We respect the individuality of each child in our school, recognizing that with young children there is not one timetable for development. Children are allowed to progress at their own pace, neither restrained nor rushed based solely on age. New challenges and lessons are offered to the children based on their readiness, using age as a guideline.
Maria Montessori described “sensitive periods”; developmental stages during which children have an intense interest in learning language, colors, sense of order, etc. The children spend most of the school day working on self-chosen activities, allowing them to follow their interests and master their skills. Teachers serve as guides to offer the appropriate lessons and guidance but most of the learning takes place through repetitive interaction with the didactic materials. Most lessons are presented either one-on-one or in small groups to a child or children who are ready for that particular new challenge.
The mixed-age grouping in the 3-6 year old classes allow for younger children to learn from their older classmates. The older children serve as mentors to the younger children and can help them as needed, allowing for a lot of peer teaching. The older children develop self-confidence and self-esteem when they are called upon to assist a classmate.
10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we both see and hear, 70% of what is discussed with others, 80% of what we experience personally, and 95% of what we teach someone else. William Glasser