Casa Montessori is a CCMA accredited Montessori preschool. Though French and Italian are introduced, the language of instruction in the Casa classroom is English. The Casa is staffed by a qualified Montessori Directress and a trained Montessori Assistant who are responsible for the facilitation and implementation of the Montessori program. Casa Montessori is a licensed child care center. The age range in the Casa classroom is 2.5 to 6 years old. All children in the Casa classroom must be fully toilette trained.
Casa Montessori is a bright, beautiful place furnished with Montessori materials to facilitate the full development of the child. There is a harmony of light and colour with a refinement of spirit. The children advance through the materials from simple to complex, building on previous accomplishments. The exercises encourage orderly thought, independence, and autonomy. The three-year age mix in the classroom allows the children to learn from each other while working at their own speed. Children are free to work together, in groups or alone.
The main goal of our Montessori classroom is to provide a carefully planned and stimulating environment to help each child develop the foundational, attitudes and skills necessary for a healthy and fulfilling life.
Specific objectives include:
- Social and Moral Development: developing grace, courtesy and respect for others; promoting kindness and honesty; and encouraging co-operation, good sportsmanship, and kindness.
- Emotional Development: developing self-discipline, self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem; promoting good work habits and job satisfaction; and encouraging a lifelong love for learning.
- Physical Development: improving co-ordination and refining motor skills; and encouraging good health, good nutrition and safety habits.
- Intellectual Development: developing a sense of order and logical thought; improving attention span and power of concentration; stimulating communication skills and language development; developing an appreciation for music and the arts; and stimulating creativity.
Let the child be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning…” – Maria Montessori
MONTESSORI EDUCATION is an aid to life, calling forth that which is within each child and providing the opportunity for spiritual, intellectual, social and creative development. Maria Montessori believed that children have an “absorbent mind” and are driven from within to effortlessly absorb everything from their environment. If free to learn, children will joyfully select activities that develop their innate abilities. Children are naturally stimulated by the world around them and have a passion to learn that should be the pivot of their own education. A true Montessori environment fulfills this need to learn and grow. The Montessori Directress is the dynamic link between the children and the materials. The Teacher presents materials and the children learn what they need to through repetitive manipulation of the Montessori tools.
PRACTICAL LIFE: The children undertake practical activities that establish, preserve and embellish the environment and themselves. As with the rest of the materials, all activities are freely available to the children’s at their pleasure. This allows a mastery of their environment at an unhurried pace. These activities nurture control and coordination of movement, self-esteem, independence and concentration while ultimately preparing the child for reading, writing and mathematics. Muscular co-ordination aids writing and the mental order derived from sequences aids the acquisition of Mathematics.
SENSORIAL: Montessori promotes learning with all the senses. The Sensorial Materials isolate specific concepts that are discovered through feeling, seeing, hearing, smelling and even tasting. Consequently, discrimination of the senses is enhanced. For example, Maria Montessori discovered the child’s specific aptitude for “touch” and developed materials that nurture this sensibility. The children perceive size and weight through physical manipulation of material which lays the foundation for studies in Math and Geometry.
LANGUAGE: The Montessori Method maximizes the child’s sensitive period for language. The children begin with an approach to language that is holistic: seeing, hearing, and muscular movement are included in the integration of sounds. Self-expression is also encouraged through conversations, sound games, and stories. Reading and writing flourish naturally in a true Montessori environment.
MATHEMATICS: Experiences with Practical Life and Sensorial materials lay the foundation for the acquisition of Mathematics. The manipulative materials found in the Math area will help the child understand the concepts of numeration, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The pattern of presentation progresses from the tangible, to the symbolic, to the association between the tangible and the symbolic.
CULTURE: Maria Montessori’s maxim was “give the child the universe”. The children are introduced to Art, Botany, Geography, History, Music, and Zoology. These subject areas serve as keys to open and spark interest and motivate the child to further independent exploration.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: In addition to the freedom of movement provided in the Casa Montessori classroom or gym, children enjoy two hours of outdoor time daily.
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