The aim of our private preschool Montessori classroom in West Kelowna is to provide children with a wide range of experiences which will support the spontaneous development of the whole child. Maria Montessori identified several "sensitive periods" in a child's life, during which the child is naturally focused on particular areas of learning. The Montessori environment and materials allow the child to explore and learn at their own pace, developing independence, self-awareness and self-confidence.
In a Montessori environment, children develop a work cycle, I.E. choose a work, complete it and clear away. This satisfies the child's need for order, develop concentration and focus and lead to an inner calmness where great learning can take place. We recognize that children have needs to learn independently and cooperatively; thus, in a Montessori environment:
⦁ Children have free choice to move from one work to the next.
⦁ Children can repeat the same work over and over until they feel satisfied.
⦁ Children can engage in a variety of ways socially, such as conversation, partnership work, turn-taking, problem-solving, sharing books and singing.
⦁ Children practice grace and courtesy skills as daily ongoing work.
⦁ Children show respect for others; the environment and the materials.
⦁ Children offer their help to a friend in need.
⦁ Children talk in quiet voices.
⦁ Children walk and are made aware of surroundings to protect others' work from upset.
⦁ Children can choose to stop and have a snack and/or water when they feel the need.
Montessori students are often described as having developed self-discipline, independence, problem solving and organization skills, with a strong sense of self-confidence and a self-driven enthusiasm for learning.