The Petoskey Montessori Children's House is a non-profit corporation founded to promote the total development of children including infant and toddlers, pre-school age children, and elementary children according to the educational and philosophical principles outlined by Dr. Maria Montessori.
We believe each child to be uniquely gifted, possessing a special potential. Our charge is to "educate the human potential" by aiding the child's own in-born drive to develop her/himself. Children need an environment prepared to meet the interests and needs specific to their plane of development. Development is best aided through freedom to be active, to discover through exploration, and to communicate creatively. The adult must be both observer and supportive link, removing obstacles and connecting each individual with experiences to challenge that child's particular potential.
Montessori is more than an educational system or curriculum- it is a way of life. It encompasses an approach to the child based on attitudes of respect and appreciation for the uniqueness of each person. As such, it reflects continual observation, evaluation, and growth. The Children's House believes that frequent and sustained interaction among parents and staff is critical to provide the most positive environment for the child's growth.
The Petoskey Montessori Children's House emphasizes "cosmic education", leading to a growing awareness of the inter-relatedness of all things. Such an approach allows each individual to become aware of the effects of his/her behavior. This view engenders an appreciation for all life and encourages within each individual a willingness to play a contributing role in our world.
A unique element of the Montessori program which sets it apart from traditional teaching methods is the decentralization of the teacher.
- The method respects individual differences.
- The learning process is student-centered and emphasizes self-motivation.
- Multi-age grouping is practiced so that students may learn "horizontally" from observation of other people's work, directly or indirectly.
- Students learn at their own pace, free to complete a project or pursue a subject as deeply as they wish, according to personal enthusiasm.
- Students learn by practicing their subject matter while in school, under the supervision and assistance of their teacher.
- The classroom is used as a library or resource room for studying and completing projects: students are free to move as needed and are active participants in building their own knowledge.
- Students avail themselves of concrete materials, scientifically designed to enhance conceptual thinking. The materials are graded by difficulty and adapt to the maturity of individual students. These tools bring about knowledge based on experience.
- Testing is built into the Montessori method as the third period of the "three-period lesson" and is a teaching technique that is applied routinely on an individual basis. The purpose of all testing here is to allow self-correction, repetition and achieve competence at one's own pace.