What is Montessori?
Montessori education offers a unique experience designed to help children maximize their potential; an educational environment that is purposefully designed to meet children’s unique developmental needs guided by adults who are specifically trained to observe and put children in touch with exactly what they need in the moment to learn.
Sunstone is a Montessori school that is comprised of a group of people who come together with a common purpose; to provide a positive and formative experience that will serve your child now and for the rest of his or her life.
Inspiring life-long education is the experience that your children will have at Sunstone.
The conventional educational system was designed during the industrial revolution, when the masses moved into urban areas to work in factories.
They created an effective method of training the following generations of factory workers. Children were instructed to memorize and regurgitate facts – to stop working when the bell rings – to sit in nice, neat rows of desks and ask for permission to move. It is no longer relevant in our modern culture.
Today, successful people work on projects not factory lines. They are rewarded for creating things rather than following orders. And, they are expected to adapt quickly to change within their profession, rather than working at the same job for 50 years. As we peek into the uncertain future of the 21st century, AMI Montessori programs offer a safe harbor for parents: a research-based method that has been proven to develop some of the brightest minds of our times and is well positioned to develop the movers and shakers of tomorrow.
But what exactly is Montessori education?
At its core, it simply is a way of being with children that allows each child to develop fully into the person he was destined to be. Just as you make every effort to ensure that your home is loving and safe – so that your child feels secure and well adjusted – we work diligently to ensure that the physical environment, the teachers and the student community will meet your child’s needs with respect and support at each step in his educational journey.
Instead of expecting that your child pay attention to the teacher in front of a class of 30 children, it is the Montessori teacher who is trained to observe the natural development of each individual child and pays close attention to your child every day which fosters a trusting relationship – an education partnership of sorts – in which the child will have faith that his teacher truly understands and respects him for the human being into which he is transforming.
Children’s natural development is different at different ages, so the curriculum and educational materials are different at each program level, but there are common characteristics across the ages: student choice, hands-on materials, mixed-age classrooms, and the comprehensive Montessori curriculum.
In Montessori, the children choose their own work. Montessori trained teachers prepare the classroom environment and present new lessons and materials, and children are free to choose the activities that engage them deeply and work with them for extended periods.
Montessori education may be best known for the carefully designed materials that engage children’s hands and imaginations, encouraging them to explore and discover ideas from algebra to zoology and all points in between.
Montessori classrooms use three-year groupings based on children’s development, allowing for mentoring, modeling, peer learning, and a strong, vibrant classroom community. Children typically stay with the same teacher for three years at a time.
Children choose their work from an enormous range of ideas, concepts, skills, and content areas, following their curiosity and developing their passions. Trained teachers support children’s engagement in all areas of the curriculum.