We work on a three years cycle; it is thus inevitable that the children’s learning are different, even between students of the same age. Every child, within the school, has a different pace of learning.
The material used very early, around 2 and a half , allows the child to acquire tangible knowledge. It is then, on these sensorial experiences that are anchored in him that solid intellectual bases are established. They allow him to reach a proper level of abstraction in his academic knowledge and an open culture, aware of the world.
The children benefit from one-on-one mentoring ; they start working in groups at the age of 6. It is thought so it can best meet their needs, their interests, their speed; academic learning run deep and it is not rare that the pupils have 1 – 2 years of advance in one or two subjects… But it is not the purpose; the objective is, above all the child’s self-fulfillment by respecting his pace and needs.
The available material targeting the children from a 3 years cycle, for example the children from 6 to 9 years old, it leaves the child the chance to progress at his own speed: he can move ahead very quickly in a subject he’s particularly interested in or to review a notion without feeling like its a work for a younger child.
This mix of multi-ages children really helps not only in their intellectual development, but also behavioral and social.
Being free means much more than “Doing what the individual wishes to do “, being free imply first of all to be capable to identify and choose what is best and constructive for us and then, to be capable of leading these choices to completion.
This freedom is expressed by the free choice of the activities. The child chooses his work, he chooses the spot where he settles down and the duration of the manipulation.
It allows him to be an active participant in his own education.
The Montessori material is a scientific material which gives us an adapted support to the child’s various ages and needs. Its main function is to allow the child to explore the world, to seize it and to build himself.
There are more than 500 activities and works in a Montessori classroom, which are one by one provided to the children.
Those activities are not an educational helps in the strict sense because they are not used “to teach” nor to inculcate a learning, they rather serve to assist the child in his internal work of self-creation and mental development.
They favor the learning by catching the child’s attention and by strengthening his concentration.
While manipulating the material the child will develop his coordination, he will learn to pay attention to details and he will develop a healthy working habit.
This material, that may appear so magic when we’ve never seen it, is in fact puzzling by its simplicity and efficiency.
It enforces all of the child’s learning channels (hearing, kin aesthetic, visual and even taste and smell sometimes).
Only a lesson given by a Montessori teacher can make you understand all the material’s power.
Besides, what really matters in the child’s evolution, academic or global, is the quality of its personal work; and this cannot be expressed in any form of a grade system.
No punishments and no rewards either: otherwise how can we respect the atmosphere that we suggest, which is built of mutual aid and respect, and restrain competition, which has to be only within the child himself ?
A report book allows to review the child’s work with him and follow his experiences. The teachers provide an individual supervision for every child in his work. They follow every stage of his progression. Children can invite their parents in the class to show them the work that they do.
The follow-up with the parents takes place during discussion and scheduled (as often as necessary) individualized parent teachers meetings, which are the opportunity to provide an update.
Maria Montessori said: “Let us not raise our children for the world of today. This world will have changed when they will be grown. So we must first and foremost help the children cultivate their faculties of creation and adaptation.”
The Montessori method develops the child’s independence, the self-confidence and the self-discipline. These values are ingrained in him for life.
The child can adapt more quickly to new situations: a moving, a change of linguistic environment, a change of school (entering middle school) and thus a change of educational method.
He can gladly adapt to new situations because his concentration and his self-discipline are trained, because he knew the pleasure and the desire to learn and because he is well socially adapted.
These skills favor the pursuit of knowledge throughout the existence and allow the child to easily become part of any new system.
It is certain that a grown-up child, raised in self-respect, will find differences in the other school systems who demonstrate greater rigidity.
Experience has shown that these children adapt well to new constraints and keep the skills acquired during their Montessori years.
If the parents let us know a little in advance that the child is going to leave us, it allows us to prepare him for this change and therefore that is going really well.
The trilingual way allows the children to reach language skills, if not equal, at least comparable in French, Spanish and English.
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