Why Montessori?

Mission Statement
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The Montessori School is committed to providing a safe, loving and nurturing environment for each child that enters our program. We will engage the whole child socially, emotionally and educationally to ensure their success in future academic settings and life. Their happiness, security and self confidence are our main goals.

School Motto: “Learning For Life”

 

The Montessori Philosophy
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Dr. Maria Montessori, who died in May of  1952, was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy when graduated from the University of Rome with a double honors degree. In the years following her graduation, she was an assistant at the Psychiatric Clinic of The University of Rome, Director of the Orthophrenic School, holder of the Magistero Femminile at the Feminine University of Rome, and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rome. After spending much time in the study of retarded, disturbed, and disadvantaged children, she renounced all of her positions to devote her life to the study of the child.

To label the contributions which she made as the Montessori “method” of education can be misleading as it sets a limit on the concept which she sought to create. Dr. Montessori preferred to speak of her contribution to humanity as being an “aid to life.” This is a more precise description of the principles which she offered which are as dynamic and creative as life itself and yet at the same time are built upon a structure which came from the observance of the natural order of human phenomena.

The educational process which develops from this does not suggest yet another learning program in which adults have arbitrarily selected what attitudes, values, and facts that they wish to impose on children. Instead, the adult forms a model for the child by striving for his own self-perfection and serves, with humility, the creation that is being formed by the child. This implies a mutual respect between the child and adult and an establishment of a balance of freedom and discipline, which leads the child to be free in his won self-discipline.

The human person, of all things, evidences basic tendencies of love, exploration, order, and repetition. Manifestation of these depends upon the psychological characteristics of the individual’s plane of development and their specific culture. Dr. Montessori observed the four phases of development to be between the years zero to six, six to 12, 12 to 18, and 18 to 24 (maturity).

The child of the first plane of development (zero to six) gains his security and love first from mother, then father, then the rest of the family. By the age of six the circle includes those outside the family. This young child explores the world in a factual way because of the characteristic absorbent mind that uncritically take in all about it, i.e. language, lifestyle, customs, prejudices, etc. The child employs the acutely developing faculties of senses. The Montessori center adds specific scientifically, established activities and materials to give the child opportunities to feed this inexhaustible absorption of the world. These materials and activities are so designed to be consistent with the human tendencies toward order and repetition.

The child from six to 12 years expands his capacity to love to include many more friends and people who are not immediately before him. This fascination with society includes the formation of his own groups and the exploration of societies of the past. The child no longer primarily explores in a sensorial or muscular manner, but now is aided by the emergences of the imaginative faculties and a greater capacity for work. This characteristic of the reasoning imagination allows him to explore all that is not concretely available, i.e. areas of culture we call history, geography, language, arts, religion, mathematics, etc.

The role of the family is to recognize this desire to discover intellectually and to help the child to care for what he knows. With such help what is learned is transformed into love and ultimately self-happiness. The Montessori center assists the imaginative exploration using thoroughly tried materials and research activities, according to the child’s level within this broad plane of development.

Thus, this “aid to life” which we are seeking to maintain is by necessity to cooperative effort of the home, community, and school. The full implementation of the Montessori program requires much of the parents of the child enrolled in the school. Staff and parents are in constant communication concerning the growth of each child. The home and the school are working together constantly to complement and supplement one another. Together we seek to aid the natural development of life towards happiness, independence, responsibility, and love.

 

Questions Often Asked About Montessori
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What is the Montessori method?

It is an approach to education which emphasizes the potential of the young child and which develops this potential by means of a unique teaching strategy. It utilizes specially trained teachers and special teaching materials. It is a method of teaching that develops the intellect and the stability of a child beginning with two and one-half year old. This method not only develops the intellect of the child but also provides the proper conditions for the young child to develop physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

What is the “absorbent mind?”

Dr. Montessori was so impressed with the ability of the young child to absorb knowledge that she called the mind of the child the “absorbent mind.”

What are the “sensitive periods?”

This is Dr. Montessori’s name for age periods when the child shows unusual capabilities in acquiring particular skills. A modern name for the phenomenon might be “periods of specific maturational aptness.” The sensitive period for writing is between 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 years, words leading to reading and numbers 4 to 5 years, and precise movement and coordination 2-1/2 to 4 years. Dr. Montessori found that a child was able to absorb more readily different subjects at different ages or periods of growth.

What is the Montessori concept of discipline?

The Montessori discipline is a “inner discipline” --control which the child develops over his own behavior through his interest in the Montessori materials, positive social orientation, and in caring for both materials and individuals. Dr. Montessori noted that many so-called “undisciplined” children were really frustrated by lack of proper stimulation and would become happier and self-controlled after a period of time in a Montessori class. When a child’s intellectual energies are utilized in a constructive manner there is no energy left over for mischievousness or deviation. This is true “inner discipline.” This is true Montessori behavior.

How many grades do Montessori schools have?

Montessori schools are upgraded. Children from 2-1/2 through 5 years are in the primary class, ages 6 to 9 in the junior class, and ages 9 to 12 in the elementary class. Each age group overlaps according to the particular child concerned. An important factor in Montessori schools is the three year age range which allows positive give-and-take between younger and older children. There are a few Montessori schools in the United States which continue through high school.

What happens to children that transfer from a Montessori school to a public school?

The Montessori children adapt to their environment wherever they find themselves. Montessori children develop high degree of self-discipline and independence in the Montessori classroom which aids in the transition. A great deal depends upon the public school involved, the teachers, and the individual.

 

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MONTESSORI MOMENTS

A special note from Katrina and her children Kally, Becca and Ryan:

   Every moment at Montessori is special to me as a mother. The joy on the child's face when they learn new things. The way the teachers treat you like family. The most memorable moment I have at Montessori, as a parent, was when Becca was 18 months old standing on the tables in the classroom or her stealing the other children's food. Ms. Dorothy and Ms. Sharon always handled Becca so well and at times I think all they could do is smile at her because she was so strong willed. Thanks for all the hard work and great memories. I truly consider "Montessori" to be my family. Thanks again. I am thankful every day my three children got to be part of the Montessori method.

Another special note from Kelly and Amanda Freudensprung and their daughter Isabella Rose "Beth" :

   At Montessori, our daughter feels loved and safe. Her intellect is challenged , and her imagination soars.


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Mountain Home Montessori Mountain Home Montessori School

Phone: (870) 425-1540
1143 S. College St.
Mountain Home, AR 72653


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