Traits and Benefits of a Casa Graduate
Published on April 17, 2018
After spending 3 full years in Casa, the Montessori student has some distinct traits. They are often social beyond their years and can articulate their needs and interests with clarity. Their language skills are often comparable to children in first and second grade in public school. They are reading for pleasure and developing solid comprehension skills. Most students are comfortable with the basics of math and are using materials to complete complex calculations. Their academic achievements are very impressive but the most important advantages to completing the 3-year cycle lie in less tangible abilities.
The 3rd year students take on leadership roles within the classroom. They often help the younger students to complete a lesson, to zip up their coats or to help serve themselves lunch. These simple tasks give the older students confidence in their own skills and help foster an atmosphere of empathy and compassion. They will remember being first and second year students and will offer words of comfort or a hug to their younger friends who may be feeling sad or frustrated. The 3rd years are self directed learners and will often ask for lessons or undertake a project of their own interest. These confident and collaborative learners use critical and creative thinking strategies to solve problems with their peers or with adults. By this time in their Casa experience, the children are academically secure, they work well alone or with others and have a strong sense of self-esteem and respect. It is difficult to imagine a student reaching this level of success without completing the entire 3-year cycle. These are the abilities and skills that we know will serve our children well in the Montessori Elementary program and in fact in all of their future endeavours.
We know that the Montessori curriculum at both the Casa and Elementary levels is a 3-year cycle. It is essential that we give the child time to complete the Casa program as each year is of great importance. The cycle of creation, practice and consolidation takes place over the three years and cannot be rushed. If a child enters the program late or leaves early, they will not be able to absorb all that Montessori offers.
by Leslie McIlhinney, Casa Director