"Montessori is a philosophy and method of education which emphasizes the potential of the young child and which develops this potential by utilizing specially trained teachers and special teaching materials. The Montessori Method stresses that children learn and progress at their own pace so that fast learners are not held back, and slow learners are not frustrated by their inability to keep up.
We hope that they will develop a positive self-image and be well adjusted to their world. Those of us who have placed our children in Montessori environments realize that this unique approach fosters these qualities. We value the warmth, the respect, and the guidance they receive. Our children's faces reflect a joy of learning, an attention to the task at hand, a pride in independent accomplishment, and a contentment that comes from the fulfillment of their needs. As a parent, you may value this environment without understanding how or why it works. With a basic understanding of the Montessori philosophy and specific suggestions for it's application, you might choose to extend the Montessori environment into your home. You can learn to problem-solve daily hassles by modifying the environment, to give your child lessons will aid him/her in self-sufficiency, and to observe your child in a way that will enable you to understand his/her needs and motives. These are skills that can enhance your relationship with your child, provide a consistency between home and school, and make Montessori a way of life in your home.
The Basics of the Montessori Philosophy
Maria Montessori advocated respect for the dignity of the child and acknowledgement of his/her potential for self-development. Given free choice, the child will be naturally drawn toward that which fulfills his/her innermost needs. First s/he requires the freedom to pursue his/her own plan of development, to make his/her own choices, so long as they do not interfere with the freedom of others. Second, s/he requires an environment that is prepared to meet his/her needs. As adults, we must observe the child to discover his/her needs so that we can modify his/her environment accordingly. There are general stages of development which children progress through at their own rate. Montessori referred to “sensitive periods,” a time when a child is particularly receptive to certain stimuli. If parents are aware of a child's focus in a certain sensitive period, much can be done to facilitate his/her mastery of this aspect of his/her environment that is structured to provide a definite place for objects, will encourage and aid a child maintaining order. Other
Excerpted from the preschool's website