St. Benedict Classical Academy’s early learning program primarily draws inspiration from the Montessori method of education, integrated with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd religious formation curriculum. Our early learning program is designed to be a multi-year experience for children aged three through four or five.
Our three early learning classrooms are each lead by two educators and serve an average of 15 students. Our two five-day classrooms are lead by Montessori-trained lead teachers (or guides.)
The Montessori Method
Montessori education is a whole child-centered approach that respects the spirit of the child and is time-tested and widely respected as an ideal approach to supporting the development of crucial literacy, numeracy, critical thinking, social-emotional, and executive function skills for life.
The Montessori Method integrates learning across five main areas: Practical Life (teaching motor tasks found in real life), Sensorial (aiding children in identifying, discriminating and classifying forms, colors, sounds, etc.), Mathematics, Language, and Faith Formation. All of our classrooms provide students with a prepared environment that supports students with growing and developing in all of these areas.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Each classroom has a trained catechist of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Program who integrates the nationally renowned curriculum into daily life at school. CGS uses Parables such as Christ as the Good Shepherd, to inspire joy and relationship to Christ. Catechists offer presentations to children that follow the liturgical seasons of the church and focus on the key themes of Prayer, Baptism, and the Eucharist.
Our Catholic Identity
Our Catholic identity is woven into everything that we do in our early learning program at SBCA. In addition to integration of our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, we live out our faith at school in ways such as:
– Daily prayer to start our morning, Angelus at noontime, grace before eating, prayer to end the day
– Implementation of our “Saint, Composer, Artist and Virtue of the Month” school-wide program
– Regular Mass, including Holy Days of Obligation
– Celebration of Saints’ Feast Days and other holy days (i.e. our All Saints Day celebration)
We offer parents several options for beginning their child/ren’s educational journeys at SBCA:
– 2 full days of Montessori-inspired PK (8:00 AM-3:00 PM)
– 3 full days of Montessori-inspired PK (8:00 AM-3:00 PM)
– 5 full days of Montessori Children’s House (8:00 AM-3:00 PM)
– 5 half days of Montessori Children’s House for a limited number of first-year, 3 y/o students (8:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
Yes, we do offer a 5 half-day program of Montessori Children’s House for a limited number of first-year 3 y/o students that runs from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM. We kindly ask parents to understand that a half-day program is a full-year commitment to this schedule. Most 3 y/o students who begin as half-day students are ready to graduate to full days their second year.
Yes, our Montessori classrooms are multi-age environments, designed to be at least a two-year program for children that choose to begin at age 3. Therefore the class/teachers your child has as an entering 3 y/o will be their class/teacher in their second year of Pre-K as well.
Yes. Students admitted to any of our Pre-K early learning programs are expected to be toilet trained by the start of school and to be able to use the toilet independently.
Yes. We absolutely welcome and make necessary accommodations for children who need to sleep in the afternoon. All children are provided with an opportunity to “rest” in the afternoon following lunch. Some students nap right within their classrooms, other students are taken to our “nap room” which is directly adjacent to our classrooms.
Yes. Pre-K students are provided with a fresh snack each day in the classroom. As is typical in a Montessori-learning environment, snack is an intentional process, prepared or served by students themselves and thoughtfully plated/displayed to maximize students’ success with the task of either serving themselves and/or others snack. Teachers may begin the year with communal snack, eaten as a group, “family style” (serving one another from shared dishes) and “picnic style” (around a beautiful table cloth on the floor.) Students bring their own lunch and have the opportunity to sign-up for weekly pizza lunches on Friday.