Four- & Five-Year-Olds (MF Classes)

Age Range: 3.9-5.0 years old (as of September 1st)

MFAM Schedule: Mondays 9:00am-12:00pm in the Presidio; Tuesdays-Fridays 9:00am-1:00pm. Schedule includes a time for lunch, which children bring from home. Care available as early as 8:30am until as late as 5:30pm.

MFPM Schedule: Mondays 1:30pm-4:30pm in the Presidio; Tuesdays-Fridays 12:30pm-4:30pm. Care available as early as 8:30am until as late as 5:30pm.

Every single person has strengths, and every single person has challenges. In a community, you can use your strengths to help other people, and you can also get support for the challenges that you have.

Four- and five-year-olds attend school five days per week. In the MF classes we start to see and foster children's more sophisticated interactions with each other and with their world.

Children’s social skills take center stage. Some of the skills that are developed and strengthened at both the individual and group level include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Conflict resolution
  • Reading social cues
  • Balancing initiative with compromise,
  • Becoming part of a community
  • Playing a supportive and authentic role in the classroom
  • Having multiple friendships

Children negotiate and develop imaginative and constructive play ideas together, often for days or weeks, developing the critical and creative thinking skills that will serve them for the remainder of their schooling and beyond. 

Pre-academic skills emerge as the children’s interest in literacy, numeracy and science takes flight. These skills are encouraged and embedded in child-directed play and work, as well as teacher-directed and small group times. Teachers individualize to the variation in children’s skill level at this young age in a way that ensures that each child is excited about his progress and eager to learn more.  Community meetings, longer and more cognitively challenging than those in the YMWF year, often focus on the classroom community itself, and how children can have impact and power in a group.

Our expectations for children to participate in teacher-directed activities grow in the MF programs. The teachers help shape children’s questions about the world into long explorations involving research, experimentation, and planning. We foster children’s emerging interest in literacy and language through story-writing, dramatic play, journals, signs and other opportunities to help children express their ideas with abstract symbols.

A highlight of the MF classes is our Woods Program. Children spend Mondays in the Presidio, hiking, climbing, digging, and playing in nature. This program provides a multitude of unique benefits, among them group effort and camaraderie, individual physical skill building, comfort in nature, and the confidence that comes from adventure and risk-taking.

The MF year is, for many children, a culminating preschool experience. All of the children in the MFPM class and many of the children in the MFAM class typically graduate to kindergarten after this year of school. We take very seriously the challenge of helping cultivate confidence, grounded social-emotional intelligence, self-awareness, kindness, and self-regulation skills in order to prepare children for their next steps.