Casa Program

Preschool to age 6

Casa builds skills of independence, introduces and develops academic learning, develops social skills and fosters a love and respect for the natural world. A strong sense of community is evident in the classroom, as well as a respect for others, the classroom, the environment and ourselves. The Montessori casa experience inspires a love of learning and a curiosity about the world that lasts a lifetime.

The casa program is organized into five areas:

  • Practical Life

  • Sensorial

  • Language

  • Mathematics, and

  • Culture & Science.

Culture encompasses many areas, including:

  • Cultural and Physical Geography

  • Zoology

  • Botany

  • Nature studies

  • Art and Art History

  • Music

  • French

  • Phys ed and Health/Well-being.

To enroll in our casa class, children must turn 3 by December 31 of that school year, and able to use the washroom independently.

We only accept 5 first-year students. Priority is given to siblings of current students,

and those who wish to attend casa for the full 3-year program.

Practical Life

Practical Life exercises are familiar activities which attract the child and provide valuable skills for independence, sequencing ability, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. The Practical Life exercises respond to the child’s sensitive period for order. The classroom is organized in an aesthetically pleasing way, to show the child that this is a special place, just for them.

Activities such as: tying bows, pouring water, buttoning, zipping, polishing & putting things away.

Students also learn to take care of the classroom and materials, cooperation, social interactions, and taking care of their own personal needs.

Sensorial

Sensorial materials isolate single concepts, such as size, colour, shape, texture, sound, weight, taste and scent.

Working with these materials helps to refine the senses and provides the language associated with these concepts.

These materials respond to the Casa child’s sensitive periods for language and movement.

Language

Language work begins with the sandpaper letters, which prepare the child for writing and introduce the phonetic sounds of the letters. Students work through a series of materials that lead to reading and writing, an introduction to grammar, word study and creative writing.

Children begin by learning sounds of the letters, and evolve into reading three phonetic three letter words, then longer words, before being introduced to digraphs (e.g., "sh", "th", "ey").

Children are also read to daily, by both the teacher, and their elder peers. As students progress, they move on to simple readers, and will read to a teacher or elder peer daily.

Mathematics

Math materials allow the child the opportunity to fully understand number concepts, the processes involved in the four operations, and squares and cubes of numbers 1 to 10.

Self-directed practice with hands-on materials, beads, chains, boards and charts provides the means to memorize math facts in a concrete way, before moving to move abstract concepts (like time, and currency). Ensuring a child fully understands how numbers are related provides a strong foundation for more complex operations in Elementary, which carries forward from where Casa leaves off.

Culture and Science

Cultural subjects include geography, science, botany, zoology, history, art, music, and French. A rich array of materials opens the child’s eyes to the surrounding world, both natural and cultural.

The casa child is very interested in the concrete world, things he/she can physically relate to. The study of languages introduces children to cultures around the world, and gives them a basic vocabulary of nouns, verbs, adjectives and simple phrases as a foundation to build upon.

Art appeals to a child's desire to express themselves creatively. Music also connects to a child's creativity, while also providing foundational elements for sequencing, patterns, counting, logic, and problem solving.

Nature Studies

The natural world is a fascinating place, especially for young children. Sharing discoveries and making them available for up close examination on a daily basis is part of our nature studies curriculum.

Spending time outside in nature, where children can safely explore their surroundings, and receive guidance from their teacher is also an important part of our program.

Music and Art are an important part of HMS and the children are able to explore both independently, and as part of a group in the classroom.

In their weekly lessons, students are exposed to composers and artists and their works.

Music and Art are used to reinforce learning in many subjects, like geography, astronomy and French.

We are outside as much as we can be!

Recess is for an hour or more each day and on nice days we spend the afternoons studying botany, zoology and biology hands-on in our garden or nearby forest.

Social skills such as learning to share, cooperating and taking turns, learning to play safely and talking kindly are an important part of our program and teachers ensure that children are conscious of their actions and how they affect themselves and others.

At the same time, children are not forced unnaturally to work together, as developmentally many children still prefer to work alongside, rather than along with, another friend. Or, even, completely alone. And that is perfectly fine!

HMS is a family!

A community of parents, teachers and children who all work together, support each other, and respect each other.

Older students are role models, and model appropriate behaviour for our younger students.

Our Casa students look up to them, and our Elementary students look after our Casas.

If you would like to observe our casa classroom in action, please email us at info@hummingbirdmontessori.ca or call our office at 705-888-1252. We would love to have you visit!