“I do not believe there is a method better than the Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.”
WHAT IS MONTESSORI?
In 1896 the first woman in Italy became a doctor of medicine after graduating from the University of Rome. Her name was Maria Montessori. Defying all odds going against her in the then ‘man’s world’ in every sphere of science this brilliant physician went on to observe children of different ages and abilities. This led her to creating the remarkable method of following the Child, which remains fully valid over a hundred years on.
With the opening of the first casa dei bambini in Rome in 1907 the Montessori philosophy and method conquered the world with a revolutionary set of ideas. Those ideas range from respect for the child’s work to necessity to prepare the child’s educational environment with a large scope of attractive materials, which develop the ‘whole child’. This philosophy unites parents and teachers, who believe that each ability that the child undertakes to self-develop is equally important to the young child’s character, be it learning to set the table for dinner or learning to read.
WHAT IS MONTESSORI*?
* the pictures displayed in this gallery were taken at our sister school in Vilnius. We will soon upload pictures of our installations in Cascais.
MONTESSORI IS FOSTERING INDEPENDENCE
Montessori philosophy allows children to develop a significant degree of independence and self-discipline, thus setting a pattern for a lifetime of good work habits and confidence. Children begin to take pride in accomplishing things by themselves with care and diligence.
MONTESSORI IS SELF-CORRECTING MATERIALS
Montessori teaches children how to think, observe and reflect: opposing memorizing and swiftly forgetting. There are various things that ‘call’ the children at different times in their development which we call Sensitive Periods. A child, who is in the sensitive period for numbers and counting will repeatedly attempt to work with math materials; another chill may have a strong attraction to handling scissors, thus she will work with scissors for as long as it is necessary to develop the necessary skill of using scissors; yet another child will work in earnest until he manages to tie bows with laces.
MONTESSORI IS SELF-LEARNING
Montessori classrooms help children construct their personalities, and develop learning mechanisms, which will help to lead a life of awareness and forever learning. By experimenting with scientifically designed hands-on materials children gain confidence in making choices.
MONTESSORI IS INDIVIDUAL GUIDANCE
There are no two children who are required to be ‘on the same page’. Each child follows their own path of learning and progress. The Montessori guides’ watchful eyes are tuned towards offering activities to the child which he or she is ready for.
MONTESSORI IS SOCIAL GRACES
Montessori guides greet children by shaking hands and looking into each other’s eyes. Respect is something that every teacher must earn with each child by building individual relationships. Various social graces are discussed in a group, like how to greet a friend who is celebrating a birthday, or how to observe each other’s work without interrupting.
MONTESSORI IS COOPERATION
Montessori fosters mixed-age classrooms. Scientific studies have confirmed that both the older and the younger in a multi-age classroom learn more effectively than in the traditional same-age group.
MONTESSORI IS MUSIC
Montessori music is a beautiful sensorial exploration by means of sensorial materials and instruments. In the background of our Montessori classrooms you may often hear classical music. We believe that it helps the children become more sensitive to the beauty of music. Young musicians are invited to play their instruments for children, who then ask questions and explore their instruments.
MONTESSORI IS FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
Movement in early childhood is an integral part of development. To get an activity the child will walk to a shelf where the activity is placed; to return the activity the child will walk back, sometimes many times, carrying one object of the activity at a time. Montessori children Walk on the Line carrying objects to help themselves develop balance and graceful movement. Inside the classroom children are asked to have ‘walking feet’ and outdoors they may choose to have ‘running feet’.
MONTESSORI IS CELEBRATING
In Lisbon Montessori School children celebrate their birthdays with a traditional Walk around the Sun. The child will carry a globe and walk around the candle, symbolizing the Sun, as many times as the years they are celebrating. Parents are invited to celebrate their child’s birthday together in the children’s house. Children also celebrate traditional holidays, like Carnaval, Christmas, Easter, or Halloween.
MONTESSORI IS BEING RESPONSIBLE
The prepared environment will help the child develop a degree of self-control and responsibility. Children take care of classroom pets and plants, they sprout vegetables in Spring and then plant them in the garden to watch them grow unilt the end of Summer.
MONTESSORI IS FOSTERING LEADERSHIP
Children assit each other with various tasks throughout the day. A child may present a material to another child, or help when another child is struggling with an activity. Becoming a leader in a Montessori classroom means taking care of others, it never means ‘being first’.
MONTESSORI IS PARENT EDUCATION
Parents are invited to become active paticipants in their child’s education. On the last Friday of every month the parent community gathers to discuss parenting. Parents and teachers are invited to share their experiences of bringing up children, and they ask questions about how to solve various parenting challenges, from helping the child to go to bed on time to sharing objects with friends. Teachers also share their valuable experience on many topics, like Having a Sibling – what it means for your child, or Positive Parenting – how to achieve it?
THERE IS NO ‘BAD’ WEATHER IN MONTESSORI
Montessori is what we call holistic education.