Ages 3 to 6
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the goal of education is to help each child reach his or her full potential. In a Montessori classroom, children cultivate their own desire to learn in an environment that is supportive and challenging. The children are grouped in three-year age spans. This grouping promotes a sense of family or community as well as providing role models for the younger children. The primary Montessori environment promotes the development of motor skills, a sense of order, concentration, and independence. The Montessori curriculum, under the direction of a Montessori-certified teacher, allows the child to experience the joy of discovery and learning. Dr. Maria Montessori reasoned that a child’s experiences could be enriched by a classroom where specially designed and beautiful materials demonstrate basic educational information. The multi-sensory, sequential and self-correcting materials facilitate the learning of skills leading to abstract ideas. There is nothing a child cannot touch, for this is how a child learns. Learning becomes an exciting opportunity rather than a chore to be completed.
Curriculum Materials and Instructional Methods
At the Montessori School of Florence, the learning environment, teacher, room, materials, and social climate is supportive of the child. The teacher gains the child’s trust, which enables him or her to explore and to build self-confidence. A Montessori teacher is educated for a year of study in an accredited Montessori teacher education program after achieving the Bachelor of Arts degree. The teacher’s role is to observe, guide, and assist the child with learning. The teacher gives lessons in various size groups and individually. Each child is challenged to move forward with lessons tailored to meet his or her needs. The child needing extra time to explore a topic will be allowed the needed time to facilitate learning the concept. When a child learns a new concept quickly, he or she will be allowed to advance to the next level of learning and explore new topics. Areas of curriculum in the classroom include practical life, sensorial, language, math, science, geography, art, music, movement, and Spanish. The Toddler and Primary programs are licensed by the Department of Social Services and adhere to strict guidelines of health and safety.