Willow   ree Montessori

SMALL.     EXQUISITE.     AUTHENTIC.

Montessori is both an educational philosophy and a vision of childhood. Montessorians recognize the power of each child and respect individual patterns of growth. At WTM, the physical surroundings, the learning methods, and the ways in which students interact with one another are choreographed to create an environment in which children can discover their unique relationship to the world.


We believe independent choice and authentic interest are key elements in learning. With each learning activity based on the needs and interests of the children, they develop independence and the ability to make good choices early on. It is through their own work in our specially prepared environments that children develop self-discipline and self-teaching abilities that will last a lifetime.


Montessorians believe that children learn by doing and are lovers of purposeful work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy. Montessori education also attends to the total development of the child - social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual. We understand these spheres of a child's personality and intellect must be integrated and balanced through the child's activities.


The Montessori Method is education as an aid to life: every unique life.  This scientific approach is dependent upon the individual, as we are all born with constructive qualities to fully become the people we are meant to be.  


Five general areas of study include Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language/Music, and Cultural Studies that encompass geography, science, and art.  

~The Journey~

Upon entering the Children's House, your child will begin a three-year cycle.  


The first year is one of discovery and development of self-discipline.  It is a time for the child to experience freedom through thoughtfully applied boundaries. She is introduced to the structured environment through individual presentations of materials (or works) which are attractively displayed.  The young child is deeply intrigued by the structure of the environment and materials. Rather than feeling small and confused, s/he begins to feel a sense of connection to the physical environment.  The middle and older children tend to nurture and protect these younger children as they have a deep sympathy and understanding for them.  They remember how it felt to be little and just learning how to "move and be" in the casa (children's house).


The second year, or middle child, continues work with greater depth, understanding, and passion.  As confidence builds, this child is often engrossed in the minute details of all academic areas. Whether it is playing language games together, creating maps of the world/continents in geography, or  "fetching" quantities using the golden bead material in math, the middle child is exercising grace and courtesy lessons by inviting these younger children to observe work that is in their future!


The third year child experiences being the oldest and is admired by the community for accumulated wisdom and knowledge.  A time of consolidation of all that has been previously learned, he continues to refine himself and establishes a deep understanding of the abstract. His previously concrete boundaries begin to thin as his new self emerges ready to transition into life beyond the casa (children's house).


FAQ

How are the children able to interact without discord?  

Montessori education is the scientific approach to educating the human being.  When the creative process of life is being met, we become engaged, enthusiastic and peaceful.  Rather than being jealous, or competitive, humans show their true natures as joyful workers.   Grace and courtesy lessons provide the knowledge for acceptable social interaction with each other.  Through these experiences, the children are able to observe, interact, and learn the boundaries of society.  It is a natural and authentic socialization process, which can only be experienced in a multi-aged environment.


What is the role of the Guide?

The teacher or Guide creates the environment from which the child will build himself.  It is the role of the Guide to connect the child to his environment.  Each person is given the freedom to move about, choose work, and repeat an activity until completion is experienced.  The Guide is always nearby quietly observing, gently helping, or guiding without needless interference in the work of the child.   Though at first it may seem that she is aloof or disengaged from the children, the opposite is actually true.  It is a profound respect for the child's dignity and deep love for humanity as expressed through the diminishing of her own personality in an effort to uplift and amplify that of the child's that is occurring.


What are the benefits of a Montessori education?

Though the academic opportunities within Montessori education are abundant, they are actually the by-products of the real work, which is the self-construction of the individual person in spiritual, physical, and psychic fullness.  It is the opportunity for independence, individual interests, expression and creation of self, and community, which is most beneficial to the human being.  Our goal is to support world peace through the quiet revolution of the child.