The Ventura Montessori School, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the State of California and governed by a Board of Directors. All parents who have children enrolled in the school are voting members of the corporation and may participate in the election of the Officers of the Board of Directors. Election meetings may be held when Board positions are available.
Any child who has attained the age of 2 ½ years and is potty-trained is eligible for enrollment in the school. The school is operated on a nondiscriminatory basis and accords equal treatment and access to services without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry.
Ventura Montessori School utilizes the facilities at the Miracle Center of Ventura; however, neither the Miracle Center nor any other organization sponsors it.
The Montessori approach to education recognizes the potential of the young child and attempts to develop this potential by means of a prepared environment, utilizing specially trained Montessori teachers and special teaching apparatus. Montessori provides the vehicle whereby the child may attain inner discipline and control and become the intelligent and responsible master of himself/herself.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Our main objective is to provide a challenging and nurturing environment which will help the child develop the Montessori foundational habits of order, love of work, care of the environment, concentration, obedience, self-discipline, independence, and joy. These developed habits are essential for a lifetime of creative thinking and learning.
The Ventura Montessori School, Inc., founded in 1969, strictly observes the principles of education set forth by Dr. Montessori. The Directress, Indranee Wijesekera, and Assistant Directress Melody Raguini-Olosan, are Association Montessori International trained and the school follows AMI principles of teaching. The staff is trained by the Directress to follow the same principles and teaching methods.
The full implementation of the Montessori program requires much of the parents of the children enrolled in the school. Staff and parents are in constant communication concerning the growth of each child. The home and the school work together to complement and supplement one another.
The basic principle in the Montessori philosophy of education is that every child carries within them the potentialities of the person that he or she can become. In order to develop physical, intellectual and spiritual powers to the fullest, the child must have freedom – a freedom to be achieved through order and self-discipline.
The world of the child is full of sights and sounds, which at first appear chaotic. From this chaos, the child must gradually create order and learn to distinguish the impressions that assault the senses. Slowly but surely, the child will gain mastery of self and environment. Dr. Montessori developed what she calls the prepared environment, which already possesses a definite order and disposes the child to develop at his or her own speed, according to his or her own capabilities, and in a noncompetitive atmosphere in the first school years. “Never let a child risk failure until he or she has a reasonable chance of success”, says Dr. Montessori, understanding this necessity for the acquisition of a basic skill before its use in a competitive learning situation. Providing positive direction, the Montessori Directress and parents realize the importance of allowing a child to develop in his or her own time, not in a preconceived time frame.
The years between two and a half and seven are the years that a child most easily learns the ground rules of human behavior. Character is fundamentally formed by the time the child reaches seven years of age. These years can be constructively devoted to “civilizing” the child, freeing the child through the culture in which he or she lives. The child who has had the benefit of a Montessori environment is freer at a later age to devote himself/herself more exclusively to the development of his/her intellectual faculties.
If the Montessori child is free to learn, it is because the child has acquired from experience with both physical and mental order the “inner discipline, which frees the child”. The child becomes aware, not only of his freedom, but also of the corresponding responsibility to self and to others. This is the core of Dr. Montessori’s philosophy. The aims of Montessori development are of equal value within the prepared environment. The teacher strives to encourage and guide the child to help realize the balanced, happy, aware personality that will perpetuate into life as an adult.
The Montessori approach to education presupposes full cooperation between the parent and the teacher. You as parents can assist your child’s adjustment to school by:
- Becoming aware of what is expected of your child at school so that you can follow through at home.
- Re-evaluating your attitude toward your child in light of the basic concepts of the Montessori approach.
- Setting up a home and play environment to correspond with that of the school so that transition is easier for the child.
THE MONTESSORI PROGRAM
The Montessori program of education is divided into four major categories: Practical Life or Motor-Sensory Exercises, Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics. Other areas, which are provided with material devised by Dr. Montessori, include Art, Music, Pre-History, Pre-Literature, Literature, Science, Geography, Botany, Biology, Algebra, Geometry, and Spanish. Most Montessori programs, ours included, are based on the “multi-age group” concept. Mixed age groups promote an atmosphere of cooperation, teamwork and peer teaching.
PRACTICAL LIFE EXERCISES offer many opportunities: to develop coordination, concentration, independence and a sense of order and responsibility. It increases awareness of self, environment and the needs of others.
SENSORIAL CURRICULUM offers the child varied opportunities to refine observation skills, perceptual discrimination and judgment. Through the use of sensorial material, the child gains physical experience, which is a prerequisite to mathematical understanding.
LANGUAGE development is supported through the child’s expansion of vocabulary and organization of thought in the meaningful context provided by the curriculum. Activities in Language Arts encourage listening and speaking, then build on the child’s own development to introduce more formal levels of language – writing and reading.
MATHEMATICS material introduces ideas of set and number, numeration and the decimal system. Using manipulation materials, the child practices counting, grouping, numerical operations and computation strategies; eventually proceeding to memorization of number facts and abstract computation.
CULTURAL SUBJECTS – art, music, natural science, history and geography are presented at a sensorial level and are often integrated and explored through topical units of study.