The Nampa Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten’s mission is to empower 3-6 year olds by unfolding their potential as a whole and unique person. NMP is committed to an individualized education that allows children to develop at their own pace. Our nurturing environment is created for children to foster a love of learning while developing independence, critical thinking skills, respect and responsibility to self, others and the environment.
The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method was designed to promote the understanding of children and their needs. Children discover in their own way and in their own time. The most important contribution that Montessori makes is in the development of our children’s attitudes and approaches to learning. The four major elements of the method are:
1. Individualized education – Dr. Montessori realized that all children are different and should not be held to the pace or interest of others.
2. Prepared environment conducive to self-discovery – The child is free to move about the classroom at will, to talk to other children, to work with any material whose purpose he/she understand, or to ask the teacher to introduce the new material to him/her. He/she is not free to disturb other children at work or to abuse the material that is so important to his/her development.
3. Self-teaching / self-correcting materials – Montessori materials introduce abstract concepts in a concrete “hands on” way. There are six main areas of the Montessori classroom: practical life; sensorial; language; math; sciences and geography.
4. A Directress (teacher) trained in the Montessori philosophy and methods; the directress prepares the environment, perceives the child’s needs and facilitates the child’s growth in learning. The Directress is the child’s advocate and has respect for the child’s entire being.
The Montessori Environment
A Montessori environment differentiates from the traditional classroom in more ways than just the structure. The materials are arranged in low shelves and the child is free to choose the activities that interest them. The emphasis is on manipulative activities. The learning materials in the environment are referred to as “works”.
Built into most of the Montessori materials is a control of error. The “teacher” is called as a Directress as she does indeed direct activities. The Directress prepares the environment. She is not the center of activity, the children interacting with the environment are. Dr. Montessori felt that the classroom should be a reflection of the real world. With this, she developed the concept of the “family group”. The family group is a balance of children ages three to six and the adults who guide them.
Practical Life: Care of the self and environment with grace and courtesy.
Sensorial: Discrimination by the senses, sensory refinement.
Language: Writing, reading, self-expression and comprehension.
Mathematics: Quantification, computation, reasoning and problem-solving.
Science: Investigation and discovery
Geography: Where we are in space.