Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, developed a method of teaching
based on her scientific observations of young children's behavior. Her first "Children's House"
was established in Rome in 1907. She found that children learn best in a home-like
environment with access to developmentally appropriate materials which provide
experiences that contribute to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners.
Dr. Montessori carried her message across the globe, including the United States in 1912.
The American parents who originally chose Montessori education saw their children as
moral beings, who over time would become the socially responsible people Montessori
had envisioned. They also saw their children becoming confident, competent learners.
The educational method designed by Dr. Montessori prepares children for life in multifold
ways: through the acquisition of daily life skills, the development of concentration and
independence, the introduction to academic areas at the individual child’s pace and interest,
and the fostering of peace and respect for oneself, others, and the environment.
As a brain-based developmental method, the Montessori method supports the development of executive
functioning skills, the neurologically-based skills which involve self-regulation and mental control. The
development of these skills allows children to grow into adults who can manage themselves and resources in
order to achieve self-determined goals-- essential skills for success in academic, career, or personal life.
Living through two world wars, Dr. Montessori witnessed the destruction caused by war and firmly believed in
education as a means for fostering peace among all peoples. The Montessori peace education curriculum is
multifold, aiding the child in developing awareness of oneself, one’s community, diverse cultures, and the
environment. Through practicing grace and courtesy exercises, developing conflict resolution skills, learning
about the countries and cultures of the world, and caring for nature, the child develops a strong spirit of love,
respect, and responsibility.
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Green Friends Montessori School recognizes the child’s need for regular, intensive, and hands-on
outdoor experiences for positive self-development and sense of place in our world. GFMS applies
the Montessori method to both our indoor and outdoor explorations. Children refine their senses
through regular encounters with the rich sounds, sights, textures, and smells of nature. The natural
world provides the perfect amount of sensory stimulation to spark children’s curiosity and deepen
concentration. In agreement with the Montessori philosophy, nature-based learning emphasizes
the integration of the hand and mind in learning. Whether hiking, climbing over rocks,
counting insects under a log, collecting leaves, observing birds, building a stick fort, or writing a
story about a nature experience, the child utilizes her body together with her mind to formulate
and test ideas and observe results. These concrete experiences lead the child to more abstract
thinking as she grows.
Science comes alive in a nature-based Montessori classroom. Children are introduced to the
subjects of zoology and botany through hands-on, direct experiences with their objects of study.
Gardening, insect identification, bird watching, composting, animal care, and leaf collecting and classification are all examples of outdoor activities available to children in our nature-based Montessori community. The children also go on hikes on a regular basis to exercise their bodies and build their sense of curiosity and discovery. Nature-based learning provides children with an awareness of the unity between all living things and a deep respect for this interconnectedness. Our outdoor environment provides the perfect setting for children to discover seasonal cycles, plant and animal life cycles, the passage of time, and growth and change. These discoveries deepen the child’s awareness of the world around him and his special place on our planet.
Green Friends Montessori School supports the holistic development of each child and aims to awaken the internal drive for exploration within each child. Our peaceful educational community promotes care, responsibility, and leadership.