Education is a preparation for life, not a search for intellectual skills.
Dr. Montessori said that the only really important thing in education is to teach the child how to learn.
Every baby is born with the desire to know, the urge to explore, and the need to master the environment – in short, to achieve. The motivations for learning come from within the child. The child who accomplishes this moves into harmony with this world and becomes a full person. With that in mind, the Montessori environment is carefully prepared to train the senses, to stimulate curiosity, to satisfy the child’s need to know and to protect him from unnecessary failure.
A Montessori preschool program lasts from the age of 2 ½ through 5 ½. During this time, they reach for a balanced social and physical, self-discipline, self-knowledge and independence, as well as an enthusiasm for learning. They should have an organized approach to problem-solving and basic academic skills. These long range goals require a full three years to attain.
The Montessori Environment
- Permits your child to find and to participate freely in activities suited to his/her individual level of capability.
- Helps your child become an orderly, integrated person with self-direction, inner discipline, and a sense of responsibility.
- Fulfills your child’s need to become independent and to be able to make wise choices.
- Makes it easy for your child to learn social skills as well as basic cognitive skills.
The physical environment of our Montessori classrooms is carefully prepared, orderly, precise and attractive. They invite learning without being over-stimulating while allowing the children to experience success that becomes truly meaningful to each child in the following areas of the classroom:
These exercises aid in the child’s development of order, concentration, coordination, and independence. They relate to the care of self and the environment and emphasize the development of a step-by-step approach to work activities. These are essential for establishing the good work habits that are necessary for later success in the academic areas of the classroom.
These exercises aid in the child’s development of perception and sensory awareness. The sensorial materials isolate all the different senses and are developmental, leading to finer and finer distinctions. These perceptual skills provide the child with the tools for all learning.
These exercises provide the child with the concrete foundation for all further language work. Activities emphasizing auditory and visual perception skills are begun with children 2 ½ to 3 years old. This basis for a phonetic approach to the sounds of our language leads directly to writing and reading. Learning the usage and function of words, with an emphasis on reading for meaning, leads to greater creativity in expression and enthusiasm for both reading and writing.
These exercises introduce the child to the world of numbers in concrete form. The child not only learns numbers and counting, but is also introduced to addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and the concept of fractions.
These exercises provide an introduction to the world around the child through exercises in history, geography, science, art, music, and foreign language.
A child’s early years are the foundation upon which the rest of his experiences are built. The importance of providing a strong and positive base is paramount. In Montessori education, the child is respected as an individual in the environment with unique potential. This careful and appropriately planned transforming environment provides a wide range of experiences and opportunities that encourage and enhance the child’s ability to fulfill his potential.