Editor’s note: Montessori School of Champaign-Urbana is a sponsor of Chambanamoms.
Montessori is an educational approach that nurtures a child’s intrinsic value and desire to learn. Like no other philosophy, Montessori focuses on the whole child – their cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. How is this accomplished? Through an intentional structure which emphasizes classroom freedom.
Freedom is provided in large blocks of uninterrupted time in which students can settle into self-selected educational activities that capture their curiosity. Lessons are given independently or in small groups by faculty trained in the Montessori method of education. The classroom teacher and assistant lend support as students work through the classroom’s sensory-motor activities. The materials develop the student’s mind through direct experiences; seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and movement. Another example of Montessori freedom is evident in our open-ended curriculum. Students are allowed to work beyond grade level limits often set in traditional classrooms.
Structure is found within the inviting and intentionally arranged classrooms giving students materials needed to independently study subject areas such as math, language, geography, science and daily living skills. Dr. Montessori recognized children learn through exploration and experimentation. The specially designed materials provide a structure through which students comprehend increasingly abstract concepts. The students, teacher and the prepared environment all share a dynamic relationship that structures the student’s classroom experience.
Our mixed age classrooms also promote social and emotional skill development through peer observation, modeling and practice. We recognize valuable learning opportunities often take place within peer groups. Younger students often watch and learn from their peers and leadership opportunities instill confidence and pride in the older students. The structured classroom cultivates concentration and an increased self-reliance thus enabling students to be more successful lifelong learners.
Contact our school for a tour and additional information regarding Montessori Primary, Elementary and Parent/Toddler programs. We are always happy to provide interested families an opportunity to observe this fascinating approach in action. Come and see the joy and satisfaction students experience through this supportive and engaging educational philosophy. Visit our webpage or call us at (217) 356-1818 with questions or to set up a tour.