The Prepared Montessori Environment
The child-centered environment is at the core of a Walnut Park Montessori program. Each Early Childhood classroom provides a full three-year complement of properly sequenced Montessori materials. Children’s budding independence and interdependence on the adults in their environment are central to practices at Walnut Park Montessori. The classroom environment truly belongs to the child, prepared daily, with attention paid to every detail. This philosophy of being “child-centered and family sensitive” flows throughout the school and campus.
The primary goal of the Montessori experience is to develop the child’s sense of order, coordination, and concentration, all of which leads to independence.
Multi-aged Learning Communities
Classrooms are comprised of children of mixed ages who are not separated by age or ability. The child enters the classroom at age three and remains in this same classroom throughout the entire three-year Montessori cycle. This learning community serves as a social setting where children are exposed to and befriended by a diverse group of people. It allows each child to become part of a larger family community and reflects Walnut Park Montessori’s belief that the child is seen within the family context, and the teacher (guide) is an extension of that family. The oldest children serve as role models and leaders in the classroom. Each child’s social development is nurtured with the same care as his or her intellectual development.
Children move through the lessons in each curriculum area sequentially. They do this at their own developmental pace, supported by the guidance and direction of the Montessori certified teacher (guide). The guide presents the didactic materials to the child in individual and small group lessons. Children then practice these lessons during an extended, uninterrupted period of time called a “work cycle.” This allows each child the time necessary to experience success.