“Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.”
The Montessori method places value on each child’s style of learning and educational needs. Children benefit from a caring atmosphere that encourages discovery, focus, and cooperation in the classroom.
At MSW, our guides celebrate the developmental stages of childhood, cultivating a sense of wonder in each student while honoring their dignity. We partner with parents to ensure that our children are spiritually nourished, intellectually stimulated, and receive an education for life.
The educational approach of Maria Montessori facilitates growth of the whole person – intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically. A prepared environment, designed with the child at the center, allows the child to become the person God has called them to be.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) forms the heart of MSW. CGS takes place in an Atrium, which is a special prayerful environment that helps children encounter Jesus, discovering the wonders of God and the beauty of the Catholic faith. This love of Jesus is what binds the school community together and is the source of the love, respect, and wonder that are the hallmarks of MSW.
Parents play a key role in the development of their children at MSW. Working with Montessori guides and assistants, parents receive support in their parenting journey. This includes a monthly parenting series on understanding childhood development and how to incorporate Montessori in the home.
High quality, beautiful materials entice children to explore challenging concepts in ways that reflect specific stages of children’s growth. Maria Montessori discovered a direct correlation of how work done with the hands builds the brain of the child. “The hand is the instrument of intelligence. The child needs to manipulate objects and to gain experience by touching and handling.”
Each component of a Montessori classroom is ideally designed to create a “children’s house,” complete with everything a child needs for his or her independence at a scale appropriate for the child.
There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.
MSW empowers children to explore the great outdoors, rain, snow, or shine. We have access to over 10 acres of wilderness, where we are preparing the grounds to have walking trails, gathering areas, gardens for flowers, fruits, and vegetables, greenhouses, and more.
For children six and under, Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. They are not required to sit and listen to a teacher talk to them as a group, but are engaged in individual or group activities of their own, with materials that have been introduced to them 1:1 by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.
Above age six children learn to do independent research, arrange field trips to gather information, interview specialists, create group presentation, dramas, art exhibits, musical productions, science projects, and so forth. There is no limit to what they create in this kind of intelligently guided freedom. There are no text books or adult-directed group lessons or daily schedule. There is great respect for the choices of the children, but they easily keep up with or surpass what they would be doing in a more traditional setting. There is no wasted time and children enjoy their work and study. The children ask each other for lessons and much of the learning comes from sharing and inspiring each other instead of competing with each other.
Multi age classrooms afford us the luxury of adapting the curriculum to the individual child. Each child can work at his or her own pace, while remaining in community with his or her peers. In addition, the multi age format allows all older children to be the leaders of the classroom community even those children who may be shy or quiet.
Yes; Montessori classrooms encourage deep learning of the concepts behind academic skills rather than rote practice of abstract techniques. The success of our students appears in the experiences of our alumni, who compete successfully with traditionally educated students in a variety of high schools and universities.
The different arrangement of a Montessori classroom mirrors the Montessori methods differences from traditional education. Rather than putting the teacher at the focal point of the class, with children dependent on her for information and activity, the classroom shows a literally child-centered approach. Children work at tables or on floor mats where they can spread out their materials, and the teacher circulates about the room, giving lessons or resolving issues as they arise.