When a three-year-old enters the primary school at the Austin Children’s Academy, he or she will be experiencing a critical period in his early academic life. Over the three years of the program, he will develop in leaps and bounds in a wide variety of academic subjects. Surrounded by language, your child’s vocabulary will expand exponentially, as will the complexity of their sentences and the breadth of their oral and reading comprehension. They’ll embrace ever-more-complex mathematical concepts and discover new interests in the greater world as they explore facets of science, geography, other languages, and social studies.
Parent FAQ: Why ACA?
The director Ms. Gupta is extremely competent, conscientious and detail oriented, and from what I’ve seen, she takes an individual interest in each student.
If he spends those years at the Austin Children’s Academy, he’ll also be having an incredible amount of fun.
That’s because the Austin Children’s Academy is a Montessori school, a member of the American Montessori Society. Using the tried-and-true, scientifically-based philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori (embraced worldwide for over a hundred years), we strive to offer your child the best educational experience possible. We do this, in part, by tailoring each student’s academic goals and social development according to their own pace, needs, learning style, and rampant curiosity. When your child is having fun, then your child will love to learn.
Check out the advantages that a Montessori primary school offers.
One of the greatest strengths of a Montessori school, and a major difference that separates our classrooms from many other preschools, is the age composition of the students.
Our primary school is the next “step up” after the toddler classes into a larger and more categorically multi-faceted classroom. But unlike many other preschools, our primary school encompasses both the traditional preschool years as well as the first year of kindergarten.
This arrangement promotes a family-like atmosphere where the younger children look up to their older peers for guidance both academic and social. Those children eventually “age up” into the role of mentors. By taking time out to help the younger children, the kindergarteners solidify their own understanding of basic academic concepts as well as embrace the leadership qualities necessary in that role.
Scientific studies have shown that children who have attended Montessori schools show marked gains in socialization when it comes to classroom behavior, conflict resolution, and group cooperation. We attribute those developments in part to our multi-age classrooms where respect for oneself and for others is emphasized and constantly reinforced.
One of the hallmarks of a Montessori primary school is the focus on child-centered learning. It may come as a surprise that our Montessori-certified teachers act more like guides than lecturers. Using keen observation, they focus on each individual child in order to develop a personalized curriculum with defined goals, but otherwise, the children choose what to do, when to do it, and how long to spend on a task.
A visit to our classroom will show that such a philosophy doesn’t lead to the chaos you might imagine. Each child rolls out a mat to define his play space and then chooses the specially-crafted, bright and well-made educational materials he would like to play with. The class comes together at intervals for stories, songs, and to talk about what they’ve learned. When a child is allowed, with skilled and expert guidance, to indulge his or her curiosity, wondrous things happen. Your child will soon propel himself happily past academic, sensory, cognitive and motor-skill milestones as he embraces a love of learning.
Academics are vital at the ACA primary program, but so are practical life skills as well as the greater benefits that follow. Your three-year-old will be encouraged to learn self-care not just so that she’ll know how to button buttons, zip up, and tie or lace shoes. Learning to take care of one’s own needs is the first step toward self-reliance, confidence, and independence.
The way your child learns such practical skills is just as important as his or her eventual success. Your child will be presented with well-crafted boards that are designed so that the student will know immediately if he hasn’t laced, tied, buttoned, snapped, or zipped correctly. By making mistakes, recognizing them, and then correcting them himself, your child is learning the precise process needed to teach himself any new skill. As always, one of our Montessori-certified teachers hovers nearby, ready to step in as a guide not at the first sign of difficulty, but just before that moment when frustration threatens to spoil the fun.
Our goal at ACA is to guide your child through the three years of the program until he or she is ready for the next educational step socially, cognitively, and academically. To that end, we focus our efforts on several areas of learning.
- Mathematics. Our well-crafted math manipulatives are geared toward multi-level learning. Your primary student will learn counting, pattern recognition, simple addition and subtraction, shapes, relative sizes, money, telling time, and, as they grow older, simple concepts of symbols, fractions, place value, etc.
- Reading and Language Skills. From learning letters and speaking simple sentences to writing words and answering reading comprehension questions, your child’s language and reading skills will increase at an incredible pace. We use both phonetic and whole-language methods, and take advantage of our dedicated library and computer lab to strengthen your child’s skills.
- Science, Social Studies, and Geography. With a goal to introduce your child to the greater world, we embrace topics like the study of the universe, the environment, animals and plants, and life sciences. In geography, we study landforms, continents, countries, and the fifty United States. In social studies, we learn about different cultures, customs, food, and music.
- Spanish. At ACA, we begin the study of the Spanish language in our primary school. Children who take up a second language in their early years have an easier time becoming bilingual and enjoy other cognitive and academic benefits in the long term.
Curious to learn more? Call us today to arrange for a tour and speak to our teachers about whether ACA’s primary program is right for your child.