Preparing The Whole Child
At MbtS we honor the intelligence of children to be autonomous!
As a Head of School, I have the privilege of walking through classrooms and having a birds eye view of the everyday happenings of each environment. The thing that always stands out to me at Montessori-by-the-Sea is the impressive amount of independence in each classroom. Children take out many complex materials to explore their academic pursuits and they also take care to put these things away before moving to the next lesson with no adult intervention needed. I am also amazed when I observe children taking time out of their daily work to stop and have a snack, most often with a friend or group of friends.
". . .children have the opportunity to prepare their plate, most often with a chance to spread, dip, cut, scoop, peel or pour all by themselves."
This is not run like in a typical school, where the teacher announces it is snack time and everyone takes a little something from their belongings to eat at their desk. Here the children are guided naturally by balancing their day with cognitive experiences, social experiences and of course the need to eat! Each day the snack area is set up with a menu of choices and the children have the opportunity to prepare their plate, most often with a chance to spread, dip, cut, scoop, peel or pour all by themselves. They wash their hands before they eat and they wash their dishes after. They typically sit with others and have discussions. Yesterday I overheard a small group at the snack table in a Primary class talking about a North America map one of them had made that was hanging on the wall next to them. They were discussing where to find Florida and other states in our country. It confirmed for me, MbtS is not just teaching them "school work." They are receiving a wonderful preparation for adulthood!
Karen Riccardi, Head of School