Q: What is Montessori?
The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician. She developed educational materials and methods based on her belief that children learn best through active participation with their environment. This is in contrast to the passive teaching methods characteristic of traditional educational institutions. Dr. Montessori’s ideas challenged the prevailing system in that she believed the idea of learning entails the active pursuit of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive experiences for young children. For more information check out this page!
Q: Why is your program five days a week?
Part-time programs may be attractive to parents who do not need full-time care, but a five-day program creates the consistency that is so important to young children and which is essential in developing strong Montessori programs. Since the primary goal of Montessori involves creating a culture of consistency, order, and empowerment, we run a five day a week program.
Q: What is the value of mix aged classes?
Montessori classes are organized to encompass a two- or three-year age span, which allows younger students the stimulation of older children, who in turn benefit from serving as role models. Each child learns at her own pace and will be ready for any given lesson in her own time, not on the teacher’s schedule of lessons. In a mixed-age class, children can always find peers who are working at their current level.
Q: Why is the third year (kindergarten year) an important year in Montessori?
The Montessori program is deliberately designed to be a three-year program, and it is only in the third (or kindergarten) year that much of what has been developing finally blossoms. Children normally have waited for two years to be one of the big kids in the class. That third year is a time when they grow emotionally in ways that traditional programs rarely allow. It is one of the prime reasons why Montessori has such a dramatic impact on most children.
Q: What is the importance of the practical life area of the classroom?
Practical Life is one of the most important areas in the Montessori classroom. It is in this area that a young child works on developing order, coordination, concentration, and independence. Other important goals of this area are socialization and character building. Once a child has had success while working on activities in this area, their self-confidence grows and they move toward the more advanced areas of the environment.
Many of the activities in Practical Life isolate one particular skill, allowing the child to master that skill one step at a time. The materials in this area are interesting, colorful, and therefore always inviting to the young child. The area is renewed around the seasons ( eg: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines Day etc.) in order to continually draw the child to this area of the classroom.
With practice, life skills are mastered in Practical Life and the young child grows in independence and feels proud of each new accomplishment. To experience this kind of achievement at such an early age is to build up a self-image as a successful person and this leads the child to approach the next task with confidence!