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Montessori Is ...

”The most important period of life is the first one, the period from birth to age six, for that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed.”    Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori believed that her alternative teaching style allowed children to learn best by doing things themselves. She observed young children and developed her own hands on approach, which was a child-centered curriculum that evolves from a child’s use of all their senses in the learning process. In the Toddlers, Pre-School, Kindergarten, and Lower Elementary classrooms, Maria Montessori’s system of education is both a philosophy of child growth and a method for guiding such growth. The children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions, learn to trust their own ability to think, and to solve problems independently. Dr. Montessori stressed respect for the child’s individuality; the need for belief, and trust in the child’s own potential for self-development. The children stay with the same teacher throughout their Primary years; thus, providing the teachers time to understand each child as an individual, and to guide them in a way that best fits the child’s learning style. The Montessori teacher’s priority is to ‘help the child to help himself’, to thrive in their prepared environment thereby, creating an atmosphere of responsible freedom.
       
Montessori materials are beautifully constructed and designed to attract children, promote independence, confidence, concentration, and self-motivation. A child’s working space is defined by a table or a floor mat, and the children are free to work with any of the materials on which they have had a lesson, for as long as they wish. The materials in a Montessori prepared environment are ordered and sequenced by difficulty; teaching only one new concept at a time, and is, to a large extent, self-correcting. The multi-age environment provides younger children with models for daily activities, such as walking in a line or washing their hands to reading and writing. The younger children look up to their older classmates and learn from them indirectly through observation. As leaders in the classroom, it is common for the older children to offer assistance to younger children, reinforcing their own self-esteem, as well as their understanding of the concept or skill involved. Each child relates primarily to their own work and individual progress is not compared to the achievements of others.

“Such experiences is not just play…it is the work he must do in order
to grow up.”    Maria Montessori