What is a Montessori School?
A Montessori school is a special place for the child to cultivate his/her own natural desire to learn. Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, first formulated the Montessori philosophy during the early 1900’s. Dr. Montessori’s program for education and child development focuses on the natural development of the whole child from birth through maturity. The classroom environment provides choices and independence for the child, with a careful balance of structure and responsibility. Currently, Montessori is the fastest growing educational system in the United States, with well over 4000 schools.
Why should I choose a Montessori education for my child?
Most of your child’s intelligence and social characteristics are formed between the ages of two and a half and six. During these years are when your child is most receptive, curious and excited to explore the world. A Montessori education nurtures this joy of learning by offering a variety of materials to stimulate and intrigue your child. Our teachers are trained to observe a child’s readiness for new skills and to personalize presentations of new concepts.
What do you have to offer that my child cannot get at other local schools?
The Montessori method is unique. The materials used to teach reading, writing, mathematics, geography and science are not found in traditional schools. The classroom materials take abstract ideas and put them into concrete form that makes sense physiologically and neurologically for children. Children learn from peers, as classes are multi-aged from three to six. Watching the more advanced work of the older children stimulates younger children, and peer teaching is a great self-esteem builder. Additionally, older children also benefit from peer teaching, as it requires mastery and internalization of the skill they are modeling. Teachers take the role of observers much more in a Montessori classroom. Since many materials are self-teaching and self-correcting, the teacher steps in when the child is stuck or is showing readiness for a new skill. This allows a child to learn more independently, with the guidance and support of a teacher whose primary goal is to observe and adapt her teaching to the learning style and individual needs of your child.
What makes your school special?
We are committed to nurturing your child’s love of learning and to providing an education that is fun and practical. We provide an education for life – not just academics. Therefore, our aim is to model respect for life and for the rights of all people. Our staff is extensively trained in child development and positive behavior management. Through role-playing, choices, stories and class meetings, our students are empowered to take responsibility for themselves and the choices they make. Our schools work very closely with family counselors to coach both parents and teachers. We host parenting classes and provide a library of resources for parents. Montessori philosophy classes and parent conferences provide continuing education on the Montessori method for our families. Our schools have been chosen to present our program at Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University, Eagle High School and Eagle Academy. We are a recognized training site for the American Montessori Society.
What is the child’s work?
Children naturally pride themselves in doing purposeful and meaningful activity. For this reason, exercises are referred to as “work.” Children have a sense of the worth and value of their work. They choose all activities eagerly and spontaneously, and become totally involved. The work process involves attaining skills, refining abilities, developing sensitivities, strengthening concentration, solving problems, building self-esteem, and achieving new insights.
What are “sensitive periods?”
Sensitive periods are described as “windows of opportunity” when the child shows unusual capabilities in acquiring specific skills. Another name for this phenomenon might be “formative periods” in which a child is psychologically attuned to acquire given ideas or skills more readily than at any other period. Examples of the “sensitive periods” are for acquiring a sense of order – 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years of age, for precise movement and coordination- 2 1/2 to 4, for writing- 3 1/2 to 4 1/2, and for reading and numbers- 4 to 5. Recent studies show that 80% of a child’s mental development is complete by the age of six.
What are the advantages of un-graded, mixed-aged classes?
A child can work with older children in one subject, younger children in another, and still have social interaction with children his or her own age. Mixed age groups permit younger children a series of models for imitation, and older children have the opportunity to reinforce their own knowledge by helping the younger ones. Older children’s self esteem increases with this leadership role.
Why are Montessori children generally more self-confident, outgoing and self-reliant?
Montessori is based on a profound respect for the child’s personality. The child works from his or her own free choice and is allowed a large measure of independence. This forms the basis of self-discipline. As the children progress at their own pace and successfully complete the self-correcting exercises, they develop confidence in their ability to understand their accomplishments. As students get older they acquire more responsibility, accountability, and freedom.
What is the Montessori concept of discipline?
Discipline is a prerequisite condition for learning. Montessori discipline is an inner discipline and control that the child develops from his or her own behavior in conjunction with his or her home environment. Dr. Montessori noted that many so-called undisciplined children were frustrated by the lack of proper stimulation and an inadequate opportunity to be successful. She noted that young people became happier and more self-controlled after a period of time in a Montessori class. Experiencing challenging tasks not only absorbed their energies, but also resulted in a higher level of achievement.
How do I schedule a tour?
Tour’s are ideally done during the morning so that prospective parents are able to see the classrooms in action. We recognize that it may require families to take time from work to offer a morning tour, so we do provide tours throughout the day with exception to our drop off and pick up times (8:30-9:30; 12:30-1; 2:45-3:30). To schedule a tour, feel free to contact us directly at (208) 939-6333.