The Skokie Montessori School is well-equipped with instructional materials that are scientifically designed to provide an ample variety of learning experiences geared to the developmental needs of children from ages 2-6 years. Each program provides a high-level curriculum towards excellence through hands-on concrete materials in the areas of Science, Geography, Mathematics, Language, Sensorial Activities, Practical Life Activities, Art and Music.
The School provides children with an inspiring environmental that will enhance their interest in learning while promoting social interaction, emotional development, physical coordination, and cognitive preparations. Eventually, it builds a solid foundation of academics skills, indispensable to future learning endeavors. Children are encouraged to develop an ability to work independently based on their own initiatives; sense of order, self-discipline and freedom to explore their environment, learn from mistakes and internalize concepts and, in effect, encouraging their curiosity and desire to learn what interests them.
The areas in the prepared environment are divided into: practical life or daily living, to address the child’s love of movement, order concentration, coordination, repetition and independence; sensorial, sharpening his sensory acuity to discriminate sound, color, size, shape, smell and touch; math, materials are the most highly developed, and have an extremely good order of sequence and progression, is represented by well-designed materials to give the child a concrete representation which leads to abstract understanding of math concepts; language, it is important to introduce the child to the greatness of language with love an reverence for man’s effort to create it; science and geography, the child gains tools and knowledge to complete and understand his sensory exploration of the world; art, music, and movement, are integrated into the rest of the curriculum. The materials are self-correcting allowing a child to discover their own mistakes and truly internalize a concept.
The Directress prepares the environment and is trained to know when to intervene in the child’s self-learning. This knowledge comes through her practice of the art of observation. The child is given what is termed as “freedom within limits”. That the child may freely choose to work from materials he has been shown how to use; that he must use the materials properly and return them to the proper order; and that he may no infringe upon the rights of others.
The child is given the opportunity to become independent and care for himself while learning in a self-directed way.
Both social and intellectual development is enhanced by this method of age grouping. Learning within this diverse group stimulates greater interest and encourages cooperation. The younger child learns through observation of the older child. In addition, the older student has the opportunity to become a leader and reinforce their knowledge as they help the younger friends.