Why we chose Excellent Montessori
Every parent wants their child to receive the best education possible. For us, that meant sending our son to a Montessori school. While we did look into sending him to a traditional preschool, we immediately fell in love with Excellent Montessori School and knew right away that it would be the best fit for our family for a few reasons.
While most preschools teach language arts and mathematics, the Montessori curriculum also adds lessons in practical life skills, sensory awareness and cultural education. Children learn how to be independent and do tasks such as pouring their own drinks and tying their own shoes. They learn using all five senses, instead of just sitting doing worksheets. They also learn about different cultures through lessons in geography, zoology and the arts. In fact, I was surprised that my son pointed out all the provincial flags in Canada a few days ago when I was browsing a kids guide to province web page.
Unlike traditional preschools, where kids are put on structured schedules and pressured into meeting arbitrary standards from the first day, Montessori preschools let children learn through play and discovery. The teacher's job is not to give knowledge; it is to guide children into discovering that knowledge themselves through play. Toys and instructional materials are placed around the room and the children have the freedom to play and learn as they please. Children work at their own pace as they decide what they will learn each day based on their unique interests and skills.
3. Mixed-age Classrooms
One feature of the Montessori program I especially love is their use of the multi-age classroom. My son's class is made of children between age two and half to age six. Last year, when he was the youngest, he had several older children who were able to show him the ropes of preschool. Because he learned from his peers, I believe he caught onto various skills, especially social skills, faster. In two years, he will be the oldest in his CASA class and it will be his turn to impart his knowledge to the younger boys and girls in his class. As he teaches the younger kids, he will reinforce his own knowledge of the skills.
4. Non-competitive Environment
Another great feature of a Montessori education is the non-competitive environment. In traditional schools, students are expected and pressured to be at a certain point in their development by a certain time. If a child is behind in one area, he knows he is behind and this can lead to him feeling stupid or incapable. With a Montessori education, children are measured only against themselves. They are not made to feel inferior for what they have not yet learned, but are praised for what they have.
Unfortunately, the Montessori schools here only go through grade seven at our place. I would love for my son to be able to attend a Montessori school for his whole education, but he will eventually attend a traditional school. I am confident, however, that his time in the Montessori program will leave him well-prepared for the future.
Excellent Montessori School is a private, independent, non-profit school for children from six weeks through eighth grade. The school goal is to educate the whole person through the Montessori approach which addresses the intellectual, social, emotional and physical needs of each child. Montessori is a method of education based on the observations, methods and philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. This method of education focuses on the development of the whole child in all areas of life, and supports the idea that children possess an innate desire to explore, discover, and learn. This is supported best within a social environment that inspires personal development.
The philosophy of the Excellent Montessori School community is the encouragement of the child's interest and curiosity, and the development of responsible, independent thinking that fosters a life-long love of learning.
One greatest strength of the school is the highly trained and superbly qualified teachers who take a personal interest in their students and parents. They care about the whole person and see education as much more than simply the training of fine minds. These dedicated teachers form the foundation of a caring community in which children develop and learn to become responsible, loving human beings.
At its core, it simply is a way of being with children that allow each child to develop fully into the person he was destined to be. Just as you make every effort to ensure that your home is loving and safe – so that your child feels secure and well adjusted – we work diligently to ensure that the physical environment, the teachers and the student community will meet your child's needs with respect and support at each step in his educational journey.
Instead of expecting that he pay attention to the teacher in front of a class of 30 children, it is the Montessori teacher who pays close attention to your child which fosters a trusting relationship – an education partnership of sorts – in which he will have the faith that his teacher truly understands and respects him for the human being into which he is transforming.
Our world doesn't need more test takers, memorizers or followers.
Now, more than ever, we need critical thinkers, entrepreneurs and do-ers. Montessori education prepares children to take on the future with confidence and zeal, propelled by the gift of self knowledge and a lifelong passion for learning.
Maria Montessori was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy. A scholar of biology, psychiatry, anthropology, and medicine, she graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. As a physician, Dr. Montessori was in touch with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also observed the manner in which they learned as they spontaneously chose and worked with the auto didactic materials she provided.
She studied children of all races and cultures in many countries around the world, soon seeing the universality of the laws of human development. She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding until her death in 1952. Also a devoted humanitarian, she was three-times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy efforts toward a more peaceful humanity.
Maria Montessori was a scientist, and as a good scientist, she was earth-bound and highly spiritual in her pursuit of truth. Through her studies of educational methods, she declared two principles as the foundation of Montessori pedagogy: the universal characteristics of the human child, and the child as an unique, unrepeatable, respectable, and admirable individual to be unconditionally accepted as one of life's most marvelous expressions.
1896: Maria graduates to great public acclaim from the University of Rome School of Medicine. She is the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree. Maria also studied anthropology, psychiatry. As an early feminist she represents Italy at the 1896 Women's Conference in Berlin where, among other things, she is a strong advocated for equal pay.
1896-1907: Dr. Montessori's work brings her into close contact with children. During this period, the Italian Minister of Education appoints her as the Director of the Scuola Ortofrenica. This institution was dedicated to the care and education of youngsters that were considered "cognitively Through the development of her Montessori method, many of these 8-year-old students are able to pass standards testing with above-average
1907: Dr. Montessori opens Casa dei Bambini or "Children's for children ages 3 to 6 years in one of the poorest neighborhoods in San Lorenzo, Italy.
1913: Dr. Montessori makes her first visit to the United States.; Montessori Educational Association is founded by Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, Mabel.
1915: Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco: Dr. Montessori receives international attention with her "glass house" schoolroom exhibit. During this visit, Dr. Montessori leads a teacher training course while in the states.
1922: Italian government asks Dr. Montessori to return to become a government inspector of schools.
1929: Dr. Montessori founds the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) in Amsterdam, Netherlands with her son, Mario, to ensure preservation of her educational principles.
1939: Dr. Montessori and her son travel to India to give a series of teacher training courses. Both are detained in India during World War II.
1947: Dr. Montessori starts a training center in London and continues to spend time in India.
1949: Dr. Montessori is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
1950: Dr. Montessori is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
1951: Dr. Montessori is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
1952: Dr. Montessori died in the Netherlands assured that her legacy would be continued through the work of the Association Montessori Internationale.