Montessori schools are named after Dr. Maria Montessori, a noted Italian physician, educator and humanitarian, who lived from 1870 to 1952. Working with children aged 2 to 7 in the early 1900s, Montessori observed that children learned more effectively and responded more positively and naturally to practical activities in the classroom than traditional book-based lessons. In addition, she noted that students developed greater self-discipline, independence, and a passion for learning when given the freedom to choose their own classroom activities on which to work.
Dr. Maria Montessori divided a child's growth into four distinct planes of development. The first plane of development, the age of formation, covers birth to age six. During this time, a child has what Dr. Montessori termed an absorbent mind. During the first three years, the child is unconsciously absorbing his surroundings. During the second three years, the child moves from unconscious absorption to conscious work.
The teaching staff at Children’s Day Montessori recognizes the child's need to gather facts and make sense of previous impressions. Additionally, the classroom environments are carefully prepared to encourage learning and independence. We recognize that children develop and learn best when their physical needs are met and they feel safe, valued and psychologically secure.
Children’s Day offers three primary classrooms serving children beginning at age 33 months and continuing through the kindergarten year. All classrooms have three-year age spans to allow children to both learn from and teach other children.
The Montessori Classroom
Montessori classrooms offer a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work and discover. The children’s innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained teacher. Through their work, the children develop concentration and gratifying self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities and interests.
The Montessori Teacher and Environment
The primary goals of our Montessori teachers are to:
- Awaken the child’s spirit and imagination
- Encourage the child’s natural desire for independence
- Help the child develop the kindness, courtesy and self-discipline that will allow her to become a full member of society
- Model for the child how to observe, question and explore ideas independently
To achieve these goals, the teachers must first prepare a beautiful, orderly environment that provides the necessary variety of purposeful activities for the child. The teacher then will observe the children to know their individual needs and interests and directs the children toward work appropriate for them. Knowing how to observe constructively and when, and how much, to intervene, is one of the most important talents and skills of the Montessori teacher.