Montessori in Lower School

At Shelton we strive to help children become secure about their self image and leave our programs as happy and self-motivated children with a love for learning.

Profile of a Shelton Preschooler
The children in our Early Childhood program are often too young for an official diagnosis of a learning difference; however they may be at risk for a learning disorder due to speech and language delays, developmental delays, or family history.

Young children acquire many important habits, attitudes and skills before they make formal contact with textbooks in first grade. Our goal at Shelton is to see that our students enter elementary school with high self-esteem and high expectations of success. We guide work and play so that these successes are possible for our preschoolers.

Building an Early Foundation for Later Success
The Swift Early Childhood Center, a division of The Shelton School, offers children age three through six a highly individualized program emphasizing the development of the whole child. Shelton looks at each child developmentally and place emphasis upon what a child can do rather than upon their age. This philosophy allows children to progress at their own rate of development.

Though Shelton School serves children with learning differences in grades 1 through 12, the preschool is open to all children between three and six years of age who are average or above average in intelligence. Shelton's teachers are specialists in learning and skill development. They will thoroughly discuss a child's strengths and weaknesses as he progresses through the preschool program during regular parent conferences.

Finding Just the Right Match for Each Child
Shelton provides a program in which each child's educational plan is matched to their own unique developmental levels. When Shelton teachers identify and teach to a child's developmental level, meaningful learning takes place. This approach alleviates frustration with tasks beyond their abilities and boredom with tasks that are below their abilities. Shelton offers a nurturing family atmosphere in the preschool, which serves as a transition from the family unit. In this environment of knowledge and concern, the child's academic, social, emotional and physical skills are enhanced. Through this experience of successful learning, a child's positive self-concept develops.

Parents Encouraged to Participate
Parents are encouraged to participate with the staff in their child's early education. Teachers hold regular conferences about each child's progress, as well as conduct informational meetings throughout the year. Parent visitation in the classroom is welcomed.

When students are able to enter elementary school with a sense of self worth and joyful expectation of success, they have a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Teaching a Bright Mind to Learn
Within a structured setting, which provides security, each student receives individualized instruction from skilled and concerned teachers who use the multisensory approach to teaching. Shelton's curriculum incorporates the best of traditional and Montessori educational strategies.

Curriculum Emphasis

Oral Language Development
Competent verbal expression is critical to progress in elementary school. The preschool program stresses the development of oral expression.

Readiness Skills
Life skills such as tying, buttoning, pouring and cutting help a young child develop confidence. Sensorial discrimination prepares a child for the more abstract discrimination and memory tasks in reading and writing. Shelton's preschool works to build the readiness skills necessary for academic work.

Preparation for Reading
As a child becomes ready for learning the letters and sounds of the written language, skills are taught in a sequential multisensorial procedure. Beginning reading is introduced with three-dimensional manipulative letters. The young child needs to proceed from the concrete to the abstract. Shelton's preschool helps the child make this transition.

Multisensory Math
Young children "discover" the rules of math and learn to understand basic math concepts in a program involving hands-on techniques and precise manipulatives.

Social Studies and Science
All young children love science and social studies. At Shelton, the curriculum is presented in an exciting way with materials and projects that help a child to understand even complex concepts.

Mastery of Concepts and Skills
Our emphasis is not upon subject matter but rather the mastery of concepts and skills. Cooperation in work and play is guided by the teacher so each child will begin to develop the responsible behavior necessary for a positive learning experience in elementary school.

Other areas of the curriculum include:

  • Gross and fine perceptual motor skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Enrichment activities including art, computer, and drama