There are many books and articles available about Montessori Philosophy. NKMA has a parent library that you are welcome to utilize to better acquaint yourself. Some of the most outstanding features of the philosophy are:
Respect for the child – This includes listening to the child, respecting his/her right to make choices and respecting each child’s developmental level and ability.
Freedom within limits – This includes freedom of movement with purpose, free access to activities, freedom to be creative, freedom to work as long as desired and as interest permits, freedom to work with or without others and free use of the teacher as an aid to learning. Consistent reinforcement of basic ground rules of behavior also frees the child from testing social limits.
Respect for others – This includes respecting the teachers, the rights of others, the work of others and the care and respect of the environment and materials, which are shared equally by everyone in the classroom.
Beauty – A child has an innate appreciation for beauty and nature. The classroom epitomizes beauty and appeals to the child’s interest with beautiful objects and learning materials.
The child is a spiritual embryo – This is not a religious aspect of Montessori Philosophy, but recognition of the essential nature of the human being. Children deserve to have their innocence guarded and appreciated. When the nature of the child is protected and guided, healthy, well-adjusted adults are the natural result.
Order – The order of a Montessori classroom is most obvious at the visual level. All one has to do is look around the room to see the notable level of order of every material on every shelf. Additionally, consistency is another level of order that is greatly appreciated by the young child. This is why most Montessori schools only permit 5-day-a-week attendance. Two or three day attendance does not appeal to the child of this age. Knowing each weekday is a school day, frees the child from the upset of an inconsistent routine.
Sensitive Periods – This is a term that Maria Montessori used to describe a time during which a child, from age birth to six, experiences a “special sensibility” for learning or acquiring knowledge. When a child is not given the opportunity to act upon these natural directives, the opportunity for that heightened learning is lost. The freedom of a Montessori classroom gives children the opportunity they need to capitalize on their sensitive periods. If a child has a strong interest in Language Arts for example, they are permitted to work in this area. If they are highly interested in Math, this is allowed. A child’s age does not determine the work they do, as is the case in most preschool settings.
Movement – Children learn by moving, touching, feeling and utilizing all the senses within their power to use. A Montessori classroom is prepared in such a way to allow for freedom of movement. Activities are designed to aid in mastery of movement.
Multi-culturalism and peace – Children are the leaders of tomorrow. Crucial to their education is the understanding of other cultures. Through knowledge, fear and misunderstanding is eradicated, allowing for the peaceful coexistence of many cultures throughout the world. Our goal is to educate your child to be a respected and respectful citizen of the global community.