In a Montessori classroom, children work at their own rate with carefully designed manipulatives and “works” that allow them to teach themselves. It is an educational approach that encompasses a philosophy, a method, an environment, and a very detailed curriculum.
Goals for Our Children
Over the course of their years at Mountain Pathways School, students will be encouraged to develop an eagerness to learn and explore the wonderment and variety in their world. Focus is placed upon building the child’s:
- Confidence in their own ability to learn and express their ideas.
- Respect for themselves and differences among people.
- Self -motivation, self-reliance, and the ability to complete and critically evaluate tasks or projects.
- Ability to do individual and collective problem solving.
- Develop creativity and divergent thinking skills.
- Concentration and coordination skills through carefully sequenced activities.
- Ability to bring order to their activities.
- Develop self-discipline through work.
A Glance at Our Environment
Classrooms at Mountain Pathways School are designed for the children. The children learn by doing. For example, in the elementary class they might experiment with electricity, write and illustrate their own books, research customs of other countries, tackle challenging math concepts, write and present plays, graph the growth of plants and animals, make pasta, or observe the life cycle of frogs and butterflies – to name only a few of the activities one might routinely encounter. In the primary classroom, children build concentration, coordination, independence, and a sense of order though activities such as table scrubbing, silver polishing, sorting, and pouring. These initial activities lay the groundwork for later academic growth. Children often work together on projects and share their ideas and discoveries. A balance of ages and sexes is sought within each classroom group comprised of three-year age spans. A low student teacher ratio (usually 10:1 or better) promotes individualized instruction.
We Start With the Children—“We follow the child.”
Education should start with the child, and we follow the child at Mountain Pathways. The activities mentioned above, and the ways in which they are structured, emerge from an understanding and respect for the ways that children actually learn. Montessori education is based on principles of child development and is centered around the various needs, interests, and learning styles of children.
At Mountain Pathways School, we are committed to the development of the whole child. We work closely with the parents to foster social, emotional, physical and aesthetic growth, as well as the development of academic skills and knowledge. We are keenly aware of the individuality of each child, and their role as a member of the classroom community. Our expectations for achievement are based on the individual nature of each child. Therefore, we do not follow traditional grade level groupings but rather, natural 3-year cycles.