Preschool and Kindergarten Programs Overview


The Mount Madonna School preschool offers a unique balance of Montessori-inspired learning and discovery through a play-based education for children ages three to five years. We guide each child’s unique path of development with intentional lessons based on the child’s curiosity, creativity and imagination. Daily hikes in the redwood forest bring awareness to children’s senses through a practice of mindfulness. The sights, sounds and smells of the forest spark curiosity and wonder for our natural world. In our outdoor classroom and children’s organic gardens, we learn hands-on life science and a respect for our environment and all living things.

Our peaceful, indoor classroom setting invites children to interact with a variety of engaging learning materials that encourage all areas of development, building on foundational skills for literacy, math, language and practical life, while inspiring each child’s engagement. The child’s interest guides the curriculum and we are committed to nurturing feelings of self-worth, confidence and independence within each child, to support their learning in a trusted and safe environment. We use tools such as yoga and meditation and focus on social-emotional learning to develop lifelong skills of peace and compassion. Our caring and experienced teachers cultivate a love of learning, positive character values, and trusting relationships that continue to develop foundations that are the stepping stones to higher learning.


The Mount Madonna School kindergarten program teaches age-appropriate academics through a creative, hands-on and holistic approach. The child’s imaginative and creative forces are cultivated through storytelling, art, music, baking, yoga, movement, dramatizations and the beautiful learning materials in our Montessori-based classroom. Learning experiences are presented thematically, both individually, as well as in a group setting, allowing each child to be challenged at their own level. The development of inner discipline and independence is cultivated through daily, individual free-choice time in a carefully prepared learning environment. Plenty of opportunities for free play and exploration allow the children to develop the essential skills embedded in play such as language, communication, creativity, problem solving and self-regulation.

An appreciation of aesthetic beauty is supported through daily interaction with the mountaintop environment that is expansive and rich in natural beauty. Nature hikes and forest adventures play an essential role in Mount Madonna’s kindergarten experience. Exploring the trails and getting to know the various ecosystems throughout the seasons instills understanding, appreciation and inspiration for stewardship. This learning is deepened through a kindergarten book-making program that highlights these natural processes. Through hands-on experiences such as caring for our own garden and visiting a working organic farm, the children explore where the things that we need to live come from, and they come to understand each person’s essential role as stewards of the community and caretakers of the Earth.

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