Editor’s Note: Montessori School of Champaign-Urbana is a chambanamoms.com sponsor.
“One of the things I truly value, which goes above and beyond the quality of the teachers and staff, is the wider Montessori community. The parents are knowledgeable and involved. They volunteer in many capacities and contribute to the learning environment. We have made countless friends that will last well beyond the years our children spend at the school.” Montessori School of Champaign-Urbana parent
Montessori School of Champaign-Urbana has been nurturing and enabling area children since 1962. The School has a long-standing reputation for providing premiere preschool and child care programming. Our staff is committed to the Montessori method, remaining at the School for many years, providing outstanding stability and experience.
The Montessori method is a brain-based, developmental approach to education. Montessori classrooms house unique mixed-age groups of children. Younger children emulate the language and problem solving skills of the older children. Older children develop leadership skills and empathy as they engage their younger classmates. Teachers guide the children through activities designed to foster cognitive, social, emotional, physical and personal development.
Children begin in the Practical Life area of the classroom by engaging in well planned activities related to daily living. Montessori pedagogy believes in providing children with real life experiences; children may be seen scrubbing chairs, slicing bananas, sewing buttons, or manipulating small objects with tweezers or chopsticks. Young children are naturally drawn to these activities; they develop motor skills, concentration, and attention to detail while they explore.
The Montessori approach to literacy is through phonics. Maria Montessori discovered that children are able to spell before they are able to read. Often a 4-year-old child, in the second year of the program, will use cut out wooden letters to spell simple three letter words such as “hat” or “pin”. Soon the child is able to decode the sounds and become a fledgling reader. Mathematics is taught through carefully researched hands-on learning materials. Our exploration of the solar system culminates in a field trip to Parkland’s Staerkel Planetarium. Our study of the continents is enriched by parent presentations from our rich multicultural community.
One of the unique features of a Montessori classroom is the independent work cycle. Children are free to choose among the activities on the classroom shelves. The chosen activity is then taken to a work rug or table and used for as long as the child is willing and able to focus. As the child becomes deeply engaged, he or she will experience pleasure and lasting satisfaction. Current research labels this as “flow”. Young children are able to experience this in Montessori classrooms!
In addition to the extensive individualized work times, children participate in group times that foster music through songs and rhythm instruments, vocabulary through exposure to our more than 2000-book library, and physical development through yoga, dance, games and motor activities.
Lessons in pre-ballet and piano are available.
The School offers both three-hour and six-hour preschool programs as well as full-time child care for children ages 3 through 6. Younger children are invited to join our Parent-Toddler Community on Wednesday mornings. This six-week program provides a gentle introduction to the Montessori philosophy for children 15-35 months of age.
On March 13 there will be a group tour and information meeting at 9:00 a.m. The preschool and parent-toddler classrooms may be viewed through our one way observation windows. On April 16 there will be an evening information meeting at 7:00 p.m. There will be opportunities to walk through the classrooms and explore the Montessori learning materials at our 1403 Regency Drive East, Savoy location.
“Montessori education is the embodiment of all I learned while studying for a Ph.D. in Child Development.”- Fiona Anderson, Ph.D. (neuropsychologist)