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Montessori Education2020-09-04T21:14:32+00:00

MONTESSORI EDUCATION

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”

Montessori education is an unique educational approach developed by Italian educator and physician Dr. Maria Montessori.

Quotes from Dr. Montessori:

“I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method.”

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”

“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.”

“No one can be free unless he is independent…“

“To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator. “

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”

Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy. Her first appointment after medical school was with the Psychiatric Clinic in Rome. As a physician, Dr. Montessori worked with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realised that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment.

In 1907, Dr. Montessori was able to use her methods with children in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. She opened the first ‘Casa dei Bambini’ or Children’s House there and was able to apply her ideas with great success. She saw that children of her group, aged 3-6 years were motivated to work independently, could concentrate for long periods of time if left uninterrupted and were hungry to learn about the world around them. She saw that when they were able to freely respond to their own developmental needs in a secure environment, the children became calm and purposeful. She coined the term “normalization” to describe this phenomenon, saying that the true, normal nature of the child was to be peacefully productive.  She set aside practicing medicine and dedicated her life’s work to studying, expanding and presenting her methodology.

In 1929, Dr. Montessori founded Association Montessori Internationale to maintain the integrity of her life’s work, and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death.

The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child’s inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.

Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. Children’s innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.

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Things Parents Can Do

101 Things That Parents Can Do To Help…
By Barabara Hacker

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Montessori Principles

The following Montessori principles are valid throughout all subjects and during all planes of development.

Follow the Child

Dr. Montessori discerned the healthy child’s strong drive for functional independence. She created a classroom environments to meet this need and discovered that the young child whose need for functional independence is met well extends that drive toward independence in literacy and mathematics.

The Prepared Environment

The prepared environment contains materials that permit children to reach abstractions. The materials given to the children contain either an indirect preparation for future work or the possibility of bringing into the light of consciousness something the child has already possessed in the subconscious. They can also accomplish both at the same time. The materials analyze complex abilities and knowledge into their component parts, including isolation of quality or of difficulty.

Mixed Ages

Children in the classroom must be of mixed ages. There is a minimum of a three-year span required for each (excepting classes as they are being established) and each group must be able to move easily from classroom to classroom.

A Planned Sequence with Freedom of Time

There is no “timetable” for the teaching of a particular subject. Children can stay with a subject for an indefinite period of time, allowing them to build strong foundations for learning.

Freedom of choice is an essential part of Montessori experience. As the child grows in maturity this freedom is balanced with accountability for choices made.

Individual Concentration

Abstraction is the result of individual experience. Each child must experience things for themselves, as a person cannot really benefit from other people’s abstractions. The time involved in reaching abstractions differs from person to person.

Interest is Key

The interest in certain exercises and activities are really determined by the sensitive periods and not by the efforts of the teacher alone.

Our highly trained AMI teachers understand how to recognize and support the growth of interest across the curriculum as the child grows.

Build a Community

Each Montessori classroom is a stable community for children to stay in for up to four years. Montessori children learn how to become an active part of the community at a very young age. They make friends by interacting with each other, they take grace and courtesy lessons, they learn how to observe, they practice leadership by taking care of their environment and taking care of their friends, they pay attention to details, and they are happy to help whenever there is a need.

“In fact we do not have a program for instructing a child, but rather it is the child who, living in the midst of, and developing himself with the helps of physical and intellectual labors achieves different levels of culture which generally speaking corresponds to his advance  in age.”

– Dr. Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

Three Year Cycle

Dr. Montessori observed children and defined four stages of development (0-6, 6-12, 12-18, and 18-24); each stage is approximately 6 years and has its own developmental characteristics and challenges.

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The Montessori Classroom

The prepared environment is an important principle of Montessori methodology. For each age the classroom changes to fit the needs of the child. Certain elements such as freedom of movement and furnishings fit to the child’s proportions are constant.

The eBridge Montessori Infant classroom is a serene and loving environment that recognizes education begins at birth. It is designed to be a warm, nurturing and safe environment where children between the ages 6 weeks to 15 months feel comfortable and secure. Our program provides a variety of stimulating activities that support your child’s development of movement and need for exploration. Teaching staff, with their understanding of child development, cultivate independence, language acquisition and a sense of belonging, building self-esteem and confidence in the child’s own abilities.

Children enrolled in our Infant program will also be guaranteed placement in out Toddler program.

A toddler classroom has relatively few children, no more than nine children with two teachers.  The space is prepared for the children to move around safely while they do activities focused around self-care and care of the environment as well as language enrichment.  There are activities available indoors and out for toddlers to experience gross motor exercises. While the focus of the early years is personal independence, toddlers take time in group activities and there is a lot attention placed on grace and courtesy in interactions.  The toddler class also has a consistent schedule that they do not stray from if they can help it, as the children need this in order to feel comfortable from day to day.

When Dr. Montessori was first establishing her methodology she called the class for this age the “casa dei bambini” which means children’s house. The primary environment then echoes aspects of a typical home environment.  There are up to 28 children across the ages of 2 years and 9 months to 6 years old with a teacher and two assistants. Throughout the day, children can choose from a variety of activities that include math and language as well as sensorial and practical life. There is an emphasis on treating materials and the environment with respect and the children are guided in lessons of civility. Primary classes are arranged with only one or two chairs at small tables so that the children can concentrate on their own individual work.

This work is balanced by small group lessons in areas like, language, math and social skill.

Children of the elementary age are what Dr. Montessori called “cosmic” learners. They have strong interests coupled with quick imaginations. They have the ability to pursue ideas independently and are able to envision abstract ideas in science or scenes from history.  An elementary Montessori classroom has language, mathematics, sciences including biology, early physics, geography and chemistry, history, geometry, art and music. The teacher guides the children in sequenced age-appropriate lessons in these subjects, all the while encouraging the children to see the connections between them. With chaperones the children can leave the classroom in small groups or individually to find information. There is a greater emphasis at this age in truly collaborative problem solving and academic work so the room itself is arranged to accommodate this.

Resources and Links

Organizations, Websites & Links | Books

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FAQ About Montessori

Will you provide a list of all the Montessori materials that my child will work on?2020-02-10T23:19:42+00:00

Without the context of AMI’s comprehensive and exhaustive training, a list of materials for its own sake would not be useful to parents. Instead we reflect the concepts that children derive from using the materials through our progress reports and during our parent education sessions.

We understand that it is helpful for parents to get familiar with Montessori materials and make better connection with children at home. If parents are interested in the Montessori materials, we invite parents come to our parent education session, get information available online and in parent-friendly books such as Montessori Madness by Montessori parent Trevor Eissler.

The pictures we send out show most of the materials in use. This is a good starting point for dialogue with your child about what he/she likes to do best at school. We also ask parents to join our parent education sessions to get to know more about Montessori curriculum and materials. If parents have any questions or concerns about what your child is learning, we invite parents to call or set up a face-to-face meeting.

Will I get a daily report for my child from Montessori School?2020-02-13T04:04:40+00:00

Infants and Toddler families will have access to a daily electronic form for two way communication about basic needs between teachers and parents. As the child grows notes about individual activities may be added by the teacher during the day.

Primary Montessori programs have hundreds of activities for children to choose on a daily basis.  The entire program is individualized.  Because of the individualized nature, it is impossible to issue a daily or weekly report without sacrificing instruction time in the classroom, and this is not an area we are willing to compromise on.

In the past, parents report that as children feel more comfortable in the classroom, they become much more reliable reporters about their daily activities.  We privately send out online photo albums to parents of the children at work in the classroom on a regular basis.  The photographs show the diversity of activities and are a good way to discuss with your child what he/she does each day.

Can I do Montessori at home with my child?2020-02-10T23:20:17+00:00

We encourage parents to apply Montessori principles of child development at home, complementing your child’s experience in Montessori School.

However, only a certified Montessori teacher can properly implement Montessori education using Montessori materials in the prepared environment. Moreover, the social development that comes from being in an environment with other children is an integral part of Montessori education.

How do Montessori children adjust to public schools?2020-02-10T23:20:28+00:00

Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very independent and can adjust easily to the public school environment. Studies show that Montessori children adjust well and are generally among the better students in public school. They spend their time more productively because of their self-direction and positive attitudes toward learning.

Does my child have to be toilet trained?2020-02-13T04:05:23+00:00

No. We help children in toilet training at school as part of our curriculum of care for self, care for environment, and refinement of movement. To encourage independence, we ask primary children wear underwear to school. We work with children and parents in a manner that is consistent with children’s physical and emotional abilities.

Will my child take a nap at the school?2020-02-10T23:20:59+00:00

Yes if your child needs a nap. The School shall ensure that a quiet space and mat are available for any child who rests or takes a nap.There is a detailed description of what to send for your napping child in the parent handbook.

Will my toddler or preschool aged child have to sign up for five days per week?2020-02-13T04:05:52+00:00

No. We offer 4 and 5 day programs for the infant, toddler, preschool and preK child on half, full day and full day with child care schedules to the meet the needs of a range of families and children. Kindergarten children are expected to be in attendance for 5 full school day (8:30-3:00) each week.

What is class size?2020-02-13T04:07:36+00:00

Each classroom has different adult to student ratios according to the age of the children and the state regulation:

  • Infant: 1 teacher for every 3 children or 2 teachers for seven children.
  • Toddler: 1 teacher for every 4 children or 2 teachers for nine children.
  • Primary: 1 teacher for every 10 children
  • Elementary: 1 teacher for up to 20 children

Our primary classes have about 20 t0 28 children with one lead teacher and two assistant teachers. This number is reached gradually over the span of 3 years as the class grows. When the head teacher is with the same group of children for three years, she is very familiar with children in the group. This format is specifically established to allow the children to become independent and self-confident.

Will the tuition apply to dependent child care credit for tax purpose?2020-02-11T00:28:15+00:00

YES.  Our school is licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care as a group child care provider. Children’s tuition is qualified for the dependent child care credit.

Why mixed age class?2020-02-11T00:28:38+00:00

The mixed age group naturally reflects family and community. In a mixed age group environment, children do not just learn from teachers. Young children benefit directly from older students by watching them and getting help from them. Older children establish self-esteem and develop confidence and leadership by sharing their experience and knowledge with young children. Each individual child benefits from being in an environment of multiple abilities and interests.

What age is best to start Montessori?2020-02-13T04:08:25+00:00

The earliest a child can enter a Montessori environment at eBridge is at 6 weeks old in our infant classroom. For those families that need childcare it is ideal to start children at such a young age for them to have the full benefits of functional independence and choice making. Children who are staying at home vary in readiness to have an independent school experience. Some children are clearly driven as toddlers. All children begin to benefit from at least a half day of independent activity guided by the trained teacher, and the multi-aged community of children by age 3 years.

How can Montessori teachers meet the needs of so many different children?2020-02-11T00:29:37+00:00

Montessori teachers generally present lessons to either small groups of children or one child at one time and limit lessons to brief, clear presentations. As a class becomes settled in the first weeks of the school year, the children return to lessons and become engaged with their own activities and learning more deeply as they learn for themselves.

Montessori teachers closely monitor this progress through record keeping and observation. Because they work with each child for several years, they get to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses, interests and personalities extremely well. Montessori teachers often use the children’s interests to enrich the curriculum and provide alternate avenues for accomplishments and success.

Is Montessori for all children?2020-02-11T00:29:49+00:00

Yes, the Montessori method has been successful with children of different backgrounds around the world for over 100 years. However, there is no one school that is right for all children, and certainly there are children who may do better in a different classroom setting. We welcome parents to observe our classroom and communicate their questions and concerns, before and after enrollment. We always make decisions based on the best interest of each child.

What is the Montessori method?2020-02-11T00:30:06+00:00

Montessori is an alternative educational method based on the findings of Dr. Maria Montessori early in the 1900’s. Essentially, it posits that children can and should be educated in an independent manner. Doing this with the guidance of a teacher and the use of special interactive materials allows children to learn at their own pace and also has the benefit of helping children to be peaceful naturally. Please read more about the Montessori Principles.

Contact Info

57 East Main Street, Suite 101, Westborough, MA 01581

Phone: 508-366-9288

Fax: 508-366-9288

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