At the Forest Hills Montessori School, our preschool classes are designed to help the child from three to six years of age. Montessori is based on the child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits. Our classrooms are different from other preschools in many ways. Conventional teaching methods are known to have the approach of either teacher to child, or teacher to group. Montessori includes a third factor: the environment.
Our classrooms offer the child the opportunity of teaching himself through his own discoveries. Children are not divided according to age. Three year olds learn from their peers. Five year olds discover the opportunities of helping and indeed teaching the little ones through their work and actions. Observers of Montessori children have described them as having self-discipline, self-knowledge and independence, as well as enthusiasm.
Montessori is a way of learning. Dr. Montessori described her teaching as a “Help to Life”. We at Forest Hills Montessori consider it to be a “Way of Life”.
Beginning Areas of Development
Practical Life Exercises: Every movement requires coordination between brain, nerves, muscles and eyes. Through the individual activities of cleaning, cutting tying and so on, the children satisfy their need for order and lay the foundations towards increasing concentration.
Sensorial Materials: Materials are constructed to utilizeeach of our senses in special grading and matching activities. These highly challenging, yet fun materials build concepts, discrimination and concentration.
Language: The concrete relationship of sound to symbol is built through the use of special Montessori materials. Oral expression and interaction with peers is encouraged. As the child progresses, reading activities increase, and grammar and composition are introduced.
Mathematics: The math department is an exciting path of adventure, full of novelties and obstacles. Mathematical operations are always learned through experiencing concrete materials until the child finds them unnecessary.
Montessori - The Joy of Learning
Dr. Maria Montessori founded her first school for children in 1907 in Italy. Montessori is a humanistic and truly international philosophy of education.
Maria Montessori based her methods on the child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits. Through careful observation of children, she developed highly specialized materials and strategies based upon the child’s needs and interests.
The Forest Hills Montessori School, in keeping with the Montessori philosophy, is committed to developing the whole child at his own natural pace. The Montessori curriculum places no restraints on the student’s ability. It provides a variety of activities in concrete and abstract experiences to help students gain mastery of themselves and their environment. Lessons allow him to gain self-confidence through the successful completion of work that is meaningful to him.
Advanced Curriculum: The Elementary Years
Our elementary classes are mixed grades. Each child progresses at his own rate. Our grade level programs adhere to the basic skills acquisition and curriculum outlined by New York City and State. We however, enrich and extend their basic requirements through the use of multiple programs and approaches.
The elementary curriculum includes language development (both oral and written). Communication skills, comprehension, and word attack skills are offered to each child individually, through language games, group discussion and special projects.
The Math program continues to expand the child’s mathematical knowledge, with advanced addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, metric systems, measurement, prime numbers, graphs, percent, square root, algebraic fractions, etc. Throughout the emphasis is on working with concrete before attempting abstract computation.
Science is an integral part of our elementary program. The plant and animal is explored with special emphasis on the structures and functions of the human body. Earth and Physical Science includes: heat, magnets, weather, seasons, chemical properties of all matter, etc. The children are taught to explore these topics scientifically by using the skills of observation, forming hypotheses, trial and error, measuring and interpretation of results.