Your child is now at the age where you can see they need more than what you can give them at home- more structure, more stimulation, maybe just more time with other kids. You are a great parent and want your child to develop into a well-adjusted, happy, independent little one.
So now what?
There are a multitude of options out there for schooling. In pre-school alone (and in Calgary), there are tons of options popping up all over the place- you have play schools, full day preschools, Waldorf, Reggio, Montessori, STEM, STEAM, Project-based, High/Scope, religion based, language immersion. The list is extensive.
A Montessori classroom is based on the work of Maria Montessori, an innovator in the field of education. The Montessori Movement was founded in 1907, but the methods are proven and backed by current child development research. What we know about how children learn has lead to montessori type materials being in many classrooms, whether they be play based or education based. Maria Montessori was far ahead of her time.
When you enter a Montessori classroom, you might be surprised by what you see and hear (or don’t hear). The classroom is neat and tidy and organized. Soft classical music is playing quietly in the background (and the children might be able to tell you what song is on). Students are working individually or in small groups, talking and sharing ideas and information. The teacher might be sitting at a table working with a child or group of children, or she/he might be moving quietly around the room, observing, adding information as needed, or just making notes as she watches what the children are doing. When a child is done with their chosen activity, they arrange it back the way it was (so it’s ready and nice for the next person), and place it back in its designated space on the shelf. They then might go and ask their guide for a lesson on something new, or they will choose another activity independently- setting up a floor mat or table mat and then moving the work to their space.
A little bell will be rung at some point, indicating a transition time, to snack, or reading a story together, or for heading into the gymnasium for some physical activity time. The children will put away their work, put away their mats, and get ready to wash their hands (or take off their indoor shoes and socks if we are heading to gymnastics!).
If they are settling for a snack- when they are done they will put away their snack bags, tidy up their space, and either sit and visit with their friends, or go to the meeting space and choose a book or a quiet activity while waiting for their friends.
As a group at the end of the class, you will see these little 3-6 year olds do a few minutes of yoga and then some meditation before heading off to the rest of their day.
The Montessori classroom is set up for your child to be successful. All the materials are child sized, and ready to be used. Children are given lessons on how to do the activities, how to carry a tray with jugs of water balancing on it- how to tie their shoelaces, and do up zippers, and pour a glass of milk. How to clean up if a spill happens. How to deal with frustration if something isn’t going the way you want. How to be independent, peaceful, empathetic. How to be a global citizen.
Our focus is to develop the whole child- we aren’t just teaching reading & writing (although that is part of what we do!)- we are teaching our children how to be great human beings in a big sense.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us or visit us during our open house on February 10th.
Peace and Light,