Philosophy & Curriculum
The cornerstone of the Montessori philosophy of education is that every child carries unseen with himself, the man or women they will become. In order to develop their physical, intellectual, creative and spiritual powers to the fullest, they must have freedom – a freedom achieved through order and self-discipline. The world of the child, say Montessori educators, is full of sights and sounds which at direct observation appear chaotic. From this chaos, the child must gradually create order, and learn to distinguish among the impressions that assail their senses slowly but surely gaining mastery of themselves and their environment.
Dr. Maria Montessori developed what she called the “prepared environment” which already possesses a certain order and disposes the child to develop at their own speed, according to their own capacities, and in a noncompetitive atmosphere in their first school years. “Never let a child risk failure until they have reasonable chance of success,” said Dr. Montessori, understanding the necessity for the acquisition of a basic skill before its use in a competitive learning situation. The years between three and six are the years that a child most easily learns the ground rules of human behavior. These years can be constructively devoted to freeing the child through acquisition of good manners and habits, to take his place in his culture.
The child who has had the benefit of a Montessori environment is freer at a later age to devote themselves more exclusively to the development of their intellectual faculties. The method by which children are taught in the Montessori school might well be described as “structured learning.” Since the child has learned to work by himself, in the prepared environment, enjoying the presence of other children, but not working necessarily directly with them, the Montessori teacher is able to teach a child individually. The structure of the Montessori learning involves the use of many materials which the child may work individually. At every step of their learning, the teaching material is designed to test their understanding and to correct their errors.
Dr. Montessori recognized that the only valid impulse to learning is the self-motivation of the child. Children are more themselves toward learning. The teacher prepares the environment, directs the activity, functions as the authority, offers the child stimulation, but it is the child who learns, who is motivated through the work itself (not solely by the teacher’s personality) to persist in their given task. If the Montessori child is free to learn, it is because they have acquired from their exposure to both physical and mental order an “inner discipline.” This is the core of Dr. Montessori’s educational philosophy. Social adjustment though it be a necessary condition for learning in a schoolroom, is not the purpose of education. Patterns of concentration and thoroughness established in early childhood produce a confident, competent learning pattern for latter years. Schools have existed historically to teach children to observe, to think, to judge. Montessori introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand-in-hand.
Goals and Objectives
The Children’s Montessori Center follows Dr. Maria Montessori’s dynamic themes. The most important years for learning are from birth to age six. Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who are different from each other. Children create themselves through purposeful activities. Each classroom is a carefully prepared area equipped with a variety of attractive learning materials that will stimulate curiosity and build confidence through exploration. The Montessori classroom operates on the principle of freedom within limits. Each program has its set of ground rules which differ from age to age. It is always based on the one Montessori belief of “Respect for each other and for the environment”. In the Montessori classroom the environment invites the child to prepare for life-long learning experiences. Children are given freedom to select individual activities, which correspond to their own pursuit of interests.
CMC’s toddler program provides children 19 months to 3 years with an opportunity to explore, in a nurturing environment, relationships with friends and adults. They are provided with choices to allow them to explore and develop their developmental needs. Autonomy, self-esteem, and social learning are strong components to their learning process. This environment provides for a secured, trusting, and respectful routine. Communication between home and school is a partnership and is developed with trust. The purpose of the toddler program is to provide an environment, which will assist and protect the normal development of each child. The structure of the curriculum is based on following developmental areas: Sensorial, Perceptual, Physical and Motor, Self-help Skills, Language, and Social and Emotional.
- Fall:Nature; trees, leaves, fruit, vegetables, seasonal tree, harvest time; Life in the Sea; Animal Kingdom
- Winter: Life in the Air; Arctic Life; Life in the Desert; Zoo & Circus
- Spring: Life on Earth, Farm Life, Plants in spring
- Year Long: All about me, my family, my community, my world, and seasonal awareness
Primary Program 3-6 years (Pre School & Kindergarten)
The preschool curriculum is based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s belief that no human being is educated by another person. They must do it themselves or it will never be done. The Kindergarten year program is a unique opportunity for the five year old to further their abilities and confidence in preparing for elementary school.
The materials in the classroom are divided into the following areas:
- Daily living exercises are designed to aid the child in the development of order, concentration, and independence. (Practical Life)
- Sensorial materials help develop the child’s ability to discriminate and refine their senses.
- Language materials help develop a strong phonetic approach using the Whole Language Method.
- Mathematics materials help develop an understanding of numeration, addition, subtractions, multiplication, and division using concrete experiences that lead to abstract discoveries.
- Science Studies include the world of geography, cultural awareness, history of the world, explorations in botany and the animal kingdom.
- Music and Art includes group lessons in appreciation of art and music in our culture through song and artistic expression.
- September: Fruits; Trees: Introduction to Geography “Our World”
- October: Fruits; Trees: Leaves; Seeds; Land Geography; Life in the Sea
- November: Life in the Sea; Vegetables; Water Geography; North America; Pilgrims; Native Americans
- December: Life in the Sea; Grains; South America; Holidays around the World
- January: Grains; Amphibians; Antarctica
- February: Reptiles; Asia; Valentines
- March: Reptiles; Dairy products; Europe
- April: Daily products; Birds; Africa
- May: Review food groups; Mammals; Australia
- June: Review plant world; Insects
- Year Long: All about me, my family, my community, my world, peacemakers, and seasonal awareness