Dr. Maria Montessori was Italy's first female physician, and in 1907 opened her first school. The curriculum remains the same today: child-centered, encouraging independence, learning at their own pace, while also interacting with their peer group. Dr. Montessori wrote and talked of 'Sensitive Periods' in a child's life, and the materials in the primary classroom were specifically developed for the child to 'work' while fulfilling their natural curiosities. Lessons using materials are given by the teacher on an individual basis. Those materials provide a child to learn from their own mistakes, and allow for less reliance on an adult for help.
Through these activities, your children acquire many daily living skills. The child engages in activities that include care of self and care of the environment. These activities help with motor skills and your child’s power of concentration and developing coordinated movement.
Through interaction with sensorial materials, which isolate one quality, such as color, shape, or texture, children experience and explore our world with their senses. This helps establish a physical and mental foundation for further learning and exploration. Sensorial activities hone and strengthen your child’s powers of observation.
Our classroom is a language-rich environment. Through a variety of language activities and materials, children become familiar with sounds and symbols and begin the process of writing, which naturally leads to reading.
Art, music, and geography are integrated into the whole language experience. The child is introduced to continents, countries, and states, as well as land and water forms. Living plants, animals, and other materials are part of the classroom, allowing children to develop skills in scientific observation and comparison.
Children begin to explore mathematical relationships by manipulating concrete materials – such as number rods – that are designed to isolate a concept to prepare the children for abstract reasoning. The goals of these activities are for each child to develop a love of numbers, problem-solving, computational skills, and, most importantly, confidence in using numbers in everyday life.
People often ask how a Montessori school is different from a traditional nursery school or child care center. The differences can best be understood by observing for a morning at our school. You will find that the most striking differences are revealed in the children themselves as they work on tasks spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy. It becomes obvious to the observer that the children are 'learning by doing' which enables them to reach higher levels of personal fulfillment.
Dr. Maria Montessori developed a formula for early childhood education based on the nature of the children. Montessori materials progress developmentally from concrete expressions of concepts to more abstract representations. When you observe, take a look at the beautifully prepared shelves. The materials there represent a three year curriculum of work. For this reason, Montessori classrooms have three age groups working together. This multi-aged-grouping enhances the development of community life.
Another striking difference in the Montessori environment is seen in the higher level of inner discipline originating within the children and not imposed from without. The Montessori teacher nurtures in the children gratitude and concern for others, independence, self-discipline and creativity.
The children at Crestview have a unique opportunity to experience a traditional Montessori education. Dr. Montessori developed a curriculum for children that allows for learning without limits and is tailored to a child's individual needs and interests. An authentic Montessori program includes multiage groups that foster peer learning, uninterrupted blocks of learning time, and guided choice of work activities. In addition, a full complement of specially designed Montessori learning materials is meticulously arranged and available for use.This experience is quite different from a traditional public or private school setting.