West End and Highlands Montessori offer a progressive and customized application of the Montessori method unique to the needs of each child. This is comforting for parents and their children who are new to structured early childhood learning. It also maintains the essence and application of Maria Montessori’s philosophy on education. Get in touch with us for more details.
Montessori and Early Childhood Development
Maria Montessori’s observations identified critical periods in early child development particularly the “absorbent mind” timeline between the ages of 0-6 years old. During this period, all children in the right environment can master some of the most complex functions, such as speaking or reading, almost effortlessly. The Montessori methodology embraces this unique and critical period with a holistic approach to the development of a child's emotional, social, intellectual, creative and physical maturity.
Dr. Montessori applied her educational theories in unique ways using real-life experiences that we later understood to be the foundation of mental and emotional health, resilience, personal responsibility as well as developing a kind, loving character. She argued that it is our children who can support long term environmental sustainability and guide the next generation by becoming the peacemakers of the future existing in harmony with all living beings.
“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”
- Dr. Maria Montessori
The Montessori Curriculum and Our Adaptations
Our curriculum has been designed with a combination of the best from early childhood education, current brain science as well as cutting edge human development expertise. Montessori is our foundation with its methods and environmental influences used alongside contemporary social-emotional learning practices. These factors come together for an applied learning opportunity that is world-class using real-life experiences in all domains.
The mixed-age classroom (blending 2-6 years or 6-10 years of age) provides an opportunity for your younger child to observe and learn from the older, more experienced students. Your older child gains valuable leadership skills, responsibility and self-confidence through working with their younger friends. It is a beautiful and natural method of learning.
A simple summary of the experiences your child will experience include:
We are all university-trained educators so we have the expertise to customize accommodations for each child and their family's needs. One size never fits every child when it comes to learning. Because of this, we adopt the application of our programming to suit the individual capacities of every student. The Montessori world is unique and much appreciated by our clients for this quality. They tell us how comforting it is that we extend a welcoming collaboration when their child needs educational supports to achieve standardized outcomes. Freedom within limits is our motto so the child can learn to make responsible choices that lead them into independence, self-motivation and excitement to learn.
Appreciating the Interrelationships with All Things Inspires Learning
Students live through extensive hands-on lessons in everything from life skills to math, science, literacy geography, culture and interactions within a communal environment. It’s while looking at the big picture that students see the ripple effect. In the way, each child can learn while uniquely contributing to their community, school and family. Exploring our community includes regular field trips to local businesses, the farmer market, local parks and trails, the central library, museums, city hall, the fire station, children’s festival and the performing arts events etc. These all provide valuable teachable moments beyond the classroom.
The Montessori children love to go to school because they love to learn! Our goal is to help students fall in love with learning by supporting their individual opportunity to shine. We don’t subscribe to external rewards and we don’t penalize our students. Instead, we allow them to find discipline in what they do by continually guiding them toward acquiring a strong belief in themselves and their abilities. Once this is achieved, the children are inspired to learn and this inspiration lasts a lifetime. This process builds character, a strong work ethic and a love of exploration as well as endearing a love of change. These future divergent thinkers are educating need to embrace change to solve the complex problems they will be facing.
Planting the Seed and Watching It Grow
The Montessori classrooms offer a diverse curriculum that is flexible enough to allow for discussions on current events, open-minded enough to ‘follow the child’ regularly. Also, on a monthly basis we encourage children to suggest a topic of study which the teachers then tweak to include all individual and developmental outcomes in an appropriate engaging manner. These lessons serve as the impetus to your child’s discovery by creating a “big picture” of astronomy, earth sciences, geography, history, anthropology, cultural and social studies, language, math, physics, biology, music and art. Students walk away with questions that ignite future desire to learn more and at ever-expanding levels far surpassing teacher or parental expectations.
Get in touch with us to know more about our teaching methods or for any other general inquiries.