Montessori is a widespread educational environment that contains specially designed, manipulative materials that attract children to engage in learning activities of their own individual choice. Under the guidance of a certified Montessori teacher, children in a Montessori classroom learn by making discoveries with the materials, cultivating concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and love of learning.
Montessori education is a course experience; it builds on the continuing self-construction of the child-daily, weekly, yearly-for the duration of the program. Although Montessori schools are divided into multi-age classrooms – parent infant (ages 0 to 3) and preschool and kindergarten (ages 3 to 6) – the prepared environments introduce an uninterrupted series of learning channels, a continuum.
In the prepared environment, there is a selection of activity as well as a great deal of movement. In our preschool classroom, for example, a three year old may be washing clothes by hand while a four year old close by is creating words and phrases with letters known as the movable alphabets, and five year old is performing multiplication using a particular designed set of beads.
In the calm, ordered area of the Montessori prepared environment, children work on activities of their own choice at their own pace. They live through a blend of freedom and self-discipline in a place particularly designed to meet their developmental needs.