"Play is the work of the Child." Maria Montessori
Early Education ages 3-6 Classroom
25 Guptil Farm Road, Ellsworth, Maine
A Montessori education is separated into three-year age groups called planes of development. Doctor Maria Montessori believed that children changed dramatically from one plane to another but when children worked together in mixed age groups the children had a real-life opportunity. She believed that traditional school was the only place that children would ever work with only people their own age. Therefore, it makes more sense to prepare them to work in mixed groups right from the beginning. First year students have mentors, in the older children, to observe studying lessons beyond their understanding. The oldest children have the opportunities to be leaders. This creates a classroom of community and not competition. The early childhood, also called a primary classroom, houses children aged 3-6. Here we will find children in deep concentration, working mostly alone in subjects that interest them. The classrooms are unusually quiet for the number of children present. The children are kind and often work through their social problems on their own or with the help of the older mentors in the classroom. Our classroom encompasses the traditional areas of Montessori education including, Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Geography, Science and Peace Education. Children learn to respect one another's work space while also learning to work together.
Lower Elementary ages 6-9 and Upper Elementary ages 9-12 Classrooms
25 Puddleglum Way, Ellsworth Maine
The elementary plane of development can be broken into two groups, ages 6 to 9 and 9 to 12 or sometimes they are combined into a single group of 6-12 year-olds. Maria Montessori believed that children in the 6-12 planes of development should be given a realistic view of the world. Over time, Montessorians have developed what is called the Cosmic Curriculum sometimes called the Big History. In Children of the Universe, Michael Duffy describes the Cosmic Curriculum as: the foundation for the entire Montessori elementary curriculum, especially through studies of history and biology as well as related subjects such as geography, physical science, and chemistry. The Cosmic Curriculum starts with a series of great lessons, or stories, that give an overall history of the universe. The stories are intended to be impressionistic. Children in these planes of development love stories. When told well, a story sticks with a child, sometimes for life. Given as large stories, children are given the story of the universe as a whole, before breaking the universe down into its constituent parts. This approach gives children a timeline in which to base their facts from. Children do not have to memorize dates and scientific names to have a deep understanding and a great appreciation. The true purpose of the stories is to give children the background needed for them to discover their place in the universe. Questions such as: Who am I?, Where did I come from?, Where do I fit in? or Why am I here?, can begin to be answered through an overview of the cosmos. Giving a child the tools needed to answer these personal questions gives them an incredible gift. Knowing ‘who I am’ gives children an inner guidance that they will desperately need as they grow into adolescence. Once a child is given the background of the creation of the universe and their place in it, they can dive into research projects and studies for a much deeper understanding than if lectured to. Our classroom encompasses the traditional areas of a Montessori elementary education such as Language Arts, Math, History, Geography, Culture, Geometry, Art, Music, Peace Education, Practical Life and all of the sciences.