20301 Fulks Farm Road
Montgomery Village, MD 20886
"Village Montessori School is dedicated to the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. She was trained as a doctor thus bringing a scientific approach to the education of young children. This led to a unique method of learning, helping the child during early development and throughout his life.
Her philosophy is based on love for the child and respect for his/her dignity and worth as a person, with the objective of helping each develop to his fullest potential. Characteristics such as self-confidence, initiative, independence, persistence, increased curiosity, ability to concentrate and a sense of order are encouraged.
Dr. Montessori discovered that a child from birth to three years old has an absorbent unconscious mind. She felt that during this time children unconsciously take in as a sponge the whole of their environment. In so doing, they accumulate the materials from which they will later construct their conscious life. She felt that movement was integral to this process.
Dr. Montessori called the period from three to six the stage of the child's absorbent conscious mind containing sensitive periods in development which are transitory, reveal psychic aptitudes and possibilities which burn brightly and then disappear.
She said the essence of a sensitive period in human development is a burning intellectual love, a drama of love between a child and his environment.
When the education of children is in tune with their sensitive periods, they work with a sustained enthusiasm which has to be seen to be believed. If a child misses some of the sensitive periods in his development, he will still grow into an adult. However, he will not be so strong or so perfect an individual as if he had been able to utilize these fleeting periods in his young life.
The sensitive period for learning language begins long before a baby can walk and talk and continues until around age six. From seven to nine the construction of language fascinates the child and he then enters a sensitive period for relationships between words or grammar.
A child's sensitive period for order begins about his second year, is brightest in his third, and begins to fade after the fourth. During this time he displays an almost passionate interest in the order of things both in time and space. The sensitive period for the refinement of his senses begins in the child at about two and a half and lasts until six. During this time, the sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom will be made available to him so that he may compare and grade colors, textures, shape and dimension of objects, sounds, scents and tastes.
A child is most interested in learning how to perform precise movements from two and a half to four years of age. The best age for learning to write is from three and a half to four and a half. The sandpaper letters will be introduced at this time while the child is most interested in the shape of letters.
The introduction of math to a young child begins with his drive toward order and exactness at around age two. At around three he will begin to recognize numerals and to work with counting exercises. By six, most Montessori children are very comfortable with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of four digit numbers, the decimal system and fractions.
Repetition is a vital part of the Montessori philosophy of education. Since the work of learning is internal, only a child himself knows how many times he needs to repeat any given exercise to make it part of him.
Learning good manners and social graces are also most beneficial to a child of two and a half to six years and are introduced in a Montessori way through lessons in grace and courtesy.
We believe that our job in aiding the child in his work of self construction from age two to six is to provide the best conditions, the especially prepared environment of a Montessori classroom. Then he can act freely on his own initiative using his hands as the instrument of his mind as he learns spontaneously and without fatigue.
Excerpted from the preschool's website