First introduced in 1908 in Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori, a well-known child psychologist and the first woman doctor in Italy, the Montessori Method of education is a unique and outstanding educational method for children. Montessori education first became available in the United States in New York in 1957 by the pioneer Ms. Nancy Rambus. This educational method has been highly popular in the United States and abroad, especially among families who understand the life-long advantages of early childhood development.
The main objective of the Montessori Method is to harvest human potential by providing an educational environment to promote independence, curiosity, self-discipline, and love for learning within a multi-age classroom.
The most important characteristic of the Montessori Method is its outcome: children who develop into confident, self-learning, and creative adults, ready to become leaders in their communities.
The Montessori curriculum is an individualized program, one which respects the child’s own abilities to learn. Consequently, the curriculum seeks and fosters the child’s potential in a much more efficient and pragmatic way.
The curriculum also assists the children in learning the importance of observation and concentration, which helps them understand advanced ideas and concepts at an earlier-than-usual age. It also fosters in the children a feeling of community, cooperation, and respect for the individual.
The Montessori curriculum is designed for children attending school five days a week; however, children who are attending part-time programs are not getting the full benefit of this education; therefore, their progress will not be as effective as children who attend full-day, five days a week programs.
HFMA Montessori curriculum is organized into 4 developmental levels: Infant, Toddler, Pre-Primary, and Primary. The Infant level is a 10-month program, the Toddler is a six-month program, the Pre-Primary level is 18 months, and the Primary level is a year’s program. You must realize that continuing in the appropriate program throughout your child’s entire developmental level will maximize his/her academic, social, and emotional development and aid your child in reaching his/her full potential; therefore, children who do not attend the appropriate entire developmental level will not have the full benefit of this education; hence the school is not responsible for the child’s progress. Excluding extenuating circumstances, parents must commit to completing each level that their child begins.
The Montessori learning materials are arranged on low shelves accessible to the children in an orderly sequence. They are simple and carefully designed to appeal to children at a given level of development. The teacher presents each material to a child only when the child is ready for it, as evaluated by the teacher. These presentations are individual or, on certain occasions, in small groups. Each child works on a selected material, which will provide a centered learning experience to grasp a specific skill or concept. A child is encouraged to repeat the material until he or she has learned a particular skill or concept.
Dr. Montessori has recognized that concrete learning apparatuses make learning much more rewarding. The Montessori learning materials are not the method itself but rather the tools that bring the method about by stimulating the child into learning; therefore, their importance should never be underestimated. Happy Flower Montessori Academy is proud to provide the best available Montessori materials to the children.
Contrary to traditional schooling, the Montessori Method is centered on the activities the children perform rather than on the activities of the teacher in the classroom. Instead of columns without which the structure collapses, the Montessori teachers are obelisks to be emulated, providing safety, guidance, and strength. For this reason, a Montessori instructor is commonly referred to as a guide rather than as a teacher.
As the connecting piece between the children and the Montessori materials, the Montessori guides are an extremely important component of the Montessori Method. They must be knowledgeable of the significance and objective behind each and every Montessori material. They must be attentive and sensitive to continuously evaluate the growth of each child in order to feed them with challenging and rewarding activities. They must be compassionate and yet disciplined, active, creative, and truthful. They must provide a child with the necessary equilibrium to build the trust and confidence necessary to achieve independence.
Happy Flower Montessori Academy prioritizes the quality of its guides. Each environment (Infant, Toddler, Pre-Primary, and Primary) is headed by a certified Montessori guide. Assistants to the guides are preferentially also certified or in the process of obtaining certification.
Happy Flower Montessori Academy is also committed to providing professional growth opportunities to all teaching staff.
Normalization is a term used by the Montessori Method to describe a classroom or an individual child as they develop inner discipline, self-assurance, and preference for purposeful activity. A normalized child has the following essential characteristics:
- Love for learning,
- Ability to concentrate,
- Pleasure in working for his or her own sake, and
- Ability to work alone.