Statement of Purpose
The Montessori program is characterized by order, structure and comprehensiveness, based on the physiological needs of the child; incorporating reality based activities designed to assist the child in the development of all areas of learning at the child’s personal ability level and at the child’s own pace.
The goal of our program is to develop each child’s independent physical, emotional and intellectual functioning to his/her maximum potential through the exciting process of exploration and discovery!
The Prepared Environment
Of paramount importance in our program is the “prepared environment”, an organized, orderly classroom, offering a wide range of educational experiences. For the purpose of easy classification of both nomenclature and concepts, the classroom is subdivided into five specific areas.
Designed to teach the child care of his person and care of his environment, by giving him repeated and continuous opportunities for carrying out complicated actions directed towards intelligent ends. Its purpose is to coordinate the child’s muscular system and develop unity between the body and the mind, thus increasing his/her efficiency; to satisfy the child’s need for order and to develop logical, orderly thinking. Practical life activities provide the necessary pre-requisites for all areas of learning!
These materials are designed to isolate and refine each of the senses by providing exercises to help the child identify, match and grade; teaching the basic concepts in a concrete form through sensorial exploration. Perhaps the best known of all Montessori materials, the sensorial materials address dimension, color and shape, the tactile, auditory, olfactory, thermic and baric senses via a variety of exciting little games.
The concept of numbers also is introduced in a concrete form, graduating from the cardinal number symbols to symbols and quantities combined. The introduction of the teens and tens, ordinal numbers, and the layout of the decimal system. Once the hierarchy of numbers is mastered, the four basic mathematical operations are taught. Skip counting, linear counting, time, measurement and fractions are gradually added into the child’s math work.
Language accompanies every activity and is presented along with each activity. It is designed to gradually build up vocabulary, classify nomenclature, develop clarity of thought and speech, and to lay the foundations for reading and writing. Reading develops from the presentation of phonetic sounds to putting sounds together to form words. Via the addition of irregular sounds, the introduction of phonograms and gradual increase in “sight words”, the children acquire solid word analysis skills leading towards sight-reading.
Both manuscript and cursive writing are taught. As the children’s writing skills develop, labeling, spelling and sentence analysis activities are added to the curriculum.
Art, Music, Geography, Biology, Science
These subjects are presented in the same way as the other didactic materials; their purpose being to extend the child’s range of interests and to provide parallel exercises through which the child can practice and thereby, increase his skills.
Time is set aside daily for music and movement, aerobics, yoga or pre-sport physical activities for the development of gross-motor skills.
All new materials are presented on a one-to-one basis. In each activity difficulties are analyzed and the presentations are characterized by brevity, simplicity and objectivity. The didactic materials provide an in-built “control of error” which enables the child to correct himself and thus succeed through his own efforts.
Discipline is maintained by directing the child’s attention and energies into constructive channels. Self-discipline, self-assurance and security gradually develop as the child learns to recognize and accept both the scope and the limitations of the environment.
The function of the teacher in the classroom is to provide a link between the child and the prepared environment; to observe and recognize the child’s needs and to direct the child towards those activities and materials, which are best suited to serve his needs.
Learning can be exciting! Learning can be fun!