The more you know about Montessori, the more you realize it is an educational method rooted in a very simple concept: children are independent, self-constructing human beings developing along a natural, predictable path.
Our job as Montessori educators is to respect each child as she progresses along that path at her own, individual pace, on her way to becoming her unique self. We provide each child the opportunity to work independently and to accomplish tasks on her own, without adult-imposed barriers. The child gains confidence through the experiences of doing for herself. Because she is allowed this confidence, the child begins to learn she is competent. Her competence inspires further confidence, and a virtuous cycle begins.
A Montessori education is about more than excelling in academics. While it is true that our curriculum is academically rigorous, we take pride in educating the whole child. Our ultimate goal is to help each child construct a unique and meaningful existence, to become the best adult he can be. Academically, the children have access to materials that allow them to explore reading, handwriting, mathematics, biology, earth science, chemistry, literature, storytelling, grammar, physics, world geography, drawing, botany, history, cultural diversity and so much more. Science projects, research projects, field trips and class events allow each VdM student to enrich his education and to explore the subjects that interest him most. Montessori is not a teacher-led method. The children lead the way. The Guide or Directress prepares and maintains a classroom environment in which each child is able to progress through an established structure that furthers his education. The child, then, moves through that structure at his own pace. There are times when the Guide and the child are formally engaged in lessons, but most of the time the Guide remains in the background so that each child is able to self-direct his learning.
At Villa di Maria Montessori School, we offer Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary education. In the primary classroom, the Children’s House, you’ll find children ages 3 through 6. Lower Elementary serves ages 6 through 9 and Upper Elementary serves ages 9 through 12. Montessori provides mixed-age community classrooms, so that the youngest children have the opportunity to look to the older children as role models, and the older children have the opportunity to flourish with this responsibility. As each child grows within her classroom, she takes on greater responsibilities within the community and develops richer relationships with peers.