Dr. Maria Montessori felt that all children in every geographic location, in the past and present, absorb culture in the same way. With the keen eye of a scientific observer she formulated these generalities about intellectual, spiritual and social growth of the child.
§ Children from birth to six years have a special sensitivity that compels them to take effortlessly whatever the environment offers to construct the intellect and personality. She called the sensitivity the Absorbent Mind.
§ During this period of absorbency the young child is able to internalize specific parts of his environment wholly and with ease in a way that cannot be duplicated later in life. Montessori called these phases Sensitive Periods.
§ Children learn through observation and repeated practice with manipulative objects. Montessori believed the mind and the hand are intimately connected.
§ Montessori believed in autonomy in the learning process. Each individual is unique and therefore must be given freedom to choose the material for self-construction. The development of responsible choice maintains order in the environment and becomes the mechanism for personal growth.
The Goal of Montessori Education is to foster the development of a self actualizing individual capable of responsible choice. Academic, social, and emotional growth are a by-product of this goal.
The Montessori environment is a working community of children and adults in a physical setting that calls out for involvement. The young child internalizes the environment in the process of self-construction. The environment is not only rich in the material for construction, but reflects order and beauty.
The primary role of the Montessori teacher is that of observer. The teacher programs the environment to meet the observed needs of the individuals and the group.
Montessori materials are more than traditional visual aids used to demonstrate the teacher's point. They are the embodiment of a concept to be internalized through repeated use by a child. They are usually self-correcting and encourage critical thinking.
The Montessori method refers to the interaction of children, Montessori materials and specially trained Montessori teachers. The method is experimental and open ended therefore making it applicable to all people in all times.
Discipline is not synonymous with silence. A Montessori community hums with active learning. Discipline refers to the ability to make independent, responsible choice, that is, choice that results in growth and does not infringe on the rights of community members.
Ground rules are few and simple, but consistently applied:
· Everyone has the right to work undisturbed.
· The environment, people and things, must not be harmed.
Full day and half day sessions are offered, five days per week for the school year. Applicants enrolling for a three year program must be three years of age by August 1 of the year of enrollment.
The pre-primary program offers the core Montessori curriculum of practical life, sensorial, math, language, art, music and life science. These areas are sequenced to meet the developmental needs of the 3-6 year old child. The environment is also designed to foster independence, concentration and order. Social skills are strengthened as children learn to cooperate and problem solve with fellow classmates. It is our goal to nurture a love for learning within the child that will continue to develop throughout their life.