The Montessori approach, developed by Dr Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Montessori’s methodology has been used by many schools for over 100 years in many parts of the world.
Montessori method views the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.
In Cheston Montessori, our Montessori preschool program is suitable for children as young as 2 months old (Infant Care) to 6 years old (Kindergarten 2)
Our Montessori teachers are encouraging and have strong passion for children. She ensures that every child is treated with respect, given freedom within a specially designed environment and allowing the children to develop naturally at his or her own pace.
Cheston Montessori classrooms are specially crafted environments designed to meet the needs of children in a specific age range. Our experiential learning classroom environment will lead our children to a deeper understanding of language, mathematics, science as well as social interactions and much more. Our Montessori classrooms together with our Montessori educational method integrates successfully with our thematic program to provide a holistic education for the children.
Key Highlights of Cheston Montessori Classrooms
Our children are taught how to regulate their own social interactions with other children. Through engaging role-playing activities and modelling, our Montessori teachers demonstrates the best way to respond to arguments or new situations, giving the child the ability to act confidently and pro-socially when the actual problem arises. The result is a self-regulating classroom, in which natural social tensions are resolved mostly by the children themselves.
Freedom of movement / choice
Our children can move freely throughout the classroom environment, engaging in activities that interest them. Their movement is unrestricted by the teacher unless it endangers themselves, other people, or their surroundings.
Outdoor Play in a Safe Environment
Outdoor play in Cheston Montessori is crucial for the child development and growth. It offers opportunities for the child to engage with the natural world. Outdoor play often involves physical movement, running, jumping, climbing, stretching, touching, balancing, so that children experience joy and freedom so necessary in their lives.
Physical activity does enhance gross and fine motor skills but there is much more learning that occurs, especially in the outdoors. It also benefits children in other ways as it involves the total child’s development, physical, social, emotional and thinking.
Play is exploration, discovery, the child’s way of learning, and is deeply engaging, joyful, and pleasurable, and stimulates imagination.
Play increases knowledge and understanding and can increase the social understanding of children as they learn the rules of life through play.
Self-confidence and resilience develop through play and children’s sense of well-being is enhanced as they happily engage in play, often absorbed for long periods of time.
Areas of Montessori
“Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.” ~ Dr Maria Montessori
Practical life equips our children for all aspects of life. It will prepare our children for other areas of our curriculum with order, concentration, coordination and independence.
Our Practical Life Program include pouring, scooping, sorting, sponging which will inculcate the care of self, and care of the environment. This program lays the foundation for all the other subject in the Montessori classroom.
“The aim is an inner one, namely, that the child train himself to observe; that he be led to make comparisons between objects, to form judgments, to reason and to decide; and it is in the indefinite repetition of this exercise of attention and of intelligence that a real development ensues.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Our children through exploration of the various materials of varying dimension, color, shape, texture, smell, and taste, all the faculties of intelligence are developed. Our Sensorial program also includes geometry as activities to enhance/hone the children 5 basic senses.
“Knowledge can best be given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sewn. The child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into knowledge.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
The three to six years is a golden time period for language achievement. The language curriculum includes oral language activities, pre-reading work, writing and reading comprehension.
Initial sounds are introduced through Phonics, Sandpaper Letters and Matching Objects Tub. After the children learn the initial sounds, they are progressed to blending exercises through large move-able alphabets. The objective of oral language activities includes the development of listening skills, comprehension and vocabulary. Once the children are able to blend three letter words, they will be introduced with sight words before progressing into more complex blending of 5 letter words.
We have special tools to aid our children in pencil control and help to improve their writing skills.
“Young children learn early mathematical concepts through touching, stacking, sorting, and handling objects as they count them. It is through this manipulation of various materials that children learn to recognize quantities, sequence, and patterns. This is the groundwork for basic mathematical principles. ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Montessori mathematics focuses on the fundamental skills to calculate. Our children learn linear counting and recognition of numerals. It is a natural progression in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division concepts.
Integrated with our Practical Life, our children will enjoy role-playing activities in the learning of Time, Money, Fractions and many others.
Thematic & Cultural
Our environment is beautiful and rich in resources. In Cheston Montessori, we provide our children with exposure to globes and maps, land and water forms, Animal groups.
The aim is for our children to graduate with a very broad knowledge of the world and good insight to biology, science, geography and history.
Differences between Montessori and Traditional Education
|Montessori Education||Traditional Education|
|Children learn at their own pace and follow their own individual interest||Children learn from a set curriculum according to a time frame that is the same for everyone|
|Children learnt through experiencing the materials specially prepared for various learning objectives||Children are taught by the teacher|
|Child can work where he/she is comfortable, move around and talk at will while not disturbing others||Child is usually assigned own chair and encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions|
|Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline||Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline|
|Mixed age groups||Same age groups|
|Working and learning matched to the social development of the child||Working and learning without emphasis on the social development of the child|
|Shared emphasis on intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development||Main emphasis on intellectual development|
|Shared focus on the acquisition of academic, social, practical and life skills||Main focus on academics|
Biography of Dr. Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was born on the 31st August 1870 in the town of Chiaravalle, Italy. Her father, Alessandro, was an accountant in the civil service, and her mother, Renilde Stoppani, was well educated and had a passion for reading.
The Montessori family moved to Rome in 1870 and in 1871 the young Montessori girl enrolled in the local state school. Breaking conventional barriers from the beginning of her education, Maria initially had aspirations to become an engineer.
When Maria Montessori graduated secondary school, she became determined to enter medical school and become a doctor. Despite her parents’ encouragement to enter teaching, Maria wanted to enter the male-dominated sphere of medicine. After initially being refused entry, Maria was eventually given entry to the University of Rome in 1890, becoming the first woman to enter medical school in Italy. Despite facing many obstacles due to her gender, Montessori qualified as a doctor in July 1896.
Soon after her medical career began, Dr Montessori became involved in the Women’s Rights movement. She became known for her high levels of competency in treating patients, but also for the respect she showed to patients from all social classes. In 1897, Dr Montessori join a research programme at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome, as a volunteer. This work initiated a deep interest in the needs of children with learning disabilities. In particular, the work of two early 19th century Frenchmen, Jean-Marc Itard, who had made his name working with the ‘wild boy of Aveyron’, and Edouard Séguin, his student. Montessori was appointed as co-director, of a new institution called the Orthophrenic School.
At the age of twenty-eight Montessori began advocating her controversial theory that the lack of support for mentally and developmentally disabled children was the cause of their delinquency. The notion of social reform became a strong theme throughout Maria’s life, whether it was for gender roles, or advocacy for children.
In 1901 Montessori began her own studies of education philosophy and anthropology, lecturing and teaching students. In this period, the development of Rome meant that children were left at home as their parents worked. The number of children needing a guide and role model presented Maria with an opportunity to work with children with normal development and push her ideas into the mainstream. Dr Montessori opening her Casa dei Bambini in Rome, in1907 bringing some of the educational materials she had developed at the Orthophrenic School.
Dr. Montessori put many different activities and other materials into the children’s environment but kept only those that engaged them. What she came to realise was that children who were placed in an environment where activities were designed to support their natural development had the power to educate themselves. By 1909 Dr Montessori gave her first training course in her new approach to around 100 students. Her notes from this period provided the material for her first book published that same year in Italy, appearing in translation in the United States in 1912 as The Montessori Method, and later translated into 20 languages.
A period of great expansion in the Montessori approach now followed. Montessori societies, training programmes and schools sprang to life all over the world, and a period of travel with public speaking and lecturing occupied Dr Montessori, much of it in America, but also in the UK and throughout Europe.
Having long held the ambition to create her own permanent, long-standing centre for research and development. Montessori was held back by the rise of fascism in Europe. Montessori schools were closed by Nazis and both books and effigies were burned. In 1939, Maria and her son Mario moved to India to lecture, initially intending to travel for only three months, the trip lasted seven years, as the outbreak of war, saw Mario was interned and Maria put under house arrest, as Italian citizens. In India, Maria trained over a thousand Indian Teachers. Returning to Europe, Maria addressed UNESCO in 1947 with the theme of Education and Peace and ultimately receiving her nomination for Nobel Peace Prize in 1949. Maria died in 1952, in the company of her son Mario, to whom she bequeathed the legacy of her work.