Montessori Classes 3/4/5 Year Olds
The goal of Montessori is to provide a stimulating, child-centered environment in which children can explore, touch, and learn without fear, thus engendering a lifelong love of learning as well as providing the child the self-control necessary to fulfill that love.
The Montessori philosophy is built upon the idea that children develop and think differently than adults, that they are not merely “adults in small bodies.” Dr. Montessori believed in children’s rights, children working to develop themselves into adults, and that this development would lead to world peace.
The Montessori method discourages traditional measurements of achievement (grades, tests) as negative competition that is damaging to the inner growth of children (and adults). Feedback and qualitative analysis of a child’s performance does exist but is generally provided in the form of a list of skills, activities and critical points, and sometimes a narrative of the child’s achievements, strengths and weaknesses, with emphasis on the improvement of those weaknesses.
The method was developed from observations of young children from which a set of universal characteristics of children was created for each level of development. The Montessori method has two primary development levels: the first is birth through 6, the second is ages 6-12. A Montessori classroom for the first level is called the casa dei bambini, or “children’s house,” with focus on individually-paced learning and development. In the second level, collaboration with others is encouraged, and “cosmic education” is introduced.
As an educational approach, the Montessori method’s focus is on the individuality of each child in respect of their needs or talents, as opposed to the needs of the class as a whole. A goal is to help the child maintain their natural joy of learning.
The Montessori method encourages independence and freedom with limits and responsibility. The youngest children are guided in “practical life” skills: domestic skills and manners. These skills are emphasized with the goal of increasing attention spans, hand-eye coordination, and tenacity. The Montessori Method states that satisfaction, contentment, and joy result from the child feeling like a full participant in daily activities. Montessori education carried through the elementary and high school years follows the child’s emerging tendency for peer interactions and still emphasizes each student as guardian of his or her own intellectual development.