We recently presented a new workshop, The Journey, for parents to highlight the importance of a child’s passage through a Montessori program from Toddler through Kindergarten. Thank you to those of you who attended the event, the feedback was important, supportive and appreciated. For those who could not attend, I would like to follow up with the following viewpoints to keep you informed of the benefits of the continuation of your child’s Montessori education with us.
Our workshop was curricular focused. The goal was to guide parents toward materials and subject areas our students experience on a daily basis. Our curriculum is based on order and sequence specifically designed to facilitate optimum independence, exploration and learning. The materials, aka the children’s work, are adaptive to each child’s unique development. “The Journey” encapsulated the children’s work from easy, concrete activities to more complex use, resulting in abstraction and solidification of concepts. As our students engage with the “developmentally appropriate work”, they become focused and intrinsically motivated to learn. Experiencing the curriculum in this way shows parents how the materials support independence and cognitive growth, class by class and year by year.
A Montessori journey is multi-faceted and what is not so obvious in our curriculum is the emphasis on the social and emotional well-being of every child, i.e. the teaching and development of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage one’s emotions in positive ways in order to communicate effectively, relieve stress, empathize with others, diffuse conflict and overcome challenges. Research is showing that a strong emotional IQ nurtured at an early age is a strong predictor of future academic success.
Every day within our school we support self-competencies: self-awareness, self-confidence, social awareness and relationship management, four areas described by Dr. Mitchel Adler mitcheladler.com/aboutmitcheladler as necessary for the development of social intelligence. At Westmont, we role model respect for self, others and the environment. We teach life skills, promote independence, allow for choice and responsibility. We put focus on the process, not necessarily the product, and help children become resilient in the face of challenge. We encourage collaboration and facilitate problem solving skills. We talk to children about feelings, their own and their peers, we listen to them and give language and tools to help them problem solve through peaceful means and figure things out for themselves.
Foundation is key. Children who have a competent sense of self will find success in life. They will stand on their own two feet and stand up for what they believe. Today’s world needs global citizens who are independent thinkers, peacemakers, resilient and kind. We are proud to support our students toward a successful journey by realizing our mission of developing capable people who are inspired to learn.