The Montessori method
“The child can develop fully by means of experience in his environment. We call such experiences ‘work’ ” ~ Maria Montessori
PROVIDING THE 2 KEY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
The Montessori approach is based on a philosophy of child development, which respects two fundamental needs:
The freedom to explore, within limits and with guidance
Access to a carefully prepared environment, designed to stimulate and to favour experimentation – the basis of self-learning
This approach takes into account the fact that children have an innate desire to learn and a unique ability to develop their own skills.
Stimulating the “Absorbent mind”
In the first six years of life, Maria Montessori identified that children are directed by their absorbent minds. During this phase, by exploring and absorbing impressions in their environment, children construct their conscious minds, their understanding of the world. Our role is to provide a safe and rich environment for the child, in order to favour this essential process.
Respecting the “Sensitive periods”
From 3 to 6 years of age, children develop their will and their memory. They reach out to interact with specific elements in their environment, corresponding to their current sensitive period (as defined by Maria Montessori). These periods lead the child to focus on:
Movement: mastering precise motor skills is a key to mental development
Order: the child’s foundation for making sense out of the environment
Language: learning accents and grammar at an age when it comes naturally
Small objects: understanding the finer workings of the little things that make up the world
Social behaviour: promoting social grace and interaction for a happy, confident future
The Montessori approach at Little Birds is designed to respect each child’s progress through these sensitive periods. Driven by the child’s self-motivation, the process of learning becomes both joyful and natural.