The Montessori Method is one that creates extraordarily adaptable children. They are able to work independently and in groups. They are problem-solvers who can make choices and manage their time well. They are confident and rich with self-esteem. They love learning and they love themselves.
Peace creates a “prepared environment.” Careful selection of materials results in an environment that meets each child at their level to promote exploration and discovery. Our teachers offer encouragement and gently guide a child into activities, which lead to self-discovery. They let the child feel the excitement of understanding a problem and conquering it. They allow the children to build their own self-image, confidence and independence.
A Montessori teacher’s chief role is to observe. Continual observation is the key to being able to understand each individual child and as a result, prepare the environment based on the needs observed. Our teacher ratios are low – the Toddler program(18 months – 3 years od) has a ratio of 1 teacher to 5 children; primary 3-6 has a ratio of 1 to 11 and elementary 1 to 12. The teacher gets to know each child very well and clearly understand his or her needs and development.
As found in all Montessori schools, children are placed into multi-age classrooms with most age ranges spanning 2-3 years. Mimicking a sibling relationship, we believe a family-like grouping allows learning to take place naturally. More experienced children share what they have learned with the younger children, thus reinforcing their own learning. During that three-year span, a trusting community is built – with children typically having the same teacher, the same classroom and many of the same friends.
Our overall Montessori curriculum emphasizes the teaching of respect. We believe in preparing the child to be a part of the larger community – of one’s classroom, school, neighborhood, city, state, country and planet. Beginning in their toddler years, our students learn to respect and value others and our environment. In turn, they learn self-respect and a strong sense of self-worth.
The Toddler curriculum lays the groundwork for the older classrooms. A major emphasis is placed on developing a toddler’s sense of independence as well as the refinement of their gross and fine motor skills and language abilities. Learning practical life skills, such as cleaning, pouring and setting the table are also prominent.
The older classrooms (Primary 3-6, Elementary and Adolescent) spend time working on the five different areas in the Montessori curriculum: practical life, sensorial, language, math and cultural (including science). Classrooms are structurally set up according to these areas. Large open spaces allow students the freedom to explore the room, selecting activities from a variety of learning tools designed for children at differing stages of development. Children learn at their own pace, moving through a sequenced curriculum, alone or with other children.