The method of caring for young children based upon the research and publishings of Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907. Montessori developed curriculum that was based upon the observation of child development. The environment is key in providing appropriate learning experiences for children. Child sized materials are hands on, self-correcting, sequential and systematic in nature, and incorporate a variety of areas of experiences including fine and gross motor, social, creative, academic. Curiosity and hands on experiences are encouraged as children work in multi-aged classrooms with independence and grace. Children are treated with utmost respect as they develop independence and are honored as they follow their own individual path in developing. Caregivers or guides are attentive and observant as they prepare the environment, observe children, plan lessons and guide the whole group through each day with consistent care. Parents, educators and children work as a team to create a positive, joyful, learning environment.
Areas of Practice
The nest or ‘nido’ is a loving, nurturing, environment for infants 3 months-16+ months. Respect for the infant is vital to Montessori caregiving practices. The child is included in their care from the start using eye contact, body language, oral language. This responsive model of caregiving focuses on the development of the whole child. The routines of sleeping, eating, and play are forming and attentive observation of each individual child informs the caregiving routine at each step of the development. Teachers are trained to utilize the Montessori, RIE, and Pikler methods. These research based methods are responsive, inclusive, communicative and peaceful. The tender spirit of the child is honored and nurtured in this rich learning environment.
“In the first three years of life, the foundations of physical and also of psychic health are laid. In these years, the child not only increases in size but passes through great transformations. This is the age in which language and movement develop. The child must be safeguarded in order that these activities may develop freely.”
The little house, ‘casita’ is for mobile children aged 18 months through 36 months. Children learn healthy daily routines for self care, practical life, sensorial, art and music. Young children are developing their independence as guides focus on assisting children with oral language development, gross motor development, and social development. Throughout the first plane of development (0-6 years), children will increase self independence, self regulation, self feeding, exploration, social and emotional development as well as developing the formation of individual personalities.
“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”
Casa Dei Bambini
The house of the child, ‘casa dei bambini’ is a rich learning environment for children 3 through 6 years old. Children are encourage to develop a sense of wonder about the World as they explore and learn about their surroundings. Independence is encouraged throughout all the children do in a Primary environment including: Practical life, self-care routines, sensorial, creative hand work, outdoor work/play, language, mathematics, geometry, biology, botany, zoology, geology, astronomy, global cultures, arts, naturalist studies, gardening, service, peace education. Children are in a multi-aged classroom where they work independently and in small groups to accomplish ‘works’ throughout the day which are based upon the development and interests of each child. The community is built upon constructive learning and communication and collaboration.