The Montessori Method of Education focuses on the “whole child” and follows a very different learning philosophy from the traditional adult-centered classroom. A Montessori classroom is not the teacher’s domain, but rather a learning environment designed to facilitate the development of the child’s independence, intelligence and his/her sense of personal empowerment. You will not find rows of desks in the classrooms at Beyond Montessori School. Our classrooms are filled with plants, animals/fish, special interest centers such as a peace space, reading corner, art and music spaces and child sized shelves filled with specifically designed Montessori learning materials for subjects such as math, language and science. They are set up to encourage collaborative learning; one will typically see students scattered around the classroom, working alone or with one or two others. A Montessori classroom is a beautiful example of a true community of young children. The students move freely within their environment, selecting materials that capture their interest, rather than passively participating in lessons selected by the teachers. Each student’s education is customized as no two students will learn at the same pace or with the same teaching methods. The teacher’s goal is to be flexible and creative in addressing each student as a unique individual.
Montessori education is based on the simple observation that children learn most effectively through direct experience and the process of investigation and discovery. Over a hundred years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori’s study of children’s learning revealed that most children do not learn by memorizing what they hear from their teachers or read in a text, but rather from concrete experience and direct interaction with their environment. Asking a child to sit quietly at a desk and listen attentively to the teacher presenting a lesson is like asking a toddler not to put everything in his mouth. Montessori students are learning to think, observe, and reflect; not memorize and quickly forget.
Children need to interact with and explore everything that catches their interest. Even the Preschoolers at Beyond Montessori School take care of their own child-sized environment. “The Practical Life Area” is one of the five areas found in every Montessori classroom and is not only stimulating, educational and fun for the children but also teaches many useful life skills. When something spills, they help each other carefully clean things up; they sweep and dust, carry pitchers of water, wash their tables, take care of their plants and pour liquids with barely a drop spilled. These little ones normally go about their day so calmly and purposely that it is clear that this is their environment and that the children feel comfortable and at home in their classroom.
By allowing children to develop a meaningful level of independence and self-discipline, Montessori sets a pattern for a lifetime of positive work habits and a sense of responsibility. Students are taught to take pride in doing things for themselves carefully and well.
An Early Childhood Education is an incredibly important period of time in a child’s life. This is when their character and values, self-image, confidence, basic skills and knowledge, and appreciation and respect for others and their environment are formed.
Families choose schools like Beyond Montessori School to prepare their children for life.
– Natasha Secord, Founder