WHAT PROGRAMS DO YOU OFFER? Gift of Grace provides high quality early childhood education for children ages 3 to 6 years. Children attend either the half or full day program, Monday - Friday. We do not offer part-time enrollment.
Half Day Program: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM Full Day Program: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
DAILY ROUTINE Each day consists of a morning and afternoon work cycle, a group meeting time and outdoor time. Students work independently or within small groups in the classroom areas. Group time varies daily and may consist of stories, music and movement, sharing, or special activities within our community. Children who are enrolled in the full day program bring a lunch from home. Healthy snacks are provided by the school. Teachers sit family style with the children during lunch, sharing about their day. After lunch the children have a rest period, a quiet part of the day for rest and reflection. When the children awake in the afternoon they may choose to work independently in the classroom or work on a variety of projects offered in the afternoon. The full day children also have a second outdoor time.
WHY FIVE DAYS? A child who attends school for five days each week will have the greatest opportunity for consistent spontaneous learning. Consecutive attendance is extremely important. It enables the child to feel safe and relaxed in the classroom and aids the child in forming strong bonds with their teachers and friends. A child taken in and out of school frequently does not have the same opportunity and consistency to pursue his/her unfolding interests. Early childhood specialists agree that young children thrive in a secure, consistent environment with a steady routine. The steady rhythm of coming to their school helps create a very positive attitude toward school and their activities there. It also gives the children a strong feeling of belonging to a community that they help create, and of which they are valued and respected members. They can count on seeing their friends and significant adults on a regular basis.
HOW DOES THE MONTESSORI CURRICULUM COMPARE TO THAT OF A TRADITIONAL PRESCHOOL? Montessori not only covers the nationally recognized early childhood standards, but also provides children with the tools and opportunities to learn much more. Gift of Grace Montessori is unique in that it includes a Christian component. The Montessori experience focuses on the development of the whole child. In addition to a solid academic foundation and learning Biblical principles, the children develop important attributes such as a love of learning, independence and responsibility, collaborative skills, grace and courtesy, confidence, and spiritual growth/development. Our main priority is to follow the needs of each individual child and customize the curriculum for him or her. This way the child is able to progress at his or her own pace while continuing to experience the joy of learning. At this age, learning encompasses a whole host of things in addition to reading and math - children are developing their motor skills, their social skills, their initiative, creativity, leadership, etc. They are laying down the foundations for future advancement. At Gift of Grace, our goal is for the children to experience and enhance their concentration, their independence, and their joy.
DOES THE FREEDOM IN THE MONTESSORI ENVIRONMENT LEAD TO CHAOS IN THE CLASSROOM? No - freedom of choice, movement, and speech are not a recipe for chaos when children are in a supportive, child-centered environment that engages them in interesting learning. The children learn self-discipline as well as a respect for others, their environment, and the learning materials as a part of being in a peaceful classroom community.
Gift of Grace Montessori 8097 Vineyard Parkway Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009