At the Almonte Learning Garden, your child will be introduced to new concepts every week, and then observed so that they can work and explore the ideas freely. Many of the ideas include hands-on activities, which help children develop concentration and self-control. In the Montessori classroom, we freely use the word ‘work’ because we understand that it is satisfying to work.

Montessori makes use of innate developmental drives to help children discover the world around them.

From the time of birth through to school-age, children instinctively yearn to interpret the culture and society that they live in. Montessori Teacher/Guides understand that children share many developmental needs and interests, including:

Language –  At the Almonte Learning Garden we never speak down to the children.  We are aware that vocabulary and sentence structures acquired during this ’embryonic’ kindergarten phase impacts the child’s learning ability in high school and beyond.  In addition, we always have a rich selection of books.  The Montessori language curriculum includes special materials that allow a child to teach themself how to write and then to read.

Mobility – Children move freely around the classroom.  Many of the games and activities encourage the children to cross the room repeatedly or try out new physical activities. We also have a large selection of outdoor activities that help the children refine various motor skills.

Logic – Dr. Maria Montessori spent many years observing the way children classify their world. She noticed that if children are exposed to knowledge in a simple and sequential manner they will learn very quickly. But her goal was not to teach specific knowledge to children, but to help them learn how to learn. Observing that young children absorb knowledge through their senses, Dr. Montessori developed materials that help a child classify the experiences that they have. These precise and pretty materials use the gustatory, olfactory, visual, auditory and stereognostic senses to help the child understand and interpret the world around them. Once the child has developed an inner logic they are able to apply the logic to complex skills like reading, mathematics, scientific inquiry and even hands on projects.

Socialisation – People are social animals. We love each other’s company. We get joy from communicating, from sharing, and from small acts of kindness. At the Almonte Learning Garden we believe in the natural goodness of the child. We use guidance and clear explanations of other people needs, rather than rewards and punishment to guide the children.

Care of Self and the Environment – Many scientists have tried to define ways that humans differ from other animals. One argument is that we are tool users. Humans uniquely and routinely use various tools to adapt our environment and small children are no exception. Children are fascinated by the use of tools and eager to understand the ways other humans have adapted and controlled the environment. In a Montessori classroom we use this innate interest in tool use to help a child learn to concentrate. We encourage the children to explore the potential of tool use, to alter and maintain the classroom, and to care for their own bodies and clothing.

Artistic Expression – Everyone loves to try new things. This instinct to explore is what drives the Montessori classroom. It is also the basis for creativity. All people ask questions and search for answers. All people create. In a Montessori environment, we encourage the children to ask, explore, and create all day long. We encourage the child to interpret what they experience through various artistic media, but do not interpret it for them.

Maths – Montessori is known around the world for its outstanding maths curriculum. Children are taught the visual and tactile representations of number quantities and symbols – always starting with quantities first and then symbols. Maria Montessori believed “what the hand does, the mind remembers.” All Montessori materials are built with a self-correcting component that allows the child to explore and learn independently.

Culture and Science – Dr. Montessori felt that culture and science is integral to early childhood education. It gives children the framework for understanding the world and their place in it. Children learn how people, places, plants, animals, the Earth and planets are all connected. From science lessons on botany and zoology to geography and cultural lessons, these subjects show the child the opportunities they have to improve their communities and the world as a whole.

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