At A Glance
Imagine if all children could fall in love with learning! What if children could discover new concepts at their own pace? In a Montessori classroom, children are joyful, peaceful and productive. Our students reach a potential far beyond most people would imagine. They are given the gift of time to truly think through their learning. They receive lessons and stories that strike their imagination and inspire questioning, thinking and dialogue. Below are some highlights of this creative educationaly philosophy:
- We are the first and only MSAC/AMS accreditated Montessori school in the state of Idaho!
- The Montessori Method has been time-tested since 1906 and has achieved success throughout the world. It is the fastest growing educational method in North America, with over 1 million students in the United States.
- The Montessori method addresses the whole personality of the child, intellectually, socially and physically. Children stay with the same teachers for three years. Imagine the strong connection the students make with the adults who care for them. This model fosters a true respect between students, teachers and the classroom community.
- The teacher’s role is to give personal attention. The teacher will not interfere with a child's exploration, but is readily available when help is required. We teach and assess each child individually.
- Research shows that by age six, 80% of the personality is formed. This means that early childhood education is the most important time to develop lifelong skills, habits and perceptions about school. The Montessori curriculum includes multi-sensorial activities that develop cognitive and social skills during this critical time.
- The Montessori curriculum includes lessons and practice in all academic areas including: reading, writing, mathematics, geometry, biology, geography, history, art, music, foreign language, and physical science. Teachers are highly trained to teach these subjects through an extensive Montessori credentialing program.
- Children are in multi-age classrooms. Research strongly supports the mixed age group, offering children opportunities to teach each other and develop leadership skills.
- There is a strong emphasis on language and mathematics. Because of our innovative, concrete materials, these areas are neither dull nor difficult. Learning is fun and easy when you provide lessons that are brain compatible with the natural process of acquiring knowledge. In fact, our students completely excel in these areas.
- Concrete materials isolate each step of learning. Rather than giving a great deal of new information at once, the materials ease the children step by step until they reach the level of mastery. Some children reach mastery sooner than others. Each child is given the pace that works for his or her learning ability. When children do not feel rushed or confused, the learning process is truly enjoyable and easy. This method allows children the chance to become self-directed and self-motivated.
- Emphasis is on the process of learning, not the product of a completed worksheet or test. Knowledge comes from the children asking questions, not being given the answers.
- Our classrooms feel like a home environment. Children take care of pets, housekeeping, gardening, and hold regular classroom meetings to solve problems. In addition to academics, we also teach habits and skills that are useful throughout life.
This biography was compiled by the elementary class in 2006 as part of their 100 year Montessori celebration.
Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. In her lifetime, she was an educator, scientist, physician and the first early childhood educator to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Maria Montessori was always thinking differently than other women of her time.
Maria Montessori was not only smart, but she also peaceful. When she was a child she once ended an argument between her parents by climbing up on a chair and joining their hands together. Montessori became the first female physician in Italy upon her graduation from medical school. Shortly afterward, she was chosen to represent Italy at two different women’s conferences, in Berlin in 1896 and in London in 1900. In 1907, she opened the first Children's House called "Casa de Bambini." Today, we call those Children's Houses, Montessori Schools.
These Montessori Schools were successful. The children soon started asking Montessori how to read and write. So, she devised sandpaper letters that they could touch and trace, saying the sounds as they did so. One day during recess, a five year old cried out excitedly, "I can write!" He wrote the word mano (hand) with chalk on the pavement. Other children began writing too, and news of the five year olds who taught themselves to write traveled quickly. It became a famous method for teaching children. Montessori schools opened in America in 1913, Spain in 1934, the Netherlands in 1939, India in 1940 and Holland in 1947.
She was forced to leave Italy during World War II because her ideas did not match those of Mussolini and Hitler. Montessori thought that peace could only start with the children. In 1949, 1950 and 1951, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Montessori schools in America started opening again in the late 1950's, led by Nancy Rambusch who went to Europe for Montessori training. She started a school in Greenwich, Connecticut which still operates today.
Montessori died in 1952, but her ideas are kept alive today through the over one million Montessori students that attend worldwide. Montessori schools are great schools because of the freedom and opportunities they give children.
What is a Montessori School?
A Montessori school is a special place for the child to cultivate his/her own natural desire to learn. Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, first formulated the Montessori philosophy during the early 1900's. Dr. Montessori's program for education and child development focuses on the natural development of the whole child from birth through maturity. The classroom environment provides choices and independence for the child, with a careful balance of structure and responsibility. Currently, Montessori is the fastest growing educational system in the United States, with well over 4000 schools.
Why should I choose a Montessori education for my child?
Most of your child’s intelligence and social characteristics are formed between the ages of two and a half and six. During these years are when your child is most receptive, curious and excited to explore the world. A Montessori education nurtures this joy of learning by offering a variety of materials to stimulate and intrigue your child. Our teachers are trained to observe a child’s readiness for new skills and to personalize presentations of new concepts.
What do you have to offer that my child cannot get at other local schools?
The Montessori method is unique. The materials used to teach reading, writing, mathematics, geography and science are not found in traditional schools. The classroom materials take abstract ideas and put them into concrete form that makes sense physiologically and neurologically for children. Children learn from peers, as classes are multi-aged from three to six. Watching the more advanced work of the older children stimulates younger children, and peer teaching is a great self-esteem builder. Additionally, older children also benefit from peer teaching, as it requires mastery and internalization of the skill they are modeling. Teachers take the role of observers much more in a Montessori classroom. Since many materials are self-teaching and self-correcting, the teacher steps in when the child is stuck or is showing readiness for a new skill. This allows a child to learn more independently, with the guidance and support of a teacher whose primary goal is to observe and adapt her teaching to the learning style and individual needs of your child.
What makes your school special?
We are committed to nurturing your child’s love of learning and to providing an education that is fun and practical. We provide an education for life – not just academics. Therefore, our aim is to model respect for life and for the rights of all people. Our staff is extensively trained in child development and positive behavior management. Through role-playing, choices, stories and class meetings, our students are empowered to take responsibility for themselves and the choices they make. Our schools work very closely with family counselors to coach both parents and teachers. We host parenting classes and provide a library of resources for parents. Montessori philosophy classes and parent conferences provide continuing education on the Montessori method for our families. Our schools have been chosen to present our program at Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University, Eagle High School and Eagle Academy. We are a recognized training site for the American Montessori Society.
What is the child's work?
Children naturally pride themselves in doing purposeful and meaningful activity. For this reason, exercises are referred to as "work." Children have a sense of the worth and value of their work. They choose all activities eagerly and spontaneously, and become totally involved. The work process involves attaining skills, refining abilities, developing sensitivities, strengthening concentration, solving problems, building self-esteem, and achieving new insights.
What are "sensitive periods?"
Sensitive periods are described as "windows of opportunity" when the child shows unusual capabilities in acquiring specific skills. Another name for this phenomenon might be "formative periods" in which a child is psychologically attuned to acquire given ideas or skills more readily than at any other period. Examples of the "sensitive periods" are for acquiring a sense of order - 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years of age, for precise movement and coordination- 2 1/2 to 4, for writing- 3 1/2 to 4 1/2, and for reading and numbers- 4 to 5. Recent studies show that 80% of a child's mental development is complete by the age of six.
What are the advantages of un-graded, mixed-aged classes?
A child can work with older children in one subject, younger children in another, and still have social interaction with children his or her own age. Mixed age groups permit younger children a series of models for imitation, and older children have the opportunity to reinforce their own knowledge by helping the younger ones. Older children's self esteem increases with this leadership role.
Why are Montessori children generally more self-confident, outgoing and self-reliant?
Montessori is based on a profound respect for the child's personality. The child works from his or her own free choice and is allowed a large measure of independence. This forms the basis of self-discipline. As the children progress at their own pace and successfully complete the self-correcting exercises, they develop confidence in their ability to understand their accomplishments. As students get older they acquire more responsibility, accountability, and freedom.
What is the Montessori concept of discipline?
Discipline is a prerequisite condition for learning. Montessori discipline is an inner discipline and control that the child develops from his or her own behavior in conjunction with his or her home environment. Dr. Montessori noted that many so-called undisciplined children were frustrated by the lack of proper stimulation and an inadequate opportunity to be successful. She noted that young people became happier and more self-controlled after a period of time in a Montessori class. Experiencing challenging tasks not only absorbed their energies, but also resulted in a higher level of achievement.