How does Knowledge House Montessori Inspired Preschool differ from other Montessori schools?
The focus of Knowledge House education is on helping children learn how to learn independently through their own desire to learn something. We all learn best when we are truly interested in something. Our program is unique in that we allow ample room for play and exploration in learning from our materials. We help children understand that they can learn about what interests them independently and in their own way.
We provide exposure to academics through all of our materials but do not push children to learn too much before they are ready. Readiness requires the developmental ability, interest and desire of the child to learn. We believe in helping children move forward as the are ready but do not force it to the point that the child doesn't enjoy learning anymore.
Pre-Kindergarten children work regularly on letter recognition, sounds, number recognition, counting and other skills that are recommended by school districts for children to learn before Kindergarten.
How does the Preschool Montessori program and its materials work? Children are naturally drawn to work with materials that they find interesting and are ready to learn from. When a child shows interest in a material or a teacher sees that a child may be ready to learn from a particular activity, a lesson in how to use the material is given. When the child is able to complete the activity, the teacher will introduce a related activity that builds on the knowledge they have already learned.
How does Montessori teaching differ? While we use the terms teacher and guide interchangeably its important to note that the Montessori "Teacher/Guide" has a different role than that of a traditional teacher. He/she is rarely the center of attention and rarely gives whole group lessons or direct instruction. The Guide manages the classroom materials and gives individual or small group lessons on materials to children as they are ready for them. Many things we teach are through demonstration and example rather than through direct instruction. Knowledge House teachers help children to make decisions, guiding them toward work and allowing them freedom to work and learn through exploration in areas of the school that are interesting to them, rather than constantly telling them what to do and how to do it.
What makes Montessori education different? In a Montessori classroom, children learn by active participation, not just through listening, watching or through group activities. Preschool children are allowed and encouraged to choose their own work materials. The Montessori teacher observes each child’s ability and readiness and introduces them to activities according to what they are ready to learn. Children are free to work at their own pace and progress as quickly or slowly as they need to.
Knowledge House values independence,
self-reliance and respect for others. Our students are taught to be as self-reliant and independent as they can be for their own developmental level. They learn to set up and clean up their work before getting out new materials and serve themselves snack and clean up independently. The children learn social skills and practice manners and problem solving daily.
Why is there a 2- 3 year age range in your preschool programs? Children of varying ages work very well together and learn quite a lot from each other. Younger children learn from observing the older children and want to try the activities they see them doing. Older children find themselves as role models for the younger children and solidify what they know and gain confidence as they teach others. Each class has a range of abilities among the children who may all be in different developmental stages. The children blend and are accepting of each other and are not singled out for being less or more advanced than others.
Here is a quote from Maria Montessori on the subject: "Our schools have shown how children of different ages help one another. The younger ones watch what the older ones are doing and ask all kinds of questions, and the older ones explain. This is really useful teaching, for the way that a five year old interprets and explains things is so much nearer than ours to the mind of a child of three that the little ones learns easily, whereas we would scarcely be able to get through to him. There is harmony and communication between them that is not possible between an adult and such a young child. There is a natural mental osmosis between them. A child of three is also quite capable of taking an interest in the work of a five year old, because in fact the difference in their abilities is not that great.
People are concerned about whether a child of five who is always helping other children will make sufficient progress himself. But, firstly, he doesn't spend his whole time teaching, but has his own freedom and knows how to use it. Secondly, teaching really allows him to consolidate and strengthen his own knowledge, which he must analyse and use anew each time, so that he comes to see everything with greater clarity. The older child also gains from this exchange." - Maria Montessori.
Is my child going to learn to read at school? In Preschool, some but not all children will begin reading small words. In traditional Montessori education children learn to write letters before they learn to read so materials are designed to help children with fine motor skills needed for writing. At Knowledge House we teach letter names and sounds in conjunction with writing skills. Young children are learning about language from their environment all the time. We provide an environment rich in pre-reading skills and opportunities for children to be exposed to spoken and written word and don't force children in reading. Daily exposure to written words and spoken language is the key to igniting the child's interest in and ability to read.
Do you teach religion or have any religious foundation or affiliation? No, we do not. All children are welcome to attend.
Do you require a yearly contract? No. We accept new students throughout the year and will adjust tuition for children starting school after the first of the month. Enrollment is on a month to month basis (we don't require a yearly contract). We request a 30 day notice should you choose to un-enroll your child.
How do you handle discipline? We use natural consequences, positive reinforcement and redirection to handle behavior issues. We discuss appropriate behaviors individually and as a class. Usually talking with a child regarding expectations and the reasons why we follow rules in school is sufficient. If a child requires constant one on one supervision to keep himself/herself or others safe, we may discuss with parents the possibility of withdrawal from the school and trying again later when the child may be more ready for a school environment.
Does someone live at the school?
No. The school house buildings are completely dedicated to the school.
"MONTESSORI IS AN EDUCATION FOR INDEPENDENCE,
PREPARING NOT JUST FOR SCHOOL, BUT FOR LIFE. " - MARIA MONTESSORI