Myrtle Farm Montessori
Our school curriculum is grounded in Montessori philosophy. We believe in the uniqueness of each child, and that observation informs how we can best help every child develop to their own unique potential.
- In supporting children’s independence to help them develop internal motivation, resilience, persistence, and problem-solving skills. Children are encouraged to explore and discover concepts using the materials as independently as possible. This is achieved through careful material and environment preparation, peer modeling, and lesson presentation.
- We believe children need to feel safe and secure in order to learn. Representation and an anti-bias curriculum are part of this. We make efforts to ensure our children and families feel represented as part of our school community.
- The child is their own best teacher, and that teachers are partners and guides to their learning. We “walk with” rather than “do to”.
- To promote and protect student concentration, school policies and procedures strive for an uninterrupted three-hour work period in the indoor or outdoor classroom setting.
- Children learn best in a mixed age environment. Children aged 3-6 years work together in the classroom, sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs or small groups. Older children model appropriate behavior and may offer direct lessons to younger peers. A mixed age environment also requires a broad curriculum organized from simple to increasingly complex concepts. This helps children to learn at their own pace.
- The materials and the school environment are another teacher. Teachers prepare the environment and materials to meet each child’s unique learning needs – the classroom is always evolving and changing as the year unfolds.
- To identify these unique needs, teachers carefully observe children to prepare the environment appropriately and deliver lessons when children are both physically and mentally developmentally ready. Teachers record student observations daily and update individualized child lessons plans every three weeks. These records help identify children’s strengths and help identify potential areas of concern that may warrant additional assessment. Teachers observation notes record evidence of a child’s grasp of individual concepts, fine motor, gross motor and social and emotional development, and spark reflection and discussion about what “meaning-making” is occurring.
- A well-rounded academic curriculum includes language, mathematics, science, geography, history, arts and music. We have a specific social and emotional curriculum called “grace and courtesy” which encourages developing empathy and independent conflict resolution skills.
- Children’s play is valuable and important for child development. Students have opportunities for free play every day during recess, time that helps them develop gross motor and social and emotional skills.
- A connection with nature is important for human health and development. We consider a farm school or garden environment an “outdoor classroom” where children learn new things, and experiment and explore to consolidate their understanding of concepts introduced indoors.