“…education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.” — Dr. Maria Montessori
The Montessori classroom is referred to as a ‘prepared environment’. This environment encourages children to pursue their interests and to work independently at their own pace. A minimum use of wall displays, soft colors, and child-sized furnishings are the norm in this environment.
A typical day in the Montessori classroom will include activities to encourage independent work, small group activities, demonstrations by the teacher and opportunities to explore the environment both inside and out.
When necessary, teachers assist the child in the decision-making process by offering options from which the child can choose. The Montessori trained teacher is an astute observer who presents appropriate materials to the child or children in small groups. Recording your child’s progress on a daily basis allows the teachers the opportunity to stay in tune to the needs of the child’s and the environment. These records will also assist the teacher in communicating the child’s progress to his/her parents. Teachers in this environment serve as facilitators and observers who offer stimulation and choices. The child’s natural curiosity, love for work, and a sense of community are stimulated and nurtured in this environment.
The Early Childhood Classroom is organized into four major areas: practical life, sensorial, language arts, and mathematics.
Practical life exercises would include buttoning, food preparation, plant care, silver polishing and other activities that encourage self-care, environment care and care for others.
Sensorial area assists in the development of the intellectual skills of classification and mental organization by refining the child’s sense of touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight.
Language arts area develops the many facets of language. Oral language development, creative writing, listening skills, and handwriting development are skill areas that the language area focuses on.
Mathematics area focuses on counting, number recognition, making sets, measuring and patterning.
Arts and music encourages the growth and development of aesthetic qualities. Exercises in science including botany, zoology and physical science along with focus on history, geography and foreign language complete this well rounded curriculum.