Rivermont now offers a choice for its early school families. The recently added Montessori classroom caters to 3 to 5-year-olds and strongly emphasizes the power of peer learning. Younger children absorb knowledge through engaging, hands-on explorations by observing and interacting with older peers. Simultaneously, the older children reinforce their understanding of concepts while honing vital leadership skills by sharing their wisdom with the younger ones. This collaborative and interactive approach fosters a strong sense of support and enriches the overall learning experience within the Montessori community.
Embracing the foundational principles of Montessori education:
Children learn by working with specially designed materials. Rather than memorizing math facts, they begin by counting and adding concrete materials. They use little objects and a set of wooden letters known as the movable alphabet to learn to read and write.
Peer learning is encouraged as the younger children learn from observing their older friends, and the older children solidify their knowledge and gain valuable leadership skills through giving lessons to the younger children. Rivermont’s Montessori classroom includes children from 3 to 5 years old.
Uninterrupted work period
Rather than having 30 minutes for math and then 30 minutes for language, children have a long morning and afternoon work period in one classroom that includes all the subjects. This long period allows children to engage with the materials deeply and achieve intense concentration.
In addition to math, language, science, and geography, Montessori includes two other academic areas: practical life and sensorial.
- Practical life teaches children the skills necessary for everyday life, such as carefully pouring water, tying shoes, zipping, buttoning, preparing food, and scrubbing tables.
- Sensorial involves using materials specifically designed to help children refine their senses.
Educating the whole child
A Rivermont education, including Montessori, focuses on educating the whole child, including physical, social, mental, and emotional.
Rather than giving a group lesson, the teacher gives one-on-one lessons to each student depending on the child’s ability and need. This is possible because the children largely work independently, spending much of the day practicing and perfecting work they have already been given.
The Montessori classroom is designed with everything the child needs to explore and learn independently.
The emphasis is on community, both the classroom community and the broader global community. Children learn about the world and learn tools for self-calming and conducting peaceful conflict resolution.