Montessori Programs

imageThe DANDY LION MONTESSORI SCHOOL is located in Grover Beach, California. It provides an authentic traditional implementation of the Montessori Method of education, it provides 2 classrooms for children aged 2 1/2 to 6 years of age.

The school is licensed by the State of California Department of Social Services License No. 406204107. The school is affiliated to the International Association of Progressive Montessori. The directing teachers in both classroom hold credentials from the IAPM Organization. The school follows the curriculum and professional code of ethics of IAPM. Therefore parents can rely on consistency in the quality of the program and how it’s delivered.

MONTESSORI PROGRAM

The Montessori approach to education provided at Dandy Lion Montessori School is centered on the uniqueness, individuality, and potential of each developing child. The purpose is to develop the whole child into a well-rounded human being.

Children enter this world with a natural desire to learn and to perfect themselves. Montessori education fulfills this instinctive need by providing a “Prepared Environment” where children are allowed the excitement of learning by choice, rather than by force. In this environment, children develop the “inner discipline” that guides their self-development and the joy of learning.

Individualized lessons and instruction are given to each child as their individual interests and readiness for new concepts is manifested. The multi-age setting fosters socialization between different age groups, provides role models for younger children, and allows for modeling leadership, mentoring skills for the older ones. In addition to academics, the program strengthens virtues such as love, peacefulness, compassion and kindness. Children imbibe values of respect for nature, caring for and acceptance of others, and becoming a responsible member of society.

Mankind’s basic tendencies are for exploration and orientation, order, imitating and abstracting, imagination, forming social groups, communication, independence, discipline, activity, creativity, calculation, and repetition. As they are satisfied, habits for lifelong learning are developed, and children are free to become independent thinkers and learners.

Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) an Italian physician, educator, and anthropologist revolutionized the way in which we value and educate children today. As a physician at the University of Rome, she observed how children learned through the use of their hands. Her vision on how to educate the complete child led her to “educate the senses, and then educate the intellect.”

She pioneered scientifically designed learning materials in an environment specially prepared to meet the inner needs of the developing child. She taught us that nurturing the spirit of the child, and understanding their natural development process, is vital in the complete formation of a competent human being. Her first school was in the projects of San Lorenzo, Italy; opened Jan 1907, where she proved to the world what a child can achieve – Independence, self-confidence, and good self-esteem when given freedom in a specially prepared educational environment.

THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT

The Prepared Environment is designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration. It is carefully and purposefully prepared to allow for freedom of movement. A variety of activities are arranged on the shelves from left to right, top to bottom, easy to difficult, and from concrete to abstract. With order and discipline, the child discovers and manipulates the self-correcting materials on his own without pressure, limitations or criticism. He experiences success each time, and becomes a joyful and confident child motivated from within to learn more.

THE MONTESSORI CURRICULUM

Exercises of Practical Life

imageThese exercises lay the foundation of a Montessori program. They are everyday life skills that children learn in order to function in society. These activities satisfy the need for imitation, and help develop coordination. They enable children to expand their attention span and develop concentration essential for all academic learning to manifest. Independence, self-confidence, body consciousness, and self-awareness develop steadily through the use of materials for: caring for oneself and the environment, social skills of grace and courtesy, and control and refinement of movement. The child is naturally attracted to these delightful activities. By joyfully carrying them out, he/she will prepare the hand to write and the mind to read. Indirect learning lays the best foundation.

Sensorial Exercises

imageAll the faculties of intelligence are developed through the senses, so exploration of the various sensorial materials varying in dimension, color, shape, texture, smell, and taste build up the child’s intellect. These special materials are organized to develop and refine each sense while isolating them from the other senses in the body; thus enabling the utmost refinement of the ability to discriminate quickly. The differences, similarities, and identities enhance the memory, build imagination, and consequently develop appreciation and interpretation of the fine arts.

Mathematics

These are activities by means of which the child does not learn mathematics, but discovers them; acquiring the necessary skills to calculate in the decimal system and explore moving from concrete experiences to abstraction. Using a step by step approach and concrete materials, the child develops a love of math, simply because he understands.

Language

These are activities by which the child acquires, phonetically, the basic skills for complete writing and reading, and at a very early age, understanding of the parts of speech, oral expression, creative writing and interpretative reading and appreciation of prose and poetry. The Language area includes also what we call “keys to the cultural subjects,” because once the child is versatile in the use of all the above skills, he possesses the necessary tools to explore the world of knowledge. So we include Botany, Zoology, Geography, etc.

Cultural Arts

Geography, Botany, Zoology, Art, and Music expose children to the world and enable them to appreciate the importance and the beauty of nature, the diversity of people and their cultures, and it brings together the creative arts and academics, encouraging free expression.

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