The Absorbent Mind
There is a period of time in a young child's life that is perfect for learning. Between the ages of three and six children are capable of receiving information and acquiring skills effortlessly. The environment of the Montessori classroom is designed to help nurture the child's natural abilities and develop the true potential of the child.
Montessori classrooms were developed to give students the perfect space to discover, explore, and learn. Beauty and order are an essential part of the prepared environment that allows the child to thrive. The teacher's role is to guide the child toward independence and help develop concentration and organizational skills. Activities with Montessori materials called "works" help achieve these goals.
Students are allowed to pursue areas of their interest. The classroom boasts activities that include practical life, sensorial, language, math, geography, botany, art and science. Uninterrupted work time gives children the opportunity to focus and concentrate. The classroom calms as the students relax and work. Respect for the environment and classmates promotes self control and develops strong social and academic skills.
The benefit of a multi-age classroom is that children learn from each other with ease. When one child learns a new skill such as tying his shoe the other children take notice. There is a sense of joy that catches on as the next child becomes ready to learn a new idea or skill.
"Education is not something which the teacher does, but it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his/her environment"
-Dr. Maria Montessori