The Montessori Method is founded on Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy. Her basic principle was to “follow the child”. A Montessori classroom is carefully prepared to allow the child to work independently and allow for the joy of self-discovery. Teachers introduce materials and children are free to choose them, again and again, working and discovering, and ultimately mastering ideas. Lessons are given, but the goal is for children to discover the answers by using the “auto-didactic”, or “self-correcting” materials that are found only in Montessori classrooms.
Children grow academically in the Montessori environment. They discover an ability to complete complex math problems, name the continents, identify geometric shapes, write beautifully and talk about scientific concepts such as “metamorphosis”. Just as important in the classroom is the engaging of the child’s creative intelligence. Children are exposed to fine art, drama, music, history, and a second language. They might paint their own Impressionist “water lily” one day, participate in the challenges of Sport Day on another, prepare a traditional food from another country, or put on a play based on an ancient folktale.
However, the most important aspect of our educational mission does not concern academics. Our primary goal is to foster and enhance each child’s natural sense of joy and wonder. We feel that children should delight in childhood, that the school day must include laughter and the buzz of creative silliness. We want students to love school and the process of learning. The idea that “education is not a chore, but a joyous exploration of life’s mysteries”, is the most important lesson that we hope to teach our students.