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Children in Their Sensitive Periods

The child's absorbent mind usually lasts about six years and can be divided into two three year periods. The first period is from birth to three years old. During this period, the child absorbs impressions from simple to complex, and is involved in imitation, movement and manipulative play. This is a time of inner development which is unconscious and spontaneous. Dr. Montessori calls this period the "Unconscious Absorbent Mind".

The second period of the child's development is from ages three to six. This is a period of further development. The structure of developmental work gives the child enough mental faculties to express interest consciously through experience and stimulation. Now the child focuses on certain impressions through manipulating materials, as well as interacting with the human environment. He is busy building his skills, and interacts with his surroundings consciously and intentionally. It is the hand operating with the brain that creates the child's intellect.

The periods we describe are called the "sensitive periods". The periods are transient dispositions which only last a short while and once they have disappeared, it will never happen again. The child learns to adjust himself and deal with things through contact with the external world. He is doing things consistently, increasing his abilities easily and does not feel tired even after doing an exercise for a long time. Once his work is complete he feels self confident and pleased.

As Montessori educators we appreciate and acknowledge that each child is different and unique and should be offered age-appropriate activities which meet their individual needs to develop and learn in a natural way. The school's equipment is child sized and the facilities enable them to move about intelligently and independently. The materials reflect the Montessori value of self selected and pursued activities which train the senses through the manipulation of physical objects. Children learn through hands on experience and develop concentration through repetition of work. Individualized cognitive growth is facilitated by a built in control of error in the materials, which allows the child to monitor and correct his own errors. Children are free to work at their own pace. They can choose what materials they would like to work with and also where they would like do to their work. The classroom combines a playful, self direction with Montessori self discipline and respect for authority. Continued efforts and progress to sustain the satisfaction and enjoyment of children through mastering tasks and engaging in activities they choose, is of our highest priorities. We believe that each child learns what and when they are ready to learn and this method will lead to maximal independence for each child.

We respect children, families and all cultural backgrounds. We believe that families are the most important factor in the development of a child's character and life. We desire to build good interactions with parents and to help guide their children towards growth and well being. We commit ourselves to doing the very best for all our students and strive to help them develop independence, confidence, self-esteem and self-sufficiency.

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