information for parents

Dr. Maria Montessori called her daycare centre for children in Rome "casa dei bambini" - The Children's House. She had observed that children learn best within a homelike social environment with appropriate materials which support each individual's unique development.

She maintained that children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who are different from one another, that they create themselves through purposeful activity and absorb and learn spontaneously from their environment which includes people as well as materials.

Her belief was that the most important years for learning are from birth to age 6 and that children go through sensitive periods in which they are particularly receptive to certain stimuli.

In a Montessori Children's House the environment is carefully prepared by the "teacher" to encourage development of the whole child, on all levels - social, emotional, physical and intellectual and to ensure freedom of movement and choice within clearly defined limits which are based on respect for each other and for the environment.

The age span from 2 to 6 provides a family-like grouping where learning and social interaction can take place naturally.

The non-competitive, sequential and often self-correcting materials are designed to encourage independence and self-respect. The children learn to make decisions and develop good self-images and confidence to face challenges and change in the future.

The Montessori areas include practical life exercises, materials for the development and refinement of the senses, early mathematics, early reading and cultural activities which include a study of the natural environment.

There will also be various creative activities: art, literature, music, movement and drama.

The variety of nationalities and cultures in this Children's House - currently there are children from over 50 countries from all continents - gives the children an awareness and understanding of others and their different backgrounds.

Peace is, in our time, as vital an issue as ever and Maria Montessori recognised that the formation of children's attitudes is of the utmost importance for a peaceful world in the future - for this reason she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Therefore, children are not allowed to bring any war toys or weapons of any kind to The Children's House and are discouraged from having these "toys" at home and from watching violence on television or video.


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International Montessori Kindergarten,
Vienna, Austria. All rights reserved.
 www.montessori-vienna.at