What is Montessori?
Maria Montessori was a true trailblazer. Born in 1870 in the small town of Chiaravalle Italy, Montessori defied the norms of the day by attending medical school and graduating as the first female physician in Italy. Her medical background gave her a unique perspective into the development of the child and education. Her close observation of the children in her practice and in the local classrooms lead her to create a philosophy of education very different from the rigid approach which was popular at the time. She observed that children have an innate drive to learn, and discovered that the young child had a much bigger capacity for learning than ever thought before. She found that the minds of children as young as 2 and 3 years old were like sponges, absorbing everything that she could offer them. The thought that the young child could learn so much was quite revolutionary.
Montessori observed that children's learning is the result of a child's developmental age and not his or her chronological age. When a child shows an interest in a new skill, it does not matter whether they are 3 or 5 years old. In the Montessori classroom, the child is helped towards learning that skill. The children in a Montessori classroom have the freedom to progress as quickly or as methodically as their growth dictates. Montessori believed in a classroom that was close to the "real world". A calm classroom with natural materials and child-sized furniture allowed the child to focus on his or her activity without being distracted by loud noises and clutter. Her goal of offering a real world classroom also meant including children of mixed ages. Mixed age classrooms provided many opportunities for modeling and mentoring, as is done in the adult world. Children in this environment rapidly become explorers and discoverers. They move freely about the classroom, choosing activities to do alone or with others. There are a wide variety of practical life activities which help the child develop coordination, concentration, a sense of order, and independence. Montessori believed that children could learn from anything they got into their hands. Sensorial activities encourage the child to explore using all the senses. Activities in the areas of math, science, geography, language development, and reading promote the conceptual development of the child and form a firm foundation for future learning. The daily program also includes movement activities, art, music, story time, and outdoor play.
Following all of these principles and in an intimate environment, children will experience an authentic Montessori experience at Montessori Learning Center.