The Young Children’s Community at La Villa Montessori School hosts children between the ages of 15 and 30 months. The children enjoy their beautiful environment furnished with tables, chairs, shelving, sinks, counters and toilets just the right size for them. Well-planned materials to work with meet their growing needs for exploration, movement, practical life, language, socialization, personal care, wonderment of nature, independence, and self-awareness. The atmosphere is stimulating, nurturing and respectful, allowing each child to experience learning through exploration, while feeling safe, confident, and participating as a member of their community.
An authentic Montessori Casa is one in which children have the opportunity to work at their own pace in a non-competitive environment. Children are guided by their own interests in the areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math and Culture. The role of the Montessori teacher or Director/Directress is not to “teach” but to prepare an environment that meets the individual needs and interests of the children in her care. In this family type setting of mixed ages, children learn from one another while also having the opportunity to be role models for younger children. Children also learn how to be independent members of an interdependent community. They learn how to care for themselves, one another and their environment – lessons that extend far beyond the classroom. A confident, empathetic and joyful child is our primary goal.
The 6 to 12 Elementary Child
“If the idea of the universe be presented to the child in the right way, it will do more for him than just arouse his interest, for it will create in him admiration and wonder, a feeling loftier than any interest and more satisfying. The child’s mind then will no longer wander but becomes fixed and can work…. his intelligence becomes whole and complete because of the vision of the whole that has been presented to him, and his interest spreads to all, for all are linked and have their place in the universe on which his mind is centred.” (Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential)
This is the idea behind ‘Cosmic Education’. All subject areas, Geography, History, Language, Mathematics, Biology, Zoology, Botany, the Arts and Sciences are integrated to the everyday life of the child and presented in a way to allow for connections between the areas.
Montessori education is about human development. We look at the relationship of human beings to the environment with which they live and to the rest of humanity. We aim to develop a sense of wonder in the child in order to stir up the mind, which will lead the child to want to know more. They will work collaboratively in small groups to do further research and projects in order to spark their imagination and engage their intellect. Maria Montessori’s method was to give aid to all aspects to life. We aim to aid the total personality for each individual and to help them find their place in society.
The environment in the Elementary program now reflects the greater capacity of the child, the greater physical stamina and independence, greater intellectual capability and rationality, the need to socialize and to learn how to work as a member of a community. The child’s work is self-construction. The child begins to look beyond the self and is developing the tools and skills necessary for existence in this world. They are moving towards a more social environment moving beyond the immediate environment of home and the school’s physical limitations and begin to interact with society and the surrounding community. Exploration of all subject areas is supported through trips outside of the classroom to explore their community, learn through different specialists, and to further develop their sense of morality and gratitude for their immediate community as well as the community at large.