<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Programs at Cedar Montessori School
       Cedar Montessori School

                       Education for Life.  Education for the New World
                                                 serving Collier County since 1984.
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What is Montessori?

Parents should understand that a Montessori school is neither a babysitting service nor a play school that prepares the child for traditional schooling. Rather, it is a unique cycle of learning designed to take advantage of the child's sensitive years, where she can absorb information from an enriched environment.  A child who acquires the basic skills of reading and mathematics in this natural way has the advantage of beginning their education without drudgery, boredom, or discouragement.  By pursuing her individual interests in a Montessori classroom, she gains an early enthusiasm for learning, which is the key to becoming a truly educated person.  A child who misses the early years and/or leaves before completion of the Kindergarten year will not receive the optimum benefits and results from this program.

The basic idea in the Montessori philosophy of education is that every child carries unseen within himself or herself the man or woman he or she will become.  In order to develop his physical, intellectual, and spritual powers to the fullest., he must have freedon -- freedom to be achieved through order and self-discipline.  The woeld on the child is full of sights and sounds which at first appear to be chaotic.  From this chaos, the child must gradually create order and learn to distinguish among the impressions that assail his senses.  Slowly but surely, he gains mastery of himself and his environment.

Toddler: (18 mths to 3 years)

Maria Montessori called the first six years, the Absorbent Mind.&nbsp; During the first half of this plane of development, the child is acquiring skills and adapting to his greater environment. He has what Montessori called sensitive periods; where an inner energy is guiding the child with these acquisitions in matters such as language, movement and order. The child will learn to crawl, sit, walk, and climb stairs, etc. whether we teach him or not.  He will absorb his native language(s) effortlessly, and will orient himself to his daily environments.  Montessori refers to this child as the unconscious creator.

  In our homes we provide the baby with necessary space and experiences for him/her to carry out this work.  We help him/her get accustomed to his home, and adapt as a member of the family.  When he/she is ready to come to Cedar Montessori School Toddler Class, he/she has already acquired many skills.  We will continue to aid him/her in this process by offering a prepared environment catering to these important needs.

 Caring for himself and his environment are encouraged by providing the child with routines and activities that allow him to take an active role in his daily life. He is guided while dressing himself, and using the toilet. We provide an environment where he is not rushed, but allowed the time to concentrate and take control of his own movements.  We help him with eating, manners at the table and serving himself.  Dining as a group where a meal is a social and pleasurable experience. He may also take an active role by helping to prepare certain foods.

 A strong sense of order at this age, calls us to provide a neat and orderly environment, routines and consistency. The child can depend on a basic structure to his day, with snack, meals, work time and outdoor play (and nap time if applicable) to be consistent.  He can expect to find his belongings in a special personalized place.  There is even a special outdoor space dedicated to the child of this age group.

 The toddler has an unquenchable thirst for language.  There are many lessons in the environment that encourage conversation and apply nomenclature for objects that are already familiar to the child from his greater environment. Every experience is an opportune moment for language at this age. It is the responsibility of the adult to be exemplary in language, speaking clearly, concisely and offering a wide variety of vocabulary.

 There are many manipulatives in the environment, as well as many activities in movement, music and art. As in all the Montessori environments, the toddler can expect uninterrupted work time, to allow for concentration and repetition.


Primary: (3 to 6 years)

The child comes to the Primary environment during the second half of the first plane of development.  He has spent the first three years of life adapting to his/her environment, acquiring numerous skills in movement, language, order etc.  This environment, Maria Montessori refers to it as the Casa Dei Bambini (House for Children), is prepared to meet the special characteristics and traits of this child. It is during these three years he/she will refine these skills through independence, movement and repetition. This prepared environment caters to his small size, allowing him/her to be an independent and responsible member of this community. It allows for concentration and repetition of the many purposeful activities that appeal to his/her interest. There is an uninterrupted three hour work cycle in the morning, so that the child is able to spend as much time as he/she needs to complete his/her work. It is an environment conducive to concentration. Rather than scheduled interruptions for specialized lessons such as art, music and movement, these activities occur individually, or as a group spontaneously in the environment by careful observation of the teacher.

The three to six year old is a sensorial learner, using all senses to absorb the concepts around him/her. The specialized Montessori materials appeal to the senses, introducing abstract concepts (such as weight, size, etc) in the concrete form, isolating one concept at a time.  Every activity and lesson is purposeful, attractive and complete. The areas of the classroom are: Practical Life (care of self and environment, grace and courtesy) Sensorial (discrimination of size, shape and color, sense of touch, sense of sound, sense of taste, sense of smell) Language (phonetics, sight words, writing, reading, function of words, sentence analysis) Mathematics (numbers to ten; teens and tens; units, tens, hundreds and thousands; the four operations; linear and skip counting; memorization of tables) Geography (physical and political) Zoology, Botany, Art, Movement and Music.  The Montessori teacher presents the materials to each child individually according to his development and pace.  She is a keen observer, to be sure whether adult intervention will help or hinder the child’s actions.  Contrary to traditional education, the adult in the Montessori environment is passive, not the center of attention.  She is there to guide the children, present the materials, and exemplify mannerisms, language and social behavior.  The environment itself presents the control of error in the child’s work and sets the pace for the child to succeed. 

Each Primary class consists of a Montessori trained teacher and an assistant.  Our program is five full days, as consistency and order best meets the needs of the child at this age. The Primary program is a three year program, where the child works through the progression of the materials over the three year span. When there is space available, and a child enters at age four or beyond, the teacher carefully observes the child, noting where to place him/her in this progression, and works to further his development individually as the rest of the children. Five year old children are invited to stay in our Extended Day Primary, where they return to the classroom after lunch to work in a smaller, quiet setting.  This is an important year for the child as he is now at the end of the three year cycle, has worked through so many of the materials and is now confidently delving into the more intricate work.  It is an opportunity to exemplify his refined skills to his younger peers, further building confidence and perfecting skills.

Elementary Program: (6 to 12 years)

Maria Montessori characterizes the six to twelve year old child, as being in the second plane of development. Certain traits and characteristics and needs of this child are taken into account in preparing this environment. It is now the age of reason. In the first six years, the facts were important and necessary to the adapting to his environment. Now he is deeply interested in the why and how of everything. He is capable of tremendous research, and an imagination like no other time in life. He now needs to put to use those skills he acquired and refined in the first plane, while being part of a greater community. Through Cosmic Education which is the basis for the curriculum, (the five great stories: The Story of the Universe, The Coming of Life, The Coming of Man, The Story of Numbers and The Story of Language) he learns the how and why of our universe, that all subjects are interrelated, and that each living thing has great purpose.

 A vast curriculum covers mathematics, geometry, algebra, reading, writing, literature, grammar, geography, zoology, botany, chemistry, geology, astronomy, music, art, drama and physical education. The Montessori teacher is there to present the material to the child in small groups or individually, according to his/her needs and development. The child learns to be self directed and motivated, to be responsible for completing and evaluating work, and managing his/her time effectively. Working in pairs and small groups are favorable to this child, where great research and projects make up much of their work. As this is also the age where the moral foundation is set into place, he/she is able to be a contributing member of a civil, cooperative community.

 At this age, the child needs the greater environment and community to enhance his research. Going out is encouraged when there is a particular area of interest or study, that requires more information offered within the classroom. Children may organize small groups of those with like interests and needs, to venture out to the place of interest. Parental supervision is provided for the sole purpose of safety, as the children do all the work required into the planning and learning of the experience.

The class consists of a six to twelve year age mix. There are no grades or standardized tests.&nbsp; Each child puts together and maintains a work portfolio for their subject matter, keeps reading journals (great books recommended reading) and individual sketch books for their art work. The child reviews his/her work portfolio regularly with the teacher, and may present it to parents during presentation days. These portfolios can be a tremendous display and memory keepsake of the child's effort, work and creativity during their stay in the Montessori elementary environment..

Dr Mont.
Tod Lunch