The Montessori environment provides an opportunity for young children to develop to their fullest potential. The classroom is designed with great precision providing a prepared environment which stimulates the child’s natural desire to learn and explore. The young child’s mind is like a sponge and his/her curiosity is at a peak during these early years. This enables the child to form patterns of learning that serve throughout life. Each child’s learning experience is unique and tailored to meet his or her needs. The children are able to progress as rapidly as their skills and interests indicate.
Who is Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori, the first woman M.D. in Italy, was one of the great pioneers in the study of child development. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in Rome. Based on her unbiased observations she developed unique materials, a child-centered environment, and was one of the first persons to revolutionize educational thought by stressing respect for the child, freedom of expression, self-education, and training through use of movement and the senses.
What is Montessori?
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that education begins at birth and that the first years, being the most formative, are the most important. This system of education is both a philosophy of child growth and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on the child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits, and a carefully prepared environment. The child develops by means of experiences in his environment. These experiences are called “work”. The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He works, however, not as an adult for profit and completion of a job, but for sake of the activity itself. Many activities are offered which differ from those in traditional nursery schools. Exploration of ideas is encouraged from a concrete level to abstraction in an orderly way. A rich curriculum is provided with experiences in art, music, mathematics, science, language and practical life. Learning is individualized and the impulse for learning is the self-motivation that exists within each child.
Why 5 days per week?
The Montessori classroom experience is for five consecutive days in order to allow the spontaneous learning of the child to flow smoothly. A child taken in and out of school every other day does not have the same opportunity to pursue his unfolding interests.