All About Our School
- KMS was established in 1974, which makes us Kingston’s longest established Montessori School
- We are licenced under the Ministry of Community and Social Services
- The school has a home-like atmosphere, with 2 bright classrooms
- We have a large natural outdoor playground complete with large sandbox and climber
- We offer a quality 3 year program for children 2 1/2 to 6 years of age
- We have a French Program for all of our children
- The staff at KMS are highly qualified, nurturing, and well experienced with young children.
- We are conveniently located mid-way between Kingston West and Downtown, close to St. Lawrence College and bus stops
What is a Montessori School?
A Montessori school is designed to take advantage of the sensitive years between the ages of three and six, when the child is most able to absorb information from his environment, following the philosophies and teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori, a world-renowned educator. Although a Montessori child has the advantage of beginning her education without drudgery, boredom or discouragement, very early learning is neither the norm nor the objective in Montessori education. The Montessori ideal is only that learning should occur naturally, at the proper moment for each child.
“It is true, we cannot make a genius… We can only give each individual the chance to fulfil his potential possibilities to become an independent, secure, and balanced human being.”
Who was Dr. Montessori?
Dr. Maria Montessori was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy. She later became a world-renowned educator. Born in 1870, she devoted her life to the study and education of young children. Today, in Montessori schools all over the world, her teachings still lead the way for those of us who believe in the overwhelming influence of the first six years of life.
For more information on Dr. Montessori, and for links to other interesting sites, follow this link: More info on Montessori
What’s the Difference between Montessori and Nursery School or Daycare?
Although there are many high quality daycare centres and nursery schools where creative daily programs are followed, most do not follow a single philosophy of child development as does Kingston Montessori School. The Montessori method is a complete integrated approach to childhood education based on a single individual’s life work. Dr. Montessori’s incredible insight and her scientific observations of children’s development have proven accurate many times over, all around the world. The “secret” lies in the way the children are respected, and the way their inner needs are met through a carefully prepared Montessori environment.
Differences Between Montessori and Daycare
- Montessori is an individualised program, geared to your childï¿½s interests, using specially designed materials
- Daycare teaches concepts to the group, with no materials specifically designed to teach individually, or choice in what is learned
- Montessori teachers are taught to observe and follow the child
- Daycare workers work with the group as a whole
- Montessori fosters independence in children and children learn as they play and socialize on their own
- Daycares exist primarily to care for children all day, and the education of the individual child is not a priority
- Our Montessori Casa (3-6) Program is neither a babysitting service nor a play school to prepare your child for kindergarten. It is a unique program designed specifically for the 3 important years between 3 and 6.
Dr. Montessori wrote, “The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed. But not only his intelligence: the full totality of his psychic powers. At no other age has the child greater need of intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.”
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.
Why Mixed Age Groups?
The Preschool classroom consists of children from two and one-half years up to six years of age. This mixture of ages allows the children to learn from each other, the older children helping the younger ones with various problems and activities.
- This allows the younger children to become more independent and not to rely totally on adults.
- The older children learn to be patient and tolerant of others, especially as the younger children learn accepted social behaviours. They are often wonderful at soothing hurt feelings or helping new children to adjust.
- The older children love to share their knowledge with the younger ones, and by doing so reinforce what they already know.
- By watching the older children work, the young ones strive to challenge themselves and look forward to future activities.
- A Montessori classroom thrives on the age mixture, and helps to form a bond only seen in small social communities and families.
What Age is Best to Start?
- Children who start school at around age three do best in the Montessori classroom. This is because he or she will have the benefits of the complete three-year program, each year building on the knowledge and skills attained in the previous one.
- Parents of children who enter Montessori at any age need to be aware that their child will gain the most benefits in their final, usually their third, year. A full-day program is available so that the children can spend more time in this ideal environment.
Part-time or Full-time?
- Children at KMS attend 5-days a week, in keeping with sound Montessori pedagogical practices
- Young children do best when their schedule is consistent and they know where they will be each day, which gives them a sense of security and helps them become independent
- Children enjoy coming to school, and build each new day upon the accomplishments of the last
- We are not a Daycare or Babysitting Service, our program provides children with a carefully prepared environment which meets their developmental, social and emotional needs.
- There is a hot lunch provided for children who stay Full-day
Is Montessori a Religious School?
- KMS is not affiliated with any religion.
- Religion is not the main focal point in any of our daily activities, but various religious holidays of the children in the class are celebrated together as a way of teaching tolerance and acceptance of others.
When Should I Enrol my Child?
- Registrations are accepted for the Preschool program all year round, if spaces are available
- Your child should be toilet trained and not wearing Pull-Ups.
- “Accidents” do and will happen, so a clean set of clothes is always available for your child to change into.
- Pre-registrations are also accepted at any time, for any school year.
- Acceptance into KMS depends on a first-come, first-served basis, with priorities given to children already in the school, and their siblings.
Can I Visit KMS?
- Every parent is encouraged to visit the school, with or without their child, at least once before registering.
- You should plan to stay about 1½ hours
- The administrator will answer all your questions
- During the summer we will also be happy to show you around, but the children will not be in class — please call ahead!
- Please check often for Open Houses or Workshops!