"We must clearly understand that when we give the child freedom and independence, we are giving freedom to a worker already braced for action, who cannot live without working and being active."
-Maria Montessori(The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 91.)
The Montessori method is a critical part of everything we do at House on the Hill. Maria Montessori, through decades of research, developed the following basic tenets for Montessori education, which strongly influence the structure of our programme:
- Mixed-age classrooms, which allow children to learn from each other, minimizing competition and encouraging collaboration
- Freedom of choice for children, who are invited to follow their own instincts to choose activities for themselves within a carefully curated range of options.
- Uninterrupted blocks of time, allowing children to develop focus and persistence
- Play-based model, which facilitates learning through working with materials and minimizes direct instruction from teachers.
- Specialized educational materials often made out of natural, aesthetic materials such as wood, rather than plastic. These pieces are produced using sustainable resources and environmentally-friendly manufacturing methods and meet strict safety standards. Often, the look, shape, feel and colour have been developed through consultation with child psychologists.
- A purposefully designed learning environment which features toys, materials, manipulatives and equipment that are organized by subject area, developmentally appropriate and easily accessible.
- Teachers who serve as guides, observing each child's strengths, interests and challenges and helping them to progress at their own pace.Their own learning path specific to their individual needs and abilities.
Our programme will not only help children develop the basic knowledge needed for their future education, but the freedom, flexibility and individualization of the process will, more importantly, foster a lifelong love of learning.