The Montessori Early Childhood program is designed to meet the needs of children ages 3 - 6. Ideally the child would enter the program at age 3 years and remain with the same teacher for all 3 years. This looping allows child and teacher to get to know each other very well, and creates a comfortable bond between the two. However, a child can enter the classroom at any time during these years and quickly settle into the routine.
Three years ago, New Vista featured a new class to introduce 2 -early 3 year olds to the Montessori method of learning. This foundation-building class stresses potty training, social skills building, development of fine and gross motor skills, improvement of language and speech, science concepts, and number/letter/shape concepts.
The multi-age classrooms provides a backdrop for success in all ages. The younger children will attempt lessons they see their older peers working with, and can often acquire those same skills with ease. By the same token, the older children assist in teaching the younger ones, sometimes presenting lessons in the same way the lesson has been presented to them. This is an excellent confidence and independence builder for the older child. It also fosters a natural feeling of respect between the younger and older child.
In the Montessori prepared environment, the child can move ahead at his/her own pace or repeat work as needed. Each lesson, regardless of subject, is presented with actual material to touch, feel and explore. In this way learning progresses from concrete to the abstract. The child is self-motivated and self-directed because the classroom is structured so that the work is beautiful and appealing.
Each Montessori lesson builds upon itself, teaching the child coordination, concentration, independence and order. The ‘whole’ child learns from the work, perhaps building fine motor skills with one work, or eye-hand coordination with another. Most work is done left to right,
top to bottom- the same way we learn to read! Each lesson is carefully planned and executed with particular developmental and practical aims in mind.
Numerous studies have concluded that the “preschool” years are an absolutely critical time of development for children. Maria Montessori coined a term for this period- the child possesses “the absorbent mind”. The child actually absorbs knowledge like a sponge, and the prepared environment of the Montessori Classroom is the perfect structure for this transformation to take place!
Please contact our school at your convenience so that we can demonstrate for you exactly how the "prepared environment” works! (540-342-1173 or firstname.lastname@example.org )