Every aspect of the rich curriculum at the Follow the Child Montessori is designed to be faithful to Dr. Montessori’s principles of early childhood education; principles that have been validated by current scientific and educational research. Dr. Montessori believed that learning is a natural process and that children learn best by doing. Follow the Child’s shelves offer the most beautiful, well-designed and integrated Montessori materials available to stimulate children to follow their natural interests and to hone their skills.
Our curriculum is an academic one, consisting of age appropriate activities in Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, Science, Geography, Botany, Cultural Studies, Spanish and Art. The carefully prepared Montessori environment in each complete classroom includes the self-correcting Montessori manipulatives which allow the child to learn by challenging himself. Concentration, independence, coordination and a sense of order are developed without the need for adult intervention. This promotes a feeling of success within the child and strengthens his self esteem. These are key factors to develop within the child a love of learning. We adhere to the Montessori Method and its philosophy. Our teachers are certified Montessori teachers with training from an American Montessori Society approved training center. Montessori philosophy “prepares children for life”, not just the next academic level, by cultivating within the child his own natural curiosity and desire to learn. It recognizes the child’s ability to absorb from the environment that which he needs to develop – the tools for life-long learning – a process which continues outside of the classroom. This environment includes the prepared environment of the classroom, the home environment and natural environment.
The Montessori Method is an individual approach in which the teachers are trained to recognize each child’s individual needs through careful observation. In this way, she can provide challenging academic, social and emotional experiences in a carefully prepared environment. This environment not only includes the hands-on manipulatives that Montessori is famous for, but includes activities and experiences in art, music, drama, field trips and social interaction. Thus the child acquires information at his own pace, in a natural and joyful manner that is satisfying to the child.
A Culture of Caring
Our director and assistant teachers are all trained in the specialized and respectful language patterns taught by Chick Moorman through his Parent Talk and Teacher Talk workshops. The consistency of self-responsible language practiced by both teachers and children creates a culture of caring in our school.
Our beautiful outdoor spaces provide many opportunities for our students to connect with nature. Each spring our students participate in the preparation of and planting of our organic gardens. The students learn about watering and weeding and then finally harvesting the garden in the fall. We plant tomatoes, onions, basil, cilantro, zucchini, cucumbers, snow peas, peppers and pumpkins. In the fall, children enjoy making homemade salsa after they have harvested their own home-grown vegetables. We also plant a sunflower garden and in the fall we remove the heads and create an activity with tweezers for the children to pluck the seeds to save for replanting and some for sharing with the local birds.
Our corn maze is a special source of learning and fun! In the spring, our students plant corn in our specially designed corn maze garden boxes. The corn is cared for and watered all spring and summer and in the fall, the corn is fully grown and the children are able to walk through the maze during outdoor recess. In November, as part of our Native American studies, the children and teachers cut down the maze and construct a wigwam with the cornstalks on our dome climber. The wigwam is then outfitted with a pretend bear-skin rug, a pretend fire circle, baskets and woven sleeping mats. The children truly enjoy the home they’ve built together. This is a special learning experience unique to our school and a connection to culture and nature that our students cherish.