Sonoma Charter School has a Montessori based curriculum, with a strong focus in the early grades, gradually decreasing as the children progress in grades. Materials based on the Montessori Method are evident our three primary grades.
“The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observation of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world. It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and development of the whole child – physical, social, emotional, cognitive.”
American Montessori Society
In the upper grades, the Montessori philosophy that speaks to the eagerness and curiosity of the child is the basis for our project-based approach to teaching. Students attending Sonoma Charter School are taught to work successfully in groups and are expected to present to their classmates and teachers on a regular basis.
SCS students study independently or in groups, and apply information they learned to higher levels. They have opportunity to express, represent, interpret, and communicate through the arts and music. They acknowledge as individuals responsibility for themselves, their ethical behavior, and their productivity in life. They learn to exhibit social skills, respecting individual and cultural diversity, demonstrating service to the school and the community. They acquire a sense of Sonoma Valley’s heritage and its relationship to the world at large.
Students leave each multi-age classroom level with demonstrated age-appropriate competency in the following disciplines:
• Creative arts
• History/Social Science
• Language Arts
• Performing Arts/Music
• Multi-age Groupings
Classrooms in Grades K-3 are multi-age at Sonoma Charter School. Research shows that when children are in classrooms with more than one grade level, their self-esteem is raised. With mixed age groupings, children have the flexibility to move at their own pace. They are not pigeonholed into performing specific tasks or understanding concepts because they have reached a certain age. They’re able to learn as much as they possibly can.