Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, began working with children of disadvantaged backgrounds in 1907. She based her theories on the direct observation of children, accepting no preconceived opinions or theories about their abilities. She never attempted to manipulate their behavior by reward or punishments toward any end, and constantly experimented and developed materials based on the interests, needs, and developing abilities of children. -The Joyful Child, Michael Olaf. More about Montessori Education here.
She recognized that all children want to learn and to be independent. She also observed that children pass through stages of intense interest in language, order, movement, social, and sensory experiences. Accordingly, the Montessori classroom is organized around an activity cycle designed to appeal to a child’s natural desire to learn. To adults the lessons often appear as play. However, the learning activities prepare the child to learn and master future, more difficult “work.” -New Beginnings Montessori School
Northminster’s Montessori teachers take considerable time and care in creating work in practical life, math, language, and culture along with other developmental activities. The teachers direct the child in the use of the materials and activities in each center and encourage them to interact with the materials independently.
Daily Living and Practical Life Area:
This area includes materials where children learn to:
- Care for themselves (button, tie, wash hands, etc.)
- Care for their environment( dust, sweep, clean a table, etc.)
- Develop large and small muscle coordination
- Follow procedures and solve problems to accomplish tasks
The materials in this area are the foundation for understanding and using many of the other materials.
Since children learn through all of their senses, we offer opportunities for them to develop and learn to discriminate (the likenesses, differences, and gradations) among the varieties of stimuli in our environment.
Activities and materials are changes corresponding to the season and the current experiences in the children’s world. Children are encouraged to explore the wider world we live in through geography and science materials.
Math and Language Area:
These areas include hands-on materials that lead children to a basic understanding of math and language skills. The materials are presented in a sequential way that children are able to learn at their own pace and on their own level.
Hands on activities guide children in science, history and geography activities.
Motor Development/Physical Education:
Daily outdoor opportunities allow children to develop large and small muscle skills and coordination, to learn about and appreciate the environment, and to express themselves freely and loudly.
Art, Music, and Foreign Language:
A variety of media and equipment encourage children to express themselves creatively, both individually and as part of a group.
The music and rhythmic ativities develop children’s language and verbal skills.
Spanish is taught weekly using songs, games, and object lessons.
The Northminster Montessori Preschool is a not-for-profit program run by Session of Northminster Presbyterian Church. The program is open to all children who are 2 years old or older regardless of race, creed, color, or sex. The school strives to maintain a balance in the classrooms in regard to age and sex and reserves the right to decline admission or continuing enrollment to any child.