In the first three years of life, the brain of a child develops at an astonishing rate. In fact, these early years see more cognitive development take place than the remainder of an entire lifespan. A Montessori approach to the early years involves a deep respect for a young child’s innate desire to learn during this critical time, aiming to nurture and develop that desire into a natural lifelong love of learning and interest in the world.
Help Me to Do It Alone
Maria Montessori understood that children want and need independence. Her motto “Help me to do it alone” is one which we live by at Kendalwood and these words are proudly displayed in all of our classrooms.
Toddler (ages 1 – 2.5) and Pre-Casa (ages 3-5) development is best supported through opportunities to observe, explore, and manipulate their environment and a Montessori classroom is prepared to encourage independence. Montessori follows the child; their interests, strengths, and curiosities. This allows for a child to learn and develop at her own pace which leads to a better head start for further learning.
In a Montessori environment, we refer to a child’s work whereas others might call it play. A child’s play is their work and therefore it is with careful consideration that we set up the learning environment. Everything the child comes in contact with is designed to facilitate independent learning. In contrast with less considered play-based approaches, Montessori enables the child to create themselves through meaningful ‘work’ and applies practical life skills on a daily basis. Practical life in Montessori gives children the opportunity to complete everyday tasks and develop skills such as hands on care of one’s self (dressing, putting on shoes, washing hands), setting the table, caring for plants and contributing to care of the home and school environment. This work develops true self-confidence and self-sufficiency and sets a strong foundation for self-directed learning.
“When examined through the lens of environmental enrichment and brain development, Montessori education presents a radically different – and radically effective – educational approach that may be the best method we’ve got to ensure the optimal cognitive, social, and emotional development of every child.”
– Dr. Steven Hughes, Ph.D, President, American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology
The Montessori approach has been praised as the most developmentally appropriate model currently available by top experts on early childhood and elementary education. At Kendalwood, we believe in Montessori as the path to building the skills so necessary for success in the contemporary world. Our philosophy is centered on teaching for understanding, as it is of the utmost importance that our students gain knowledge through understanding, rather than develop the ability to retain information by rote. Through Montessori, children develop critical thinking and problem solving skills which become key attributes that remain throughout academic pursuits and life.
Research conducted by the International Montessori Council suggests that Montessori children are better prepared for academic achievement and exhibit enhanced social development over students from other educational approaches. For any parent considering daycare, preschool or private school education, we encourage you to learn more about Montessori and what it can do for your child. Please contact us at Kendalwood to answer any questions or to elaborate on our approach to helping each of our students reach their unique potential. Discover the Kendalwood difference.
Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.