The main goal is to provide a safe, secure and loving atmosphere in a respectful, appropriate and challenging environment. At Maria Montessori Schools, we believe children are life’s most valued resource. We strive to respect and care about each individual child placed in our care. And, we believe each child has the right to gain a secure sense of independence and competence in her own unique way, and that this right is not to be compromised while in group care.
Children need love, time, attention and respect. As caregivers, we strive to develop a basic understanding and trust that each child will initiate, explore and learn at their readiness.
“The human being develops with the greatest intensity during the first three years of life. To this period more than any other, it is imperative to give active care.” Dr. Maria Montessori
The materials used in the environment are based on the child’s unique aptitude for learning which Dr. Montessori identified as the “Absorbent Mind.” Montessori compared the young mind to a sponge. It absorbs information from the environment. Acquiring information in this way is a natural and delightful activity for the young child who employs all her senses to investigate her interesting surrounding.
Maria Montessori emphasized that the hand is the chief teacher of the child. “The hand is the organ of the brain.” In order to learn there must be concentration. Adults do not teach concentration. They allow the child to explore without interruption. Dr. Montessori stressed the importance of the sensitive periods for early learning. These are periods of intense fascination for learning a particular characteristic or skill. For infants and toddlers, some of these sensitive periods include language, movement, order, music and manipulating small objects. It is easier for the child to learn a particular skill during the corresponding sensitive periods than at any time in her life. The Montessori classroom takes advantage of this by allowing the child freedom to select individual activities, which correspond to her period of interest. This is what is meant by, “Follow the child.”