable plates, cups and napkins. All this takes place in their own classroom, which serves as an extension of the All About Kids environment. After lunch the door between the classrooms are closed to offer a protective environment for those who rest or nap, while the other children resume working with Montessori materials and activities.
Children who are experiencing their Kindergarten year continue there All About Kids experience in a full day setting.This child has reached a level of maturity requiring a longer work cycle and this rich exploration is the culmination of their All About Kids experience resulting in the reinforcement of reading and math skills in preparation for entering elementary.This is also the period, which allows the child to become a leader in the community, and provides greater opportunities for socialization with peers in the afternoon hours.
AAK Mission and Philosophy Statement
All About kids Montessori school bases its philosophy on high quality early childhood program. Our teaching philosophy integrates the theories of Montessori, Dewey, Piaget, Erickson, and Vygotsky. We believe it is important to meet the needs of the whole child by providing a safe, consistent, nurturing environment encouraging the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth of children, while also responding to the needs of families. The unique personality, needs, abilities, and learning style of each child are accepted and appreciated, as the staff and parents work together in the best interests of the children. We emphasize socialization, building each child’s self esteem through play, the natural learning experience for children. All about kids Montessori schools staff works in partnership with parents to increase the child’s respect for her/himself and the rights of others. Regardless of your child’s stage of development, our goal is to promote three key developmental issues through interactions and curriculum: security, exploring and discovery, and identity.
Philosophically, Winnetka Community Nursery School strives to:
- Foster positive self-identity and sense of emotional well-being.
- Develop social skills and knowledge.
- Encourage children to think reason, question and experiment.
- Encourage language and literacy development.
- Enhance physical development and skills.
- Encourage and demonstrate sound health, safety and nutritional practices.
- Encourage creative expression, representation and appreciation for the arts.
- Respect cultural diversity.
- Include parents as partners in the education of their children.
By providing a rich and creative curriculum, highly qualified staff, opportunities for parental involvement and partnership, a sense of school community, All About Kids Montessori School strives to be a model in excellence in early childhood education.
Research has shown that most of the child’s potential for learning is established by age six. During these early years, children need a stimulating environment which will enable them build their own knowledge through many and varied opportunities to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. This includes opportunities to be “little scientists”, to explore and experiment, to question and guess, to fail and try again.Through research, we know that young children learn primarily through play. In play, children feel the freedom to try out new ideas, practice skills and imitate adult roles. As our teachers plan activities and direct opportunities for children to work together, children learn to get along with others and to feel about themselves. These experiences affect their growth and all other learning for the rest of their lives.
The school community at All About Kids is an inviting and welcoming one. Our parents and teachers feel a sense of partnership in guiding the learning process of the students here. There is ample opportunity for parent involvement in community events, governance and ambassadorship of the school. Our facility is designed especially as a Montessori school. Our classrooms are fully equipped with all the approved Montessori materials, filled with natural light and with access to outdoor play areas and gardens. Our school is an active member of Association Montessori International (AMI), also registered with the Illinois board of education and a licensed school with DCFS.
In 1995, All About Kids Montessori School bought the land, with the community support and several families connected our school was running in a short time. We are proud to say our school has grown from 10 students to 100 students. As a private and independent school, it has the freedom to determine its own direction and standards.
Our school was founded with a clear and distinct educational mission, and is run by a Board of Directors that makes decisions regarding the school’s current operations and future direction in support of that mission. Our facility is designed especially as a Montessori school. Our classrooms are fully equipped with all the approved Montessori materials, filled with natural light and with access to outdoor play areas and gardens.
We are registered with the Illinois Board of Education and licensed by DCFS. Montessori Curriculum is taught by the teachers who are active member of Association Montessori International – AMI.
AAK School Hours
Daily: 6:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Half Day Montessori
Daily: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
M-F, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Please contact the school for different options for partial days. Visiting hours by appointment: 9:00a.m-11:00a.m