What sets us apart from a traditional preschool/daycare?
As a Montessori school, we are different from traditional schools. Our first commitment is to the multidimensional development of the child. Our curriculum is challenging and you can expect your child to be provided with challenging work that is appropriate for him. However, our aim is for each child to be far more than a repository of information. We guide each child to think for himself. Cognitive development and a solid academic foundation are important, yet they represent only one dimension of our aspirations for your child. Equally significant is your child’s social, emotional, and physical development.
Children are given choices and a great deal of freedom-within limits-during the school day. They are allowed to experience, and learn from, the consequences of their choices thereby strengthening their critical thinking skills and promoting self-correction. The choices your child makes and the accompanying responsibilities influence the emerging character of your child. Choosing his own work, following that work through to completion, while working independently or in cooperation with others, the Montessori child identifies his interest and develops his individual gifts with the goal to strengthen intrinsic motivation and self-direction.
Significant emphasis is placed upon community service. Younger children learn by serving their small community, e.g., classmates, classroom,
and family. As they grow, children reach out to the larger community and experience the many rewards of helping others. The children gain awareness and appreciation of others, of the challenges faced by others, and equally important, of their own strengths and abilities to help others and affect the world around them. Community service is an integral and important part of their lives and stays with them well beyond their Montessori years.
We treat each child with dignity and respect, and expect that the child will treat all others with the same respect. We treat each child as an individual and strive to develop each child’s unique gifts-within the context of the classroom and the school community. With freedom comes responsibility, and each child learns to balance his personal freedom with a clear sense of responsibility to himself, to others, and to the community as a whole.
Individualized Learning: Each child works at the level they are capable of in every subject area and at a pace that they are capable of achieving. There is no pressure to keep up with their peers and if they are moving at a quicker pace, they are not held back.
Hands On Learning: Every subject area has hands on interactive materials that the children use to explore and learn. This is a concrete way to teach a child that also makes learning fun. An example: when a child is learning numbers, they not only learn the names of the numbers, but they also count a quantity of that number.
Multi-Aged Classrooms: The sense of community begins here. Having 3 years of age groups within a classroom allows older children to help younger children, which builds self-esteem. This also encourages the younger children in their learning by allowing them to see the older children doing advanced work.
Sensitive Periods for Learning: We recognize that children have periods in their development where they are more sensitive to learning certain concepts. We observe and realize when the child is ready to learn new concepts and introduce them at the appropriate time.
The Montessori’s approach is based on the simple concept of tailoring education to the child’s natural tendencies instead of imposing rules of the adult world on them. Montessori teachers believe that if a child is properly guided to enjoy learning, the child not only becomes at ease with themselves and their surroundings, but also continues to be confident and curious throughout the balance of their school years.
Far from being an unsupervised free-for-all, a Montessori education is well rounded, including not only math, language, science, art and geography, but also includes practical life activities and social skill activities. Children are guided to clean up their own messes with childsized tools, and learn the powerful effect of polite phrases like “please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me”.
When a conflict occurs between students, they are taught that anger is an natural emotion and they are guided to learn the words to express their feelings instead of being afraid of them or resorting to physical expression.