Our Montessori program is for pre-schoolers (starting at 34 months) and for Kindergartners. The Montessori classroom is a “living room” for children called “Children’s House”. Children choose their work from among self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves, and they work in specific work areas. Over a period of time, the children develop into a “normalized community”, working with high concentration and few interruptions. Normalization is process whereby a child moves from being undisciplined to self-disciplined, from disordered to ordered, from distracted to focused, through work in the environment.
In the Montessori Preschool/KG, five distinct areas constitute the prepared environment:
· Practical life enhances the development of hand-eye coordination, gross motor control, and care of self and the environment
· Sensorial area enables child to classify, order and describe sensory impressions in relation to length, width, temperature, mass, color, etc.
· Mathematics makes use of manipulative materials to enable the child to learn concepts of number, symbol, sequence, and math operations
· Language arts include oral language development, written expression, reading, the study of grammar, dramatics and children’s literature
· Cultural activities expose the child to basics in geography, history, life sciences and earth sciences, along with music and arts.
This preschool/KG environment provides children with foundation that includes a positive attitude toward school, inner security, pride in physical environment, habit of concentration, initiative & persistence, self-discipline and responsibility. This foundation will enable them to acquire more specialized knowledge during the school years. To fully appreciate the unique methods and materials used within the Montessori classroom, we highly recommend that parents come and take a tour of the Montessori room.
Montessori education is a system of philosophy, education theory and instructional materials originally by Dr. Maria Montessori in early 1900’s. She saw education as much more than merely the transmission of knowledge. Rather, she envisioned the purpose of education as aiding the full development and release of human potential. In other words, “Montessori” is about life – about development and human evolution. In a Montessori class, children engage in interactive learning in an environment carefully prepared by a trained educator. The learning is child centered with mainly individual instruction so that each child works at his/her own pace and actively participates in his/her learning experience. It is a demanding program for teachers because teachers work with students as individuals, not as a class. Each child’s progress is monitored individually and lessons are offered to children when they are developmentally ready; not on a fixed timetable.
There are three critical components to the Montessori Method:
Prepared environment - order and nature of classroom material
Prepared adult - the teacher as a link between child and environment
Freedom with responsibility - structured freedom provides child to experience self-directed activity, acquire knowledge first hand and experience inner joy resulting from mastery of specific skills
What sets Montessori Apart?
Emphasis on Cognitive development, that is on logical, intellectual thinking
Emphasis on social development
Mainly individual instruction
Mainly group instruction
Mixed age groups
Child works on his/her pace
Group sets instructional pace
Environment and method encourage self discipline
Teacher acts as enforcer of discipline
Here are some more pictures from our Preschool / Kindergarten program: