“I learned so much about how I help and hinder my kids’ experiences and that I need to do even more prep for each new experience to break it down for them.”
“Very informative and vivid! I really was able to imagine what a student feels like.”
These are just a couple of quotes from our recent Journey and Discovery which was attended by current families and potential families. The attendees were able to take a closer look at Montessori education and the learning environments for toddler, primary and elementary aged children.
Adults explored how concrete, hands on materials make our learning environments so unique. The materials are didactic and call the child to explore at their pace. We know that young children learn through their senses and through movement. How fun to watch an adult receive a lesson on the sandpaper letters, taking the time to feel the rough pattern of the letter “t” and saying the sound. Or the concentration it took to do the cylinder blocks…..blindfolded.
Children from birth to six years have a need for functional independence or learning to put on clothes, shoes and jackets, eating and using the bathroom independently. Also at this age, children have a special mental ability to take in the environment learning from what they see, touch and hear.
As the adults ventured into the lower elementary community they began working in groups as they listened to “the great lesson” which is the foundation of all learning in the elementary community. Next, they set off to explore the checkerboard, simple sentence analysis and the needs of human beings.
The children at this age (6-12 years) have an amazing power of imagination and they love big intellectual work. When they learn something new they love to share what they learned with their peers.
These children are also very focused on morality or a sense of fairness and justice. They are learning to navigate their role within the peer group learning about rules, being accountable, figuring out who are the leaders and who are the followers.
Montessori examined her scientific discoveries of the child at various stages of development and applied these discoveries to creating an ideal learning environment for children. She placed great emphasis on the environment because it is through the environment the child learns.