Authentic Montessori private kindergartens are based on the research and observations of Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. She considered it crucial to provide children with a planned space, saying, “The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.” In this way, even the classroom is one of the educational tools brought to bear for the improvement of childhood education.
Everything about the prepared environment at a Montessori kindergarten revolves around establishing and protecting a place built for kids. The furniture and activities are age-appropriate and situated so that small hands can reach them without assistance. The purpose is to promote independence and self-instruction by attracting children to self-correcting materials they will enjoy working with.
Eliminating Fictional Influence
Fictional books are part of the Montessori classroom, but you won’t find cows miraculously jumping over moons, talking spoons, or similar aspects of childhood “pop culture.” Instead, children are taught using concrete tools, real-world examples, and an information stream that keeps them firmly grounded in what is real and possible.
Interacting With the Absorbent Mind
You will not find a lot of commercial influence in the Montessori kindergarten. Mainstream fads and publicized characters often have a negative influence on activity and learning during this critical phase of education. Children react to objects and faces they have been repeatedly exposed to while passing over stimulating activities that teach them vital academic, physical, and social skills. Just as fantasy and fiction are avoided, commercial characters will rarely be part of the prepared environment.
Order Through Activity
The Montessori kindergarten is typically a quiet, organized riot of activity. Children freely move about under the pursuit of their individual goals, but the room is kept organized and uncluttered. Because putting away your activities is considered a normal part of using them, one of many facets of Grace and Courtesy that are incorporated into the Montessori Method.
A prepared environment is a learning tool the same as the books and toys and well-designed materials it contains. It is there to provide comfort and familiarity, a social constant for children to be the primary visitors while the adults around them take the role of guides and observers who encourage activities based on the children’s interests.