Montessori Method

Our classroom has been carefully prepared to encourage development of children’s sensitivity for language, order, movement, refining of senses and good manners. All educational materials are readily available to promote their natural enthusiasm to promote children’s natural enthusiasm.

What Is Montessori?

The Montessori approach respects two fundamental needs of a child's development; the need to be free to explore and the need for stimulation from a prepared environment that favors experimentation.

We believe all children possess an innate desire to learn, but in their own way, at their own pace. The fundamental role as an educator is to nurture that desire, while respecting the inherent qualities and personalities of each and every child. 

Our classrooms are designed for discovering the pillars of knowledge through carefully selected and laid-out materials, which stimulate the imagination and isolate concepts. The educator acts as a guide and a reassuring presence, without interfering in the child’s self-learning. Such an approach takes the child on the path to self-confidence and autonomy.

Our role is to provide a safe and rich environment for the child. The point is to acquire a skill at the right time, when it can be mastered with confidence and joy.

FAQ

How does our Montessori school prepare children for the transition to public education ?

By implementing Montessori pedagogy at the core of our program, we ensure to integrate the objectives of the Romand Education Plan (PER), guaranteeing a smooth transition to public education. Our curriculum aims to cultivate key skills such as autonomy, critical thinking, and collaboration, while also developing early language, mathematics, geography, and science skills.

How does our Montessori school address the individual needs of each child ?

In our classroom, children are encouraged to explore and learn at their own pace, choosing from a variety of activities. We closely observe each child's progress and interests, a feature less common in public schools where programs tend to be more uniform.

What opportunities do parents have to engage with the school community and contribute to their child's education in our Montessori school ?

At Montessori Little Birds, we encourage parental participation through collective meetings at the beginning of the school year and annual individual meetings. Additionally, parents have the opportunity to observe classes and their children's work, fostering a close bond between parents and the school.

Are there financial support options or aid programs available for families interested in enrolling their child in our school ?

We offer various alternatives to make Montessori education accessible to all. Preferential rates are available for enrollments over a period of 2 to 3 years or when the child has already reached the mandatory school age (4 years old by July 31st). Feel free to contact us for more information.

How does the classroom setup in a Montessori school differ from a typical classroom ?

Montessori classrooms are designed to promote independence and exploration in children. Children have access to a wide range of activities designed to stimulate their curiosity and creativity. Unlike traditional classrooms found in public schools, Montessori rooms are ergonomically designed to meet the specific needs of children.

How are children's progress evaluated in a Montessori school ?

Montessori schools generally use a holistic evaluation approach, focusing on the overall development of the child rather than standardized assessments. Progress is continuously and individually tracked, allowing teachers to better understand each child's needs and adapt their teaching accordingly.

What is the pedagogical philosophy of Montessori schools, and how does it differ from traditional public school methods ?

The Montessori philosophy offers an educational approach that truly places the child at the center of their learning. By focusing on autonomy, self-discipline, and respect for each child's individuality, Montessori pedagogy creates an environment conducive to the flourishing of each student. This stands in contrast to traditional public school methods, which often follow a more directive and uniform model, with teacher-centered instruction. This approach fosters the holistic development of the child, cultivating curiosity, creativity, and self-confidence.

The Proven Benefits

Children who complete the full 3 years of Montessori Little Bird education, receive very concrete benefits:

A Life Long Love of Learning

Problem Solving Abilities

Self Confidence

Increased Manual Dexterity

Self Esteem

A Sense of Community

Who was Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952) was a pioneer, a revolutionary figure in history and the face of Montessori education. She was an Italian physician and educator, who devoted her life to understanding how children develop socially, intellectually and spiritually. Through her observations in early childhood she discovered universal patterns of development in children.

Maria Montessori was one of the first female doctors of her time, successfully directing a psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome and working in an orthophrenic school. As Rome developed substantially, leading to the creation of ghettos around the city, Montessori began advocating that the lack of support for children was causing delinquency. In an attempt to prevent this misconduct, she was offered the opportunity to offer her guidance to the children of these areas. 

In 1907, she opened the first Montessori school in San Lorenzo, a poor district of Rome. With time, she observed that a nurturing environment gave the children the profound desire to learn and flourished when they were left free to direct their own learning. All of the notes she took during this time were later published in her first book “The Montessori Method” which founded the Method. 

Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950 and 1951 and continued working, teaching and writing up to the time of her death. Over the past one hundred years children throughout the world have benefited from this educational approach that supports, nurtures, and protects natural development. Maria Montessori’s legacy lives on in the children whose lives are touched by her discoveries about life.

recommended reading

“The Absorbent Mind” by Maria Montessori

“The Discovery of the Child”  by Maria Montessori

“The Secret of Childhood” by Maria Montessori

“The Child in the Family” by Maria Montessori

“Education and Peace” by Maria Montessori

“Her Life and Work” by E.M. Standing

Montessori and Neuroscience

The fascinating research on the benefits of a Montessori education on student problem solving skills by Dr. Solange Denervaud, a Swiss Montessori teacher of 3-6 year olds (AMI diploma 2010) with a Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience stems from personal experience while teaching.

Denervaud said she “observed students’ daily evolution. Curious and courteous, the students were hungry to learn and possessed a great ability to cooperate. This aroused my curiosity concerning their brain function.” (1)  Focused on children aged 5-12, Denervaud’s research has confirmed that the pedagogical environment in which children aged 3-14 are educated can influence their manner of dealing with their own mistakes, ability to learn from them and the mistakes of others (2). When compared with outcomes of traditionally taught children who participate in repetitive tasks until they are sure of their results, Denervaud’s research shows that Montessori educated children are less afraid to make mistakes, respond more quickly due to lack of fear of being wrong and are more creative in their solutions than students in traditional schooling (2). These differences manifested themselves through the students’ behavior, responses, and by activating different areas in their brains when reflecting on activities (3). These results have been warmly welcomed by Montessori associations, such as ARDEM (4) and schools like Montessori Little Birds, Geneva, since they bring to the forefront what Montessori teachers, parents of Montessori trained children and those children themselves have always known: being able to learn from errors, helps children better adapt, learn and innovate in both educational settings and in life (3). 

References (in French only)

Our daughter’s 3 years at Little Birds has been very satisfying. Montessori has allowed her to develop into an independent little person. Her eagerness to learn has been relentlessly fueled at the right level, her curiosity has been satisfied with activities including art and music. Little Birds has been the right choice for her. Her reading, writing and counting is very well-grounded, which will most certainly serve her in the years to come. The efficient bilingual immersion has definitely developed her appetite for English and clearly given her a strong base from which to master it in the future. We are extremely thankful for the way she has developed and grown over the last 3 years at Little Birds. She has learned so much! ”

Mother of Charlotte aged 5