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Wheaton Montessori News

Are you picking summer camps based on a theme?

Categories: General Knowledge Fund

During the school year, interests are sparked on a daily basis in the classrooms.  Through lessons, classroom teachers present a wide array of topics to your children, in varying manners and based on the developmental characteristics of each age group.

Our classroom teachers watch, observe, and listen to your child to determine the best way to engage them in a new lesson, further research, or practicing a concept.  While our teachers “follow the child” based on what will engage the student, they also tailor their lessons based on your child’s developmental and cognitive stage.  

So if a 2-year-old is thinking about animals, they’d be learning animal names to increase their vocabularies.
If a 7-8-year old is thinking about animals, they’ll be learning about the function of the animal, the anatomy and the role that each of the physical systems plays in that animal’s life.  Imagination…..
For a 10 or 12-year-old, the study of animals may include preservation, classification, and the animal’s connection to human life and the world around it.  The student may take a small spark of inspiration from a presented lesson and spend months following each interesting lead to completion.   The relationships between animals, between animals and plants, geographic roles in the animal’s life, etc.  This in turn helps the child examine their own role within each of these spheres.
While we are always thinking about “following the child,” and encouraging them to work on what interests them, we have to keep preparing our environments with lessons to help spark these flames of interest.
What does this have to do with Summer Camp?  Just like during the school year, our teachers will be tailoring lessons, activities, and projects to the children present each day.  Weekly themes are presented as part of the teacher’s lessons plans, which always “follow the child.”  Themes will be presented to spark the child’s interest; the teacher will observe to see what has engaged your child the most and encourage new work, new lessons, new projects, and more exploration.  While we have weekly themes, each child’s week will be determined by his or her developmental stage, cognitive readiness, and interest.  There’s room to be intensely interested each week in more than just that week’s theme, as each week’s theme reaches farther in our children’s eyes than we might imagine.