What is Montessori?
Dr. Maria Montessori, over 100 years ago, was Italy's first woman medical doctor. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in Rome. Based on unbiased observations, she developed materials and child centered environment, and was one of the first people to revolutionize educational thought stressing respect for the child.
The Montessori classroom is a child size world. By careful selection of the materials by the teacher, an environment is set up that allows the child a place to explore life at a level he can understand. The materials or exercises are designed to stimulate independence. Materials and curriculum are centered around Practical Life (everyday skills), Sensorial (five senses), Language, Math, Science, Geography, History, Music, Art, Drama, and Dance.
Most educators and psychologists today agree that the single most important period in the development of a person's intelligence occurs between birth and age five. A child's mind is extremely absorbent and his curiosity is at a peak during these early years. When properly nourished and stimulated, the child's mind forms patterns for learning that serve him well throughout his life. The Montessori system of preschool education has proven to be one of the most effective and fastest growing methods to guide a child through these critical years.
WHAT IS A MONTESSORI BASED PROGRAM?
At St. Paul's we use the Montessori philosophy and method of teaching and the Montessori materials in our classrooms. We also incorporate the "traditional" preschool methods of teaching. Your child will enjoy the best of both worlds. Some benefits of "traditional" preschool include teacher-directed, theme based lessons, and creative play. Benefits of the Montessori methods include classroom structure, independence, and self pace that Montessori has to offer. We provide this in an atmosphere where knowledge and Christian values are reinforced.