"Successive levels of education must correspond to the successive personalities of the child. Our methods are oriented not to any pre-established principles but rather to the inherent characteristics of the different ages. It follows that these characteristics themselves include several levels."
The Young Children's Community (Toddler)
(For children from 18 months who are walking steadily)
Half Day - 9:00am to 1:00pm Full Day - 9:00am to 3:30pm (Extended hours from 8:00am - 5:00pm)
The Montessori Young Children’s Community encourages the child to develop relationships with adults and children outside of the immediate family, offering opportunities beyond those typically available in a family home. Developing these relationships helps to build social skills and assists the child in developing an understanding of their relationship to the greater community and environment. The Young Children’s Community offers opportunities for social interaction, independence and self-expression, as well as small and large motor development. within a setting that contains distinct areas for preparing food, eating, changing clothes, toileting, group activities, individual work and quiet moments.
The Casa dei Bambini (The Children's House)
(For children from 2.5 years to 6+ years )
Half Day - 9:00am to 12:00pm Full Day - 9:00am to 3:30pm (Extended hours from 8:00am - 6:00pm)
Children aged two and a half to six years possess what Dr. Montessori called the "absorbent mind": a mind that has the unique ability to absorb all aspects of the environment without effort or fatigue. During this stage of development the children are sensorial explorers, constructing their intellect by absorbing every aspect of their environment, language and culture. In order to maximize this ability, a rich physical environment, containing key developmental materials is provided, in which the child is free to undertake the task of self- construction. Classes are structured to allow for a three-hour morning work cycle, allowing the children to engage in concentrated activity and to work in a focused and uninterrupted manner. Older children staying for the full day benefit from the additional time to work with more challenging material and to further develop their concentration and social skills. A limited number of spaces are also available for younger children in the full day program for parents who require full day childcare.
The Elementary Program
(For children from 6+ years to 12 years )
Full Day - 9:00am to 3:30pm (Extended hours from 8:00am - 6:00pm)
"Since it has been ... necessary to give so much to the child, let us give him a vision of the whole universe. The universe is an imposing reality, and an answer to all questions.... All things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity. The idea helps the mind of the child to become focused, to stop wandering in an aimless quest for knowledge. He is satisfied having found the universal centre of himself with all things."
(Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential).
Dr. Montessori's vision for the elementary aged child builds on the primary (Casa) experience, but reflects a new stage of development. As with the previous stage, she developed a pedagogy supported by a clear set of principles and practices to implement her vision. This she termed "Cosmic Education": offering the child the keys to a vision of the universe. "Cosmic Education" is a specific and prescribed approach to the developmental needs of the six to twelve year old child. It is Maria Montessori School's goal to implement the program in as authentic and accurate manner as possible. Hallmarks of the traditional private school, such as compulsory homework, standardized testing, uniforms and specialists are all avoided. Instead, in an invigorating research style of learning, elementary children work collaboratively, in small groups, on a variety of projects which spark the imagination and engage the intellect. Key lessons direct the children toward activities. The arts, sciences, mathematics, geography, history, and language are integrated into the everyday life of the child. Knowledge is presented as a part of a large scale narrative and children are introduced to formal scientific language in zoology, botany, anthropology, geography and geology.
The insatiable urge of children at this age to understand the universe and their place within it directs the elementary work toward all aspects of culture. Exploration of each area is facilitated through trips outside of the classroom to community resources such as libraries, museums, and art galleries. This inclusive approach to education fosters a feeling of connectedness to all humanity and encourages the children's natural desire to become contributing members of the human family.
Maria Montessori School 125 Brentcliffe Rd., Toronto, Ontario. M4G 3Y7