KMS has two beautiful well lit classrooms, with a maximum capacity of 36 children. Both doors lead to a large fenced playground, complete with sandbox and other gross-motor activities. We have a beautiful climber, and lots of room to run. Our downstairs space is also used for our Summer Program.
Our classrooms are prepared environments designed to support the child’s need for purposeful activity. Each classroom is divided into separate areas, all of which interrelate. These areas are: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, and Culture, which includes science, botany, biology and geography, as well as music and art. Please follow this link for a detailed explanation of each area: KMS Program
The children are free to choose their own activity, or “work,” to watch another child work, or to work with a small group. The classroom is like a “mini-community,” with lots of social graces, interaction with each other, and community spirit. The needs of the children are respected by all, work is returned to the shelf ready “for the next person,” and chairs are tucked in so that others will not trip. We gather together at least once a day for stories, songs or quiet group games, so the children can learn to become part of a larger group.
“When the child has been allowed a little room in the world, in time he proclaims as the first sign of his eager defence: ‘Me want to do it! Me do it!’ In the special environment prepared for him in our schools, the children themselves found a sentence that expressed their inner need: ‘Help me to do it by myself!’ His work will no longer weigh him down.”
Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Montessori found two childhood traits that were present in all children: “sensitive periods,” and “the absorbent mind.” In a nutshell, sensitive periods are those points in time when skills and concepts are learned easier than at any other time in a child’s life. Although specific periods differ between individual children, generally in children under six, we see the following sensitive periods: order, movement, fascination with small objects, grace and courtesy, refinement of the senses, writing, reading, language, spatial relationships, music and mathematics.
In the Montessori classroom, we specially prepare the environment to meet these sensitive periods in the children, and to help the children fulfill their learning potential.
The other childhood trait has been termed “the absorbent mind” by Dr. Montessori because it describes the plane of development in which information and impressions from the environment are literally “absorbed” by the mind of the child. This is done unconsciously, and only in the first six years of life. The sensitive periods are part of this absorbent mind. It then follows that an environment permitting the child to take advantage of the absorbent mind gives the child the tools from which his personality will be formed. Our classroom takes advantage of the period between three and six years, when language, writing, reading, and math are being absorbed daily. The other sensitive periods are also met in the classroom, also being absorbed on a daily basis. The child isn’t “trying” to learn these things, but by the fact that they are present in her environment, she is unconsciously absorbing them into her whole being.
You are welcome to come and visit our classroom, and see us “in action”! We also have a video of our school available to borrow and share with your family. To make an appointment to visit, please call 613-541-1275.