" Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
The Value of a Montessori Education:
Montessori education is based upon two powerful, unique ideas that are supported by years of academic excellence and current scientific research: the child as a self-motivated, active learner, and the school as a scientifically prepared environment. Dr. Montessori observed and documented children’s natural curiosity and love of learning. Her discoveries led her to believe that the goal of early childhood education should be to cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn.
This goal is accomplished in the Montessori classroom by enabling children to learn through active exploration based on choice and by providing a methodically prepared learning environment based on scientifically recognized developmental periods.
A trained Montessori teacher acts as guide between the child’s readiness and the appropriate lesson. Dr. Montessori recognized the importance of engaging the child’s mind through active interaction with his environment and said that “mental development must be connected to movement and be dependent on it.” Specifically designed Montessori materials enable the child to fix his attention on the lesson by focusing both the hand and the mind simultaneously. This effort at coordinating the brain with movement at the earliest ages is unique to Montessori.
Practical Life is so attractive and interesting to children, it instantly commands their attention. These activities give children what they need at this stage of their development: a sense of connection to the environment around them and satisfaction of their natural desire to work and make a contribution. They experience a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem and achieve increasing levels of independence as they imitate adult behavior. As well these activities serve to lengthen attention span and aid in the development of both gross and fine motor skills. Practical Life serves as a foundation for all later abstract learning such as math and reading.
Dr. Montessori observed that all initial learning happens through the five senses. She designed her “learning materials” to assist the child in the development and refinement of these senses. The child learns to grade and sequence objects according to various attributes, giving the child a clear, in-depth understanding of sequences, groups and sets. These activities prepare the child for the more advanced math and geometry activities of the kindergarten year. The child is introduced to a rich vocabulary through exploration and self.
Children are born with a natural ability for language acquisition. beginning with oral language, later writing and reading. The foundation for language in a Montessori classroom begins with readiness activities. This allows the child to progress to a state of physical and mental readiness before formal language exercises are introduced. The child experiences sound recognition, language cards, stories, listening games and other preparatory activities. Once the child demonstrates a readiness for formal language, a phonetic approach is introduced. They learn to recognize and differentiate letters and their sounds. As the child begins to isolate the beginning, medial and ending sounds, he begins the process of word building (3-letter words: cat, sit, hot etc.), and blending sounds into meaningful reading. During the kindergarten year, the child’s reading and writing skills typically range from phonetic reading to creative writing to employing the study of the function of the parts of speech.
Introduction to mathematics begins with a clear, sensorial impression experienced by the manipulation of specific mathematical materials. Each material is designed to isolate a single mathematical idea or concept. As each math concept is internalized, the child progresses naturally from concrete material to the abstract level that is required for the advanced math curriculum. Through our Golden Bead Activities the child will understand the four operations of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Children also learn odd and even numbers, cumulative and associative properties and square vs. cube concepts. The success that the child achieves here inspires confidence and a desire to seek out future learning experiences.
Your children will engage in delightful activities that will instill a lifelonglove of the sciences, geography, music and art. Foreign language is presented through songs, stories, games and activities. The children also engage in a variety of music and dance related to cultural style. Each year geography is studied in depth. Children learn about physical and political geography, people and flags of distant countries and the cultural similarities that we share.