The Whole Child
At The Montessori Academy we strive to partner with families in the development of the Whole Child. Montessori philosophy considers the major elements that make up the Whole Child to be physical, emotional, social and cognitive.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that knowledge, learning and movement were interconnected and that learning through the senses engaged the whole body. By allowing and even encouraging movement, children stay physically active throughout the day. At TMA, we encourage our students to move both inside and outside the classroom. Dr. Montessori believed that "mind and movements are part of the same entity.” Therefore, in the classroom, there is no expectation for children to be confined or restrained from movement that comes naturally.
A main component of a Montessori classroom is the multi-age structure. Children are grouped according to the plane of development they are in, rather than the traditional method of grouping based on exact age. At TMA we look at the child as an interconnected person. The child is connected to family, school, community, culture, environment. Parents teach their culture at home and we support that learning at school. Through this, children deepen their understanding of their own culture as they share with their classmates. This openness and respect that is engendered through the sharing of cultural traditions leads our students to a level of understanding. Learning about their culture, the culture of others, history, geography, etc. they can really get a sense of belonging but also a respect for others. Children are or can become actively engaged with the world around them, their community, their environment and the nature that surrounds them. This can lead to respecting their environment and respecting others. At home we try to give the children a sense of their own culture through family traditions, respect and knowledge of our locality and create strong connections through family.
Multi-age classrooms, therefore, allow students to interact with children of varying ages, which helps young children feel more comfortable with older children. Older children also benefit from being in multi-age classrooms because it develops their leadership skills by being able to serve as mentors
to the younger students and assist them with their work.
For students at TMA, learning to recognize and manage emotions is an integral part of the curriculum and the value of respect is highly emphasized. Peace tables are used to allow students to work out issues and students are guided to the recognition of their emotions and an understanding of how others are feeling in challenging interactions. Emotional intelligence is nurtured through which children are able to form stronger bonds with others and develop the propensity to seek first to understand.
In the Montessori approach, the classroom expands far beyond four walls. To a Montessori student, the world is their classroom. With this in mind, it is important to note how the world plays a key role in the Montessori method’s aim to foster creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, and the drive to learn and challenge oneself. With the world as their classroom, students learn to view themselves as global citizens and begin to recognize and appreciate the beauty of different cultures and traditions.
In a Montessori environment, children begin to understand that they are part of a greater universe and therefore they develop a moral responsibility to protect our planet for the future. They also develop a profound respect for the natural environment and understand the importance of practicing good virtues. Art and music programs allow children the outlet to express themselves while computer classes help prepare them for our technologically progressing society. Through a combination of these subjects and Montessori approaches to learning, children develop the cognitive skills necessary to succeed today.
The Montessori Academy (TMA) is true to the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. We create an environment that cultivates the child's intellect, instills responsibility, fosters respect, and inspires care for the community.
530 East Day Road
Mishawaka, IN 46545