Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.  - Maria Montessori
PIONEER MEADOWS

MONTESSORI

Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian educator and Italy’s first female physician, based her work on the direct observation of children, and created a program and materials that complement and follow the natural development of the child. She opened her first Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) in Rome, Italy, in 1906. Today, Montessori schools flourish around the world, nurturing and educating children from birth through secondary school. Fundamental to Montessori’s view is a deep respect for the child and his/her potential to learn and develop into a complete human being.

Dr. Montessori’s developmentally appropriate approach to learning is designed to accept each child, rather than making each individual fit into a preset program. She believed that learning would best take place in multi-aged classrooms where children at different stages of development would learn from and teach each other by example. This learning takes place in a collaborative and individualized environment, so that each child can grow at his or her own pace.

Dr. Montessori observed that the best way for children to learn is through hands-on experiences. She developed the ideas of the prepared environment, where the classroom contains a wide variety of carefully designed materials that foster learning in many key areas. The materials do not just impart knowledge, but provide children with stimuli that capture their attention and initiate a process of exploration and concentration.



PARENT EDUCATION

Pioneer Meadows Montessori provides a very rich and insightful Parent Education Program. Parents’ understanding  [Silent Journey 1] of the methodology can truly assist a child’s success at school. For this reason, we usually offer six parent education meetings throughout the school year. Each meeting focuses on a theme or a subject areas, such as sensory materials, the planes of development, cosmic education, mathematics, and language. We also hold Parent-Child Night, when children host their parents in the classroom, giving them a tour and showing them some of their favorite activities and projects.

One of our most popular programs is Silent Journey, a Friday night and Saturday program for parents only, during which parents get to experience the classroom as their children do, receiving presentations of materials from teachers as if they were the student. Most meetings include handouts for future reference, and social time to give parents the opportunity to meet and mingle. Refreshments are typically provided and limited childcare is available for a minimal fee.

FAMILY RESOURCES

Websites:
Insightful Montessori Essays  http://mariamontessori.com/mm
Kids Talk http://marenschmidt.com/kids-talk-blog/
Montessori Madmen blog   www.montessorimadmen.com
http://amiusa.org
http://www.montessori-namta.org

Books:
Understanding Montessori: A Guide for Parents, Maren Schmidt
Montessori Madness: A Parent to Parent Argument, Trevor Eissler
Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three, Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen
Montessori - A Modern Approach, Paula Polk Lillard
Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Angelina Stoll Lillard
The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori
Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
Siblings without Rivalry, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Materials:
www.forsmallhands.com
A catalog of child-size Practical Life and other materials offered by Montessori Services, from kitchen items, yard tools, and musical instruments to building games.