Westhaven is proud to offer a Kindergarten and Grade 1 Montessori Program for the 2022-2023 School Year.
The Montessori Method was developed in Italy in the early 1900s by Dr. Maria Montessori. At its core, the Method holds the view that children are naturally curious and eager to learn and that, given adequate adult support within a carefully designed learning environment, children will gain knowledge and skills while maintaining their love of learning.
The Montessori Method strives to take maximum advantage of a child’s stages of growth and development (planes of development). We know from watching babies and toddlers that learning is not a linear process and that not all children learn things at the exact same time. A Montessori teacher is trained to observe a child’s development, abilities, and interests and then systematically and sequentially teach lessons to provide the next step in the child’s learning journey.
Montessori classrooms offer a multi-age-level approach to learning. Students remain with the same teacher for up to three years. This allows for a strong relationship to develop between the teacher and child and between the parent and teacher. Mixed-age classrooms also provide an opportunity to learn from as well as teach their classmates.
Maria Montessori believed that play is the ‘work’ of the child, but you won’t find typical toys in the Montessori classroom. The materials are carefully designed and chosen by the teacher to facilitate a child’s learning. The classroom environment is child-centered and reflects beauty, simplicity, and order.
Other key things to know about the Montessori classroom:
- Emphasis on hands-on independent learning
- Enhanced social interaction and cooperation
- Love of learning is cultivated and reinforced
- Inclusive of special needs - learning is at the child’s pace
- Practical life skills promote fine and gross motor development
- Specialized materials stimulate learning, curiosity, and self-correction
- Inspires love for the natural world and environmental education
- Teaches global citizenship and peace education
- Teaches students to maintain attention and remain focused on work
- Ample open space for movement within the classroom
- Children learn from the teacher and from each other
- Children have a choice of activities within a range of options
- Provides uninterrupted (calm and orderly) blocks of work time
For more information, please call the school at 780-723-3397.
See a Montessori Classroom in Action
The video below provides a look inside a Montessori classroom: