Montessori describes a method of education developed by Dr Maria Montessori. Following the Montessori method, children learn through self-directed activities, hands-on learning and collaborative play. The Montessori classroom is a prepared environment that encourages children to make choices in their learning. Children work in mixed age groups and individually to learn as they explore their world through working with materials developed by Dr. Montessori and play. The result of an authentic Montessori program is a self-confident, lifelong learner with a sense of responsibility to himself or herself, humanity, and the natural world. At Evergreen Montessori House, we educate the whole child and teach your child the skills required for lifelong success.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori was the first woman to graduate as a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Rome.. In 1907 she founded the Montessori movement with the opening of her first “Children’s House”, where she provided preschool education to 40 children ages three to six. She pursued her belief that the early childhood years were of paramount importance in developing capable adults, and she spread her concepts worldwide. The Montessori methodologies are tried and tested with over 100 years of development and refinement.
The Children’s House
Dr. Montessori named her first school the “Casa dei Bambini”or the “Children’s House.” The Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment designed to allow children to move freely and without assistance in the classroom, choosing their own activities and learning to pick up after themselves. The Montessori teacher acts as a guide in the classroom; children are in charge in the Montessori classroom and develop a sense of independence and empowerment.
The Montessori classroom is comprised of children of varying ages. At Evergreen Montessori House, children between the ages of 15 months to 6 years work together in one classroom.
The mixed age classroom is a reflection of the real world: the varying ages of children reflect the interactions in their families. The mixing of ages creates an atmosphere where children learn how to interact with peers of varying ages and abilities. Children help and are helped by each other and gain an appreciation of the accomplishments of others. The self direction of learning fosters a love of learning that stays with children as they grow.
The multiage classroom allows children to work at their own pace and level, tailoring the educational program to their individual needs. Children develop strong relationships with their teachers who act as guides in their learning. Older children become leaders in the classroom, teaching the younger ones, as they were taught by earlier graduates. The younger children learn by example and develop into strong leaders as they grow.
In the Montessori classroom, materials designed by Dr. Montessori to capture and hold the interest of children are presented on shelves, easily accessible to children. Children are able to choose materials to work with as long as their interest holds. When they are done, they clean up before moving on to the next activity.
Montessori materials are comprised of solid geometric forms, knobbed puzzles, colored beads, and specialized rods and blocks in bright colors. The tools are self correcting; children are able to see when they make an error and correct their mistakes on their own. As the child grows, each tool takes on a new meaning and children continue to learn as they progress with the Montessori materials. Working with these tools, children learn important concepts to build upon as they grow and develop important analytical and problem solving skills.
At Evergreen Montessori House, the classroom environment is carefully prepared to ensure that everything the child comes into contact with promotes learning and growth in all areas of development. The classroom is carefully structured to allow children to move freely and independently in the space, working on activities that interest them, at their own pace. Within this freedom, there is structure that reflects the external environment. Children learn to internalize their surroundings and make sense of the world around them.
Within this environment, children learn the daily rituals of the exercises of practical life. Children learn the basic skills required for daily functioning in society, such as pouring a glass of water, dressing themselves, and how to interact, courteously, with others. Children work in a clam and well-ordered environment, with natural movement and activity.
The sensations and dimensions of the world are reflected in the prepared environment: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell; and height, width and depth. The Montessori materials become the “keys to the world” and give children the vocabulary and ability to process and express the sensations around them. Mathematical concepts are not abstract concepts but physical measures that children can see, touch, hear and manipulate, to generate his or her own understanding of mathematics, including numbers and geometry.
Language in the prepared in environment is not limited to reading and writing, but is the realization of one’s imagination which enables him or her to create. Language becomes the essence of communication of ideas, ideals and fantasy.
The classroom at Evergreen Montessori House is carefully prepared to ensure children get the most out of their time at school and develop into lifelong learners.