Educational Program & The Montessori Method
Principles of Learning
Each child will develop at his own pace. He is unique and needs to be treated as an individual with his own special requirements. The Montessori philosophy is to allow the child to explore based on his own interests at the time. The environment is prepared for him by the educators and he is encouraged to participate, but the choice is up to him. We know that when a child is interested, that is when he will learn.
The way that this is done is by having 3 or 4 educators per classroom, so that when the child enters there are at least that many activities taking place and available to him. He takes a look around to see what is happening, and then chooses his activity. Once he is done, he may put away what he is doing, and move on to a new activity. In this way the teachers provide structure by taking out the activities they want the child to see first, but they then let him choose which of those activities he prefers.
The child is also welcome to work with the friends he chooses to, to socialize and interact with the other children. Most importantly the child himself guides his learning through his own needs and interests.
The learning that takes place in our Montessori environment takes into account the global nature of the child and his needs. He is learning all the skills that he requires for his development. With the Montessori material it is easy to help the child move towards independence.
In the classroom and on the playground, the child is learning the skills he needs to interact with others. He learns what is appropriate when interacting with his peers. He will also learn how to interact with other adults. His teachers will encourage the use of good manners. We have special events and outings where the children also learn the skills of watching a performer, and of going out on a bus for a visit.
The Montessori material for practical life activities helps the child to learn how to dress himself, how to pour his own glass of milk, how to tie his shoes, how to clean up at the table, how to wash hands, as well as many other daily life activities.
Fine motor skills are developed through use of the Montessori material such as the metal insets and the sandpaper letters, where the child is encouraged to manipulate and trace using his fingers or a crayon. Puzzles are an important part of the classroom material, and help develop both fine motor skills as well as intellectual skills. The arts and crafts program also encourages fine motor skill development.
Language development occurs through everyday communication, and is encouraged through the use of the Montessori material which allows a hands-on approach to learning the sounds of the letters. The children will learn new vocabulary in English and in French. In the classroom emphasis is placed on reading books as well as on group discussions which allows the child to learn to speak in front of a group.
Mathematical skills are developed through the use of the red rods, brown prism, counting chips and other Montessori materials in the classroom. The children also learn the concepts of time, concepts of similarities and differences, placement in space and learn to problem solve. This is done in many ways, including use of material, group discussions and special themes.
The children that follow our program at Montessori leave with self-confidence. They become more outgoing and assertive. They are happy children. During the time at Montessori the children develop confidence in themselves. They realize that they can do things for themselves, they can ask for help when needed, and they learn self discipline. This comes from being given choices, from having been taught the skills that allow the child to be independent, and from learning conflict resolution skills.