Montessori Overview Infant- Kindergarten
It is important for parents to understand that the Montessori programs provide a unique cycle of learning. Both the Infant and Toddler Communities and the Pre-school/Kindergarten classrooms are carefully prepared and equipped with a broad range of materials to help each child to discover knowledge and develop independence. The infant community offers freedom of movement and respect for the infant where the child can develop at it’s own pace naturally. The toddler communities are prepared for children to explore their environment to assist in their natural development. The transitional rooms help prepare children by allowing them to be independent and contribute to a community. In the 3-6 communities, the activities support the child’s developing interests while encouraging their independence and refining their sense of order, coordination and concentration.
The five general areas of the primary classrooms are Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics and cultural studies. Children are allowed to choose activities based on their interest and ability. A child who acquires the basic skills of reading and arithmetic in a natural way has the advantage of beginning his education without drudgery, boredom and discouragement. By pursuing his individual interest in a Montessori classroom, he gains an early enthusiasm for learning, which is the key to becoming an educated person. While independence is the main focus, children are also part of the community and through their daily interactions with others they learn what is required to be part of a group.
The success of the child in school is dependent upon a number of factors, including the child himself. The relationship between school, and child and parent is of prime importance. Parent’s are the primary role models and our staff provide support to the family. Confusion for the child is minimized when the school and family work together.
In the Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori wrote, “The most important period of life is not the age of University Studies, but the first one, the period from birth to age six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implements, is being formed. But not only his intelligence the full totality of his psychic powers… At no other age has the child greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.”
Dr. Montessori believed that competition in education should be introduced after the child has gained confidence in the use of basic skills. “Never let a child risk failure” she wrote, “until he has reasonable chance of success.” Since each child works individually with the materials, he relies only on his own previous work and his progress is not compared to the achievements of other youngsters.
It is a well-established fact that young children mature at a different rate and their periods of readiness for academic subjects vary a great deal. Because interest is stimulated and the materials are at hand whenever a child is ready, some youngsters in a Montessori classroom begin to read and calculate at an unusually early age. However, very early learning is not the norm, nor was it ever Dr. Montessori’s objective. Her ideal was only that the learning experience should occur naturally at a joyfully and the proper moment for each individual child. “It is true we can not make a genius,” Dr Montessori wrote. “We can only give each individual the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities to become an independent, secure and balanced human being.
Toddler Program for 2 Year Olds
- Provides activities and opportunities which foster the development of order, concentration, coordination and independence.
- Provides children with a safe environment for physical movement, exploration, and discovery while encouraging curiosity.
- Promotes healthy social development
- Assists children in developing language
- Promotes the child’s trust and sense of order by providing an orderly and predictable environment as well as caregivers that understand and cherish young children.
Pre-school Program for 3-6 Year Olds
Children independent in the bathroom to age six form the community in the pre-school classroom. Children remain with the same teacher until they are ready to move to a Montessori elementary 6-9 program (grades 1-3) The 3-6 classroom provides a unique three year cycle of learning. There are many Montessori Elementary programs as well as the Ivy School which is Portland’s Montessori Public Charter School for 1st-8th grade.
The Montessori curriculum provides the child with concrete experiences and information about the world. The child is allowed to progress through the curriculum at his/her own pace and interest level. The 3-6 program addresses the whole child including his intellectual, social, and emotional and physical development. Activities are provided which foster the development of order, concentration, coordination, and independence.
The program strives to foster and facilitate the development of patterns that will serve as the foundation for learning.
- Intrinsic motivation: The child is working and learning through his/her own choices.
- Independence in work: Each child enjoys “working” and selects one task and another tirelessly and independently.
- Completed Work Cycles: The child chooses an activity, works to completion and returns the item to the shelf.
- Respect: The child respects the work of others and does not interrupt or attempt to make it his own. Materials are returned in a manner showing respect for the environment as well as for the child who will use it next.
- Responsibility: The child takes responsibility for her/his behavior with materials. The child has developed problem solving skills and is capable of remedying a problem independently.
- © 2017 Montessori of Alameda
- 4210 N.E. Going, Portland, OR 97218
- Phone: 503-335-3321