|"In the special environment prepared ... in our schools, the children themselves found a sentence that expresses the inner need: 'Help me to do it by myself!' "
Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood
Our school is designed around a philosophy of education called "The Montessori Method." This philosophy, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is based upon each child's developmental need for freedom within safe limits and an environment that provides exposure to materials and experiences through which the child can learn and discover independently. This environment and freedom to self-determine learning experiences supports and encourages the child's innate drive to learn and develop skills. The result is development of intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities.
Our classrooms are designed and scaled for the child. Low, open shelves line each room, each containing a variety learning materials from which the child can choose to work. Individual learning materials are designed to provide multi-sensory, sequential, and self-correcting learning experiences that children enjoy and want to repeat.
Practical life exercises enhance the development of task organization and cognitive order. These lessons focus on development of self-care skills, care of the environment, socialization skills, and refinement of coordination and motor skills.
Sensorial materials teach the child to order, classify, seriate, and describe sensory impressions in relation, length, width, temperature, mass, color, etc. The Montessori math materials, through concrete manipulative materials, allows the child to internalize the concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations, and memorization of basic facts.
Language work includes oral language development, written expression, reading, the study of grammar, creative dramatics, and children's literature. Basic skills in writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper letters (loose alphabet letters), and various presentations allowing children to effortlessly link sounds and symbols and to express their thoughts in writing.
The child is also presented with geography, history, life sciences, music, art, and movement education.
The freedom to choose one's own learning experiences fosters openness to new experiences and self-confidence as the child's skills grow and develop. Work areas, which may be a child-size table or even a rug, allow the child a quiet area to focus and develop concentration skills.