Why Choose Montessori
Maria Montessori envisioned education as “an aid to life” and the child as “both a hope and promise for mankind”. It is becoming more difficult to anticipate the kind of world in which our children will be living in the future. In order for our children to fully function in this world, and actively adapt to it, they need first to understand and feel compassion towards their present world and to love being a part of it.
A Montessori education for the young leraner (3 to 6 years old) gives your child an excellent foundation by giving them tools with which to explore the world around them. Children in a Montessori classroom explore social relationships daily as they spend their time at school actively engaged and interacting with other children of different ages.
They are able to develop deep concentration by having uninterrupted periods of time to explore and discover what is in their environment, independently choosing purposeful, child-directed activities
"Clearly, we have a social duty towards this future man, this man who exists as a silhouette around the child, a duty towards this man of tomorrow. Perhaps a great future leader or a great genius is with us and his power will come from the power of the child he is today. This is the vision which we must have."
Maria Montessori, The 1946 London Lectures
Montessori education follows the natural development of the child. At Dandelion, we enroll students from 3 to 6 years old. Children all around the world go through the same developmental changes as they grow. Physically, they lose their baby teeth, learn to walk and learn to talk at approximately the same age. They also go through psychological changes at fixed periods in their lives. Montessori guides follow the developmental needs of each child and introduce them to concepts that they can more readily absorb at each of the different stages of their development.
Young children learn through their senses; primarily through movement and by manipulating the various objects and equipment they come across in their environment. The Montessori environment is full of carefully chosen materials that enable this sensorial and hands-on, concrete learning for the child. These materials often isolate one quality or one concept which children may discover in their environment.
Montessori guides are trained to help your child create a sense of order within the world they experience by connecting them to the materials. This, in turn, helps the child to make sense of the outside world as they experience it in their daily life. While Montessori classrooms can accommodate children with a range of abilities, from highly gifted to those with mild learning differences, our guides are not specialised in either of these fields and we can only accept children whom we know would benefit from the programme we offer.
A Montessori education encourages children to develop strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The Montessori method prompts children to ask questions, explore, and see connections between everything they are learning and discovering in their daily lives.
Being a part of a close-knit community, the children learn to work and collaborate with others. A characteristic often observed in a Montessori classroom is that of respect; respect for themselves, for their environment and everything in it, and for their peers and teachers. The classroom is set up in a way which provides numerous opportunities to develop self-awareness and self-regulation throughout the day.
The Montessori curriculum for children aged 3 to 6 years old can be divided into five areas
Activities in this area help with coordination and the refinement of movement. Children are shown how to take care of themselves, their environment, and others, through hands-on activities. By practising and perfecting various movements needed to do meaningful activities, such as cooking, gardening, and cleaning, children begin to feel that they are an important part of their community. These activities not only build independence and self-confidence but also teach important life skills. They also actively assist the brain to process and organise all the different pieces of information they absorb daily.
"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."
Sensorial materials are specifically designed to provide concrete examples of abstract concepts such as colour, texture, sound, taste, and scent. Working with these materials allows children to develop a structure and vocabulary for the knowledge they acquire through each of the five senses. As these materials introduce one quality at a time, children become aware of various concepts found in the world around them.
"The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge."
Acquiring language is a significant part of a young child’s develoment - to the extent that for the first 6 years of life, it is one of the predominant tasks of the child. Through songs, stories, and conversations they have throughout the day, and by navigating social interactions, children learn to appreciate how language bonds us together. Starting with pre-writing and pre-reading skills, the child is given numerous opportunities to write and read with joy and enthusiasm.
"The development of language is part of the development of the personality, for words are the natural means of expressing thoughts and establishing understanding between people."
Children become immersed in the fascinating world of numbers through the use of the Montessori Maths material. These materials are designed to support their understanding and exploration of mathematical concepts in a hands-on, concrete way.
The value of the Maths materials lies in their ability to help children develop a deep and intuitive understanding of mathematical concepts by providing children with a tangible and visual representation of these concepts. By using these materials, children are able to learn through exploration and discovery rather than memorisation or rote learning.
"This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child's special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation. Thus they carry out an abstract mental operation and acquire a kind of natural and spontaneous inclination for mental calculations."
Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child
History, geography, music, art, biology, science, poetry, drama, dance… Culture is the rich and limitless part of the curriculum. The guides expose the children to aspects of the real world through lessons presented in an engaging and hands-on way, often bringing into the classroom real examples from the outside world. This includes hands-on science experiments, the study of art and artists, composers, inventors, philosophers, and historical figures amongst others.
Cultural activities broaden the children's understanding of the world and encourage a sense of joy and wonder. The children's interests and curiosity often act as catalysts for further exploration.
"The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences."