Preschool & Child Care
Montessori Preschool in Minneapolis, MN
While you may have heard the term Montessori school mentioned in passing, most folks have never taken the time for further exploration. In fact, many traditionally-minded parents might even react at the idea with a scoff. This response is entirely misguided. In this day and age, there may be no better environment for a child to learn and develop than a proper Montessori classroom. Really, these nurturing settings have been specifically designed to encourage growth!
To get a better sense of Montessori Schools, it might best serve our interests to take a look the pioneering force behind their initial conception. Maria Montessori was born on the 31st of August, 1870 in an Italian village named Chiaravalle. Graduating from the University of Rome in 1896, she was the first woman in Italy to earn a medical degree.
Upon receiving her degree, Maria began to research and work with mentally disabled children. In 1902, she enrolled in the University of Rome again, this time to obtain a philosophy degree. Although Maria did not graduate, her education for the next few years allowed her to consider adapting her methods of educating mentally disabled children to mainstream education. In 1906, Maria opened her first daycare-center, “The Casa Dei Bambini.” Located in the slums of Rome, she noticed that children would work spontaneously and repeatedly for hours on end if they were given the proper materials. Over time, Montessori saw a real self-discipline start to emerge amongst the children.
Based on these very observations, Montessori started to implement a number of practices that became cornerstones of her eventual educational philosophy. She replaced most standard classroom furniture with child-sized tables and chairs which were light enough for the students to move on their own. She also placed youth-sized materials on low, accessible shelves for them to reach. She expanded the range of practical activities throughout the day to include a wide variety of exercises like flower arranging, hand washing, gymnastics, care of pets and cooking. Lastly, Montessori created a large open-air portion of the classroom which encouraged students to mingle throughout separate lessons and activities.
As time progressed, Maria’s innovative ideas proved wildly successful and started to spread. Montessori schools began to sprout up across the world, each one championing the progressive work of their Italian namesake.
Educational Child Care
To this day, American Montessori schools place great stock in the natural and gentle development of young children. These settings often provide mixed-age classrooms along with uninterrupted blocks of work time. Throughout these periods, a constructivist or "discovery” method is employed, where hands-on experience is encouraged, rather than direct instruction. In many instances, young attendees are permitted to move freely throughout the classroom, selecting the day’s activities on their own.
By selecting our educational child care program, parents can help develop a strong work ethic and sense of fascination within their child. Students will grow comfortable around classmates as they work together to accomplish a common goal. If you’d like to learn more about the advantages of Maria Montessori’s effective philosophy, all you have to do is contact one of the friendly folks at Mandala Montessori in Minneapolis.