The Montessori Method is characterized by providing a prepared environment: tidy, pleasing in appearance, simple and real, where each element exists for a reason in order to help in the development of the child. A Montessori classroom integrates children of mixed ages. This is especially true in our Early Childhood program. At Oak Farm Montessori School, Infant classrooms have students 6 weeks through 18 months (or walking), Toddler classrooms students are 18 months through 3 years old (toileting independently) and Primary is 3 years old through 6 years old (Kindergarten). Multi-age classrooms promote socialization, respect and solidarity among the children naturally.
The prepared environment offers the child opportunities to commit to interesting and freely chosen work, resulting in long periods of concentration that should not be interrupted. Freedom develops within clear limits, and this allows children to live in harmony with others in the small society they belong to in the classroom.
Children work with concrete materials that were scientifically designed to provide them the keys to explore our world and develop basic cognitive abilities. Montessori materials are auto correcting; allowing the child to recognize the error by him/herself and become responsible for his/her own learning without an adult pointing out an error.
The adult is an observer and a guide: he/she helps and stimulates the child with all his/her effort. This allows children to act, want and think by themselves, and helps them to develop confidence and inner discipline.