Montessori Kindergarten and Preschool System
On this page you will find out what we do to develop your child into a well rounded individual by utilizing the methods develop by Dr Maria Montessori. Our preschool located in Piasau, Miri, is specially designed and equipped with all the facilities and tools that facilitates in your children learning via the Montessori Way.
What can our Montessori Kindergarten / Preschool Programme do for your child.
As an educational approach, the focus is on the individuality of each child in respect of his needs and talents. Children who experience the joy of learning are believed to be happy, confident and fulfilled.
Montessori lessons work in a methodical way. Each step leads directly to a new level of learning or concept. When a child plays, he or she is really learning the basics for later concepts. Repetition of activities is considered an integral part of this learning process. The Montessori Method is hands on learning. It encourages children to develop their observation skills by doing many types of activities. It includes use of the kinetic movements, the five senses, spatial refinement, small and large motor skills coordination and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction. The child proceeds at his or her own pace onto abstract thinking, writing, reading, cultural, mathematical and most importantly, to absorb their cultural environment. These cultural lessons are used to introduce concepts that will be of use in reading comprehension, especially through the use of nomenclature cards with both labels and pictures.
The main goal of our Montessori program is to provide a stimulating, child oriented environment in which children can explore, touch, and learn without fear. In a Montessori classroom, everything is oriented to the child. There is no teacher’s desk as she takes a backseat and acts as a guide and facilitator.
Here are a list of some of the things that your child will learn throughout this Montessori Preschool Programme:
1) Reading and Writing in English
2) Reading and Writing in Chinese
3) Reading and Writing in Bahasa Malaysia
5) Cultural Study
6) Arts and Craft
7) Botany, Zoology, and many more including learning by using the objects and tools which is the hallmark of the Montessori Method.
Next we will explain in detail the kinds of environment that your child will be learning in. The special Montessori Prepared Environment is designed to bring out the natural talents and inclinations of your child through various social dynamics, tools and work toys.
The prepared environment
In the Montessori learning environment, children are placed into what is known in the Montessori Method as the prepared environment where the child to become physically independent of the adult. They are able to do things for themselves so they learn to choose and decide certain things independently. The environment must allow for this both in the way that the materials are prepared and in the approach of the adults.
I will first explain the main 6 principles of the Prepared Environment.
Definition: “An environment designed to meet the child’s need for ‘self-construction’ and to reveal his personality and growth to us so that we may assist him in the most appropriate manner to accomplish his work” – Dr Maria Montessori.
In order to achieve freedom for the child to follow his natural impulses, Dr Maria Montessori proposed a prepared environment.
The safety provided by such an environment gave the child protection so that he could explore freely and develop his potential and his knowledge of the world around him. The child has freedom of movement, freedom to explore, freedom from interference from other children and adults and the freedom to interact socially. This freedom gradually leads to a greater understanding of the world around him and therefore freedom of choice.
2. Structure and Order
The natural order of the universe should be reflected in the classroom. Through internalizing the order of his environment, the child begins to make sense of the world around him. There is a sensitive period for order in a child’s life. The teacher helps the child achieve order and structure in his environment by offering ‘ground rules’ and guidance in the completion of his task (the work cycle).
The interpretation of beauty to which Dr Maria Montessori most often refers to is harmony. This includes beauty for both within the external and internal worlds. She also refers to beauty as being that which is simple and not luxurious. In her meaning of beauty, she also included the attitude of human being towards each other and the atmosphere which such an attitude created.
4. Nature and Reality
Dr Maria Montessori drew attention to the importance of allowing the child to grow up close to nature and encouraging him to become a keen observer of it. In the modern world, access to the natural world and awareness of it seems to be more important than ever. Reality in the classroom means that furniture and implements should be child sized so that the child is able to use them. The child is comfortable and free which helps them to develop useful skills that have a purpose.
5. Social Environment
The spontaneous impulse within the child to be a social animal is best fostered where there is freedom of interaction. Co-operation is encouraged instead of competition. Vertical grouping is preferable and is considered more natural than grouping by age. The attitude of caring for and awareness of others is fostered from a very young age.
6. The Intellectual Environment
The five areas of the Montessori curriculum which are 1) Exercises of Practical Life, 2) Sensorial, 3) Language, 4) Mathematics and Cultural Subjects are presented to the child through concrete learning materials that provided the basis for intellectual development.
The Three Stages Of Growth
Now, after learning the structure of the environment that your child will be growing in, let us give you more information about the 3 stages of development that your chill will go through. It is important to understand the stages of growth that you child is going through to better serve him and assist in his growth into adulthood.
The three main stages of development are these group stages.
Stage 1 – Age 0 to 6
Stage 2 – Age 6 to 12
Stage 3 – Age 12 to 18
Stage 1 – Age 0-6
Dr Maria Montessori has always said that the first period of life was the most important because children in this stage are very weak, delicate, sensitive and helpless. Children in stage 1 experience extreme rapid growth and great changes. Other than being helpless, they are also without self-consciousness, language and memory. Everything must be constructed. They need the greatest care in this stage and should have plenty of sleep and food that contains all the protein, mineral and vitamins for rapid growth. They should be protected from all kinds of disease, infections and especially fevers. The young child should lead quiet, regular life with plenty of activities but without over-exertion and over-excitement. Everything begins in childhood.
Among primitive people, usually mothers take their new born babies in the arms. The baby needs this help from her the most at the beginning of life. It is a mistake to assume that because the baby cries, he must be hungry. Sometimes, the baby could be crying due to loneliness and needs to be petted and talked to. If a mother misinterprets every cry as a hunger sign and feeds him instead of talking to him, he will suffer from mental starvation. He will not develop language well or respond to as a loving person.
The safest way to remember the Montessori way is by what Dr Maria Montessori said: “Don’t look at the method, look at the child.” This essentially means that the Montessori way is a child centric system.
If we look at the child, we shall feel love and respect for the marvelous little child and we shall find the right way to look after them. If we wish to help the baby in his development, we must be very observant. The baby must begin to explore his environment through his senses. Interest is more important in the learning process than the exact degree of intelligence. A baby may have a very active mind and may not have the knowledge of an adult. However, he has an amazing capacity to process his mind. Dr Maria Montessori believed that the mind of a child at this stage is like the camera. He observed everything and the records are fixed forever and this is what we call the ABSORBENT MIND because it can learn so much without effort. Besides giving the young the opportunity to absorb knowledge, we must not interfere too much in an arbitrary way through direct teaching.
Stage 2 – Age 6-12
During the second stage of growth, the child has developed the adaptability, confidence and maturity to move on. They are stronger and are not predisposed to so many diseases. They have great vitality and tremendous energy, both mental as well as physical. They should have plenty of school work and every kind of outdoor activity to keep them occupied. Children in the 6-12 years of age are capable of really studying a certain subject if the subject matter is presented to them in the right way. They have intense thirst for knowledge. The child wants to know about the world and his place within it and can appreciate the interconnectedness of all things and people around them. When they are not given the opportunity to learn and progress, they are likely to become bored and lose all interest in school work.
Stage 3 – Age 12 to 18
At the beginning of the third period, this is a time of rapid growth accompanied by the physiology changes of puberty. There is a change in the functioning of the glands and this causes moodiness, irritability and skin problems. They like to sleep late and it is difficult to get them to do chores and the early part of this period is not a time for serious study or for strenuous sports.
In summary, Dr Montessori built her routine education approach around the special needs and characteristics of each stage of development of the child. By studying the child with love and care, we will succeed in building a generation that will grow up being capable of building a better world.
There have been quite a few famous and well known people in the world today that have graduated from the Montessori School System. Let us show you some of the famous Montessorians living within our midst.