At Montessori of Laguna Niguel, we are committed to nurturing your child through the Montessori Method of Education.
Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman doctor in Italy, was a pioneer in the study of young children. A background in engineering, biology and mathematics prior to getting a medical degree from the University of Rome Medical School greatly influenced her scientific way of thinking regarding how children thought and behaved after graduating from medical school. Her work with the developmentally delayed children reflected not only deep compassion but a rigorous scientific quality as well. The Ministry of Education invited her to give a series of lectures or Rome University on the educational for exceptional children. She was subsequently asked to found and head a school for these children. Dr. Montessori herself designed the special materials and the scientifically prepared environment that is used in Montessori schools throughout the world. She is believed she could apply her revolutionary ideas to the education of a normal child and during the years from 1901-08 Dr. Montessori studied philosophy and psychology. She began her innovative method with a group of normal children in a slum of Rome, and in a year her success with them was worldwide interest. A major landmark in the education of young children was established in 1952 Dr. Montessori died in Holland at the age of 82 and since her death the growth and success of Montessori schools throughout the world has been phenomenal.
Dr. Montessori’s concept of the “Absorbent Mind”
Dr. Montessori identified the young child’s unique aptitude for learning as “the absorbent mind”. She compared the young mind of a child to a sponge since it virtually absorbs information from environment. This process is particularly evident in the way in which a two year old absorbs his native language without any formal instruction. A young child’s mind can learn to read, write and calculate in the same spontaneous natural rate that he learns to walk and talk.
Dr. Montessori’s concept of “The Sensitive Periods”
Dr. Montessori believed a child could learn a particular skill during the corresponding “Sensitive Period” than at any other time. During this time, a child’s curiosity makes them ready to acquire certain skills and knowledge. A Montessori class is designed to take advantage of the child sensitive years between the ages of two and six when they can absorb information from an enriched environment. Their senses are their learning tools their effortless ability to acquire certain skills and abilities are called “sensitive periods”.
Ability vs. Chronological Grouping
Children in a Montessori classroom are grouped according to ability rather than age. Children with similar abilities are put together so that older children can help younger ones and the younger ones in turn learn from the order counterparts. This presents endless opportunities for mutual help because of the cooperative social interaction among children of different ages, giving the feeling of friendship, self-confidence and respect for the rights of others.