Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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CULTURAL LITERACY
Are you familiar with the term “cultural literacy”? There is a group of educators in this country that contend that there is a body of widely used knowledge taken for granted by competent writers and speakers in the United States. Because this knowledge is taken for granted rather than being explained, it forms a necessary foundation for the higher-order reading, writing, and thinking skills that children need for both academic and vocational success.

Learning builds on learning. It is essential that we begin building solid foundations early when children are most receptive. It’s part of the reason you chose Montessori as an early learning environment for your child. Here at the school, we use the Core Knowledge sequence developed by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., and his educational network for grades 1 and 2 and to some extent grade 3. By acquiring this core knowledge, our children are prepared to handle their early elementary years incredibly more effectively. They’re also assured of having the building blocks they need regardless of whatever chal-lenging curriculum they face at the first and second grade levels.

The Core Knowledge curriculum sees our national diversity as a strength. It creates a school-based culture that is common and welcoming to all because it includes knowledge of many cultures and gives all our students, no matter what their backgrounds, a common foundation for understanding our cultural diversity.

Specifically, our school’s curriculum takes our children through Hirsch second grade material in reading, math, physical and life sciences, geography, and a great deal of the cultural material. You’ll notice that the songs we teach the children are the songs you learned at summer camp or in Scouts. They’re folk songs and show tunes. They were selected by a group of our parents as generally known songs in our part of the country. We teach a wide diversity of American folk tales, too.

I would encourage you to get the Hirsch books What Every Kindergartner Should Know, What Every First Grader Should Know, and What Every Second Grader Should Know. If you have older children, you’ll want to take advantage of Hirsch’s Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Folk stories and history stories in the grade books make great bedtime reading, and your child will grow up knowing wonderful stories about Paul Revere, Sequoya, and Alexander the Great. By reading these stories and talking about those heroes, your child will focus on those higher things that make for an educated and thoughtful society. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn, too.

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