The Westwood Difference
“Love and respect for the individuality and dignity of each child permeates the atmosphere of Westwood.”
The Westwood School preschool program, a Montessori environment, is distinguished by a hands-on core curriculum that allows each child to acquire and apply a breadth of skills during a three-year learning cycle.
These years, from ages three to six, nurture the growth of children’s independence, self-esteem, and self-discipline while introducing them to the basics of academics.
Our preschool program is a special and unique environment where children establish the foundation for all future social relationships. They become part of a multi-age and diverse community. Lessons in grace and courtesy teach them how to successfully interact with peers and they begin to acquire the communication skills that will help them achieve success in life.
Practical Life. Taking responsibility for the environment is an essential characteristic of the “Montessori child.” Through a series of exercises, children become independent. This sense of competence is the foundation upon which all other learning takes place. A child’s ability to control their focus and attention begins with these activities.
Sensorial. Through the use of the scientifically designed three-dimensional materials of the Montessori Method, children learn to order and classify their world. They strengthen their sensory impressions and heighten their awareness of the surrounding environment.
Language. Based on phonics, children learn to associate sounds with letter symbols, groups of letters blended into words, then mechanical and, finally, fluent reading. They explore reading through their creative writing and nomenclatures. Students are also immersed in Spanish for part of the day, and introduced to Mandarin.
Mathematics. Children learn that number symbols have a quantitative meaning and learn the processes involved in basic math operations such as addition and subtraction. They then learn about hierarchies of math as they do four-digit problems. Further inquiry into concepts of time, measurement, and money is also facilitated through three-dimensional pieces of equipment.
Cultural. Children learn about the world around them, including planet Earth, continents, and landforms as well as peoples and cultures of the world. They research animals and plants and their classifications, geologic vocabulary and structures, star formations, and the cosmos. They experience the world rather than just read about it.
Dr. Maria Montessori recognized the importance of a child’s relationship with nature. A human being’s center for a calm and secure spirit originates in these interactions with the physical world. Each classroom opens into a garden area in which the children can explore, plant, maintain, and harvest flowers and food while observing the birds and butterflies in this protected area. We also invite many visitors to bring the outside world into our environment. Storytellers, museum specialists, firemen, dancers, and others bring a wealth of knowledge and excitement to these young minds.