Especially For Children Montessori Celebrates 30 Years


Especially For Children & Indian Harbour Montessori invite you to join them as they celebrate their 30th year!

30th Anniversary Celebration at Wickham Park

Join us as we celebrate our 30th year of Montessori education! There will be catered BBQ, games, activities & much more!

Whether you graduated from our Upper Elementary Program or attended Especially For Children & Indian Harbour Montessori for only a few years, you are important to us and will always be considered part of the EFC & IHM Alumni community!

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our upcoming 30th Anniversary Celebration! Please RSVP below. All are welcome!

The Importance of Montessori for the Kindergarten year


Here are 20 reasons to keep your child in Montessori for the Kindergarten year complimentary of The Montessori Children’s Foundation.

  1. Kindergarten is not the start of schooling. By five, most Montessori children will begin to read, and many will be introduced to multiplication and division.
  2. The third (or Kindergarten) year is the time when many of the earlier lessons come together and be come permanent part of the young child’s understanding. An excellent example is the early introduction to addition with large numbers through the bank game. When children leave Montessori at age five, many of their still-forming concepts evaporate, just as a child living overseas will learn to speak two languages, but many quickly lose the second language if his family moves back home.
  3. As a five-year-old, your child has many opportunities to teach the younger children lessons that he learned when he was their age. Research proves that this experience has powerful benefits for mentor and mentored.
  4. Your child already knows most of her classmates. She has grown up in a safe, supportive classroom setting. And having spent two years together, your child’s teachers know her very, very well.
  5. Five-year-olds have a real sense of running their classroom community.
  6. Montessori children learn how to learn – and they learn to love learning
  7. In Montessori, your child can continue to progress at her own pace. In traditional Kindergarten, she will have to wait while the other children begin to catch up.
  8. If your child has been treated with a deep respect as a unique individual. The school has been equally concerned for his intellectual, social, and emotional development.
  9. If your child goes on to another school, he will spend the first half of the year just getting used to the new educational approach.
  10. Montessori schools are warm and supportive communities if students, teachers, and parents. Children can’t easily slip through the cracks!
  11. Montessori teaches children to be kind and peaceful
  12. Montessori is consciously designed to recognize and address different learning styles, helping students learn to study most effectively.
  13. Montessori math is based on the European tradition of unified mathematics. Basic geometry is introduced at a young age.
  14. Even in Kindergarten, Montessori children are studying cultural geography and beginning to grow into global citizens.
  15. Our goal is to develop students who really understand their schoolwork. Learning is not focused on tote drill and memorization. Students learn through hands-on experience, investigation, and research. They become actively engaged in their studies, rather than passively waiting to be spoonfed.
  16. We challenge and set high expectations for all our students, not only a special few. Students develop self-discipline and an internal sense of purpose and motivation.
  17. The Montessori curriculum is carefully structured and integrated to demonstrate the connections among the different subject areas. Every class teaches critical thinking, composition, and research. History lessons link architecture, the arts, and science.
  18. Students learn to care about others through community service.
  19. Students in Montessori schools are not afraid of making mistakes because they have learned how to self-correct; they see them as natural steps in the learning process.
  20. Students learn to collaborate and work together in learning and on major projects. They strive for their personal best, rather than compete against another for the highest grade in their class

Montessori Nurtures Curiosity, Creativity & Imagination

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that teachers should focus on the child as a person, not on a the daily lesson plan. Montessori teachers lead children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate, and discover. Their ultimate objective is to help their students to learn independently and retain the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence with which they were born. Montessori teachers don’t simply present lessons; they are facilitators, mentors, coaches, and guides.


“Imagination does not become great until a person, given courage and strength, uses it to create. If this does not occur, the imagination addresses itself only to a spirit wandering in emptiness.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Within a safe and empowering community, Montessori children learn at the deepest possible level to believe in themselves. In an atmosphere of independence within community and personal empowerment, they never lose their sense of curiosity and innate ability to learn and discover. Confident in themselves, they open up to the world around them and find that mistakes are not something to be feared; instead, they represent endless opportunities to learn from experience.

Montessori classes are warm, relaxed, and incredibly safe and secure. These are communities in which children have learned how to live and work in partnership with their adult mentors. There are Infant/Toddler classes; Children’s Houses; Elementary classrooms; and Middle and High School level programs. The Montessori Group is a group of schools located in Brevard & Leon Counties, FL offering a unique and diverse Montessori program for children ages 12 months to 6th grade.

Montessori schools are run to a very large degree by the children, with only that degree of adult guidance necessary to ensure order and safety. In such emotionally safe and secure setting, children can relax, be authentic individuals instead of trying to be ‘cool’, and allow their intelligence, curiosity, creativity, and imagination to blossom. Montessori teachers operate from the understanding that intelligence, creativity, and imagination can be found in every child. A lot of Montessori education is simply about learning how to learn: observing life, listening, looking for patterns, making connections, and reflecting on how things fit together and how they work. Children explore topics that capture their interest and imagination and share them with their classmates.


“The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Curiosity and creativity are important aspects of a Montessori child’s experience. Montessori classrooms incorporate art, music, dance, creative drama, and writing throughout the curriculum.

Imagination plays a central role, as children explore how the natural world works, visualize other cultures and ancient civilizations, and search for creative solutions to real-life problems. In Montessori schools, the Arts are normally integrated into the rest of the curriculum.

“Her creative energies are so fragile as to need a loving and understanding response.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Courtesy of The Montessori Foundation ©2009

What can Montessori offer our infants & toddlers?

In the past, many people pictured a child’s mind as a blank slate on which adults, through instruction, could “write out” the content of a good education. Likewise, another common metaphor was that of an empty bowl, waiting to be filled with the contents of the school’s curricula. Dr. Maria Montessori demonstrated that both concepts were inaccurate.

The young child’s mind is more like that of an acute observer or scientist who is eager to learn, explore, try new things, and master new skills. But most importantly, she recognized that the earlier we begin a program of intellectual, physical, sensory, and artistic education, the more dramatic the results, as children demonstrate they can concentrate, absorb, master new ideas, and develop new skills.


This is a time of tremendous brain growth in the areas of language, spatial relationships, music, art, social graces, and so much more. If, during this period, the mind is stimulated by the child’s exposure to a rich environment, the brain will literally develop a much stronger and lasting ability to learn and accomplish.

There are four common types of Infant/ Toddler programs offered…

Parent-Infant Programs: These programs are designed to assist parents of very young children in understanding child development and the Montessori strategies for helping parents to respond to the needs they observe in their infants. These programs give parents an opportunity to observe their children and, through discussion, learn how they can best respond to their babies’ needs.

Montessori Infant-Care Programs: For those who need all-day care, there are a handful of Montessori Infant-Care programs, which normally accept infants aged six weeks to fifteen months of age. With infants, the schedule of the day is dependent of their needs. Each baby has a different schedule for feeding and sleeping.

Toddler Half-Day Programs: These programs will normally run for two or three hours a day. Some will accept toddlers from fifteen months and older, although this lower age range may vary due to local regulates and the school’s decision about how it wishes to organize the program. Generally, the low end of fifteen months is followed because by that age, most children are fairly mobile and have become very independent. Most toddler programs will begin with a somewhat older child of eighteen months, or even as old as twenty-four months. These groups will commonly include children up to thirty-six months of age, at which time the child is normally ready to move into a Montessori three-to-six class.

All-Day Toddler Programs: These programs are quite similar to the half-day toddler class, except that children may remain all day (nine to ten hours). Obviously, in these programs, accommodations must be made for napping, meals, outdoor time and play, art, food preparation, and other activities. Because of the luxury of the extended hours, these programs provide more to children.


Why start in an Infant or Toddler Program?

Research clearly show that the most important period in a human being’s educational and emotional development is not, as originally thought, the years of high school and college but rather the first six years of life.

We know, of course, that the brain is not a muscle; however, like a muscle, the brain develops through active use. This is especially true in years of infancy and early childhood.

“At no other age has the child greater need of intelligent help…” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Montessori schools emphasize self-discovery

Written by Linda Morgan, ParentMap

Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician who created a new method of educating young children, once said that the “inner-directed life of the child has its own characteristics and ends, different from those of the adult.”

In other words, children feel, act and behave differently than grown-ups. That concept may be less than revolutionary to present-day educators and parents. But in turn-of-the-20th-century Europe, that kind of thinking was groundbreaking. In those days, youngsters — often viewed as adults in miniature — were to be seen and not heard. Maria Montessori not only saw children, she celebrated their capabilities and found ways to make the most of them.


Her unorthodox perspective caught on and has impacted educators and young people across the continents and the generations.

A school founded on Montessori ideals spotlights kids: their development, their physical and emotional needs, and their sense of personal empowerment. “We always come back to the core of the child and ask, ‘How can I help you develop your potential?'” explains Kathleen Wilson, director of Montessori Garden in Seattle.

In a Montessori classroom, kids typically work independently on projects they select, says Barbara Madsen, co-director of Northwest Montessori School. Northwest Montessori offers programs for preschool- through middle school-age students.

The Montessori credo is “follow the child.” At the preschool level, that means allowing the child lots of room for self-discovery, Madsen explains. Students are free to move around the room and set their own schedule. If a child decides to spend the entire morning playing with blocks or puzzles, for example, that’s fine.

“They don’t have to work as a group — and don’t have the frustration of being pulled away from what they want to be doing,” Madsen says. “The teacher isn’t insisting, ‘Now we’re going to do this.'”

And if the child chooses to repeat the same activity day after day? “Then it becomes the teacher’s job to entice him into another area of the room,” Madsen says. That kind of guidance, she notes, establishes a positive environment. “The kids are peaceful, non-competitive and happy.”

Visitors to a Montessori preschool school often notice a sense of order and cleanliness, Wilson says. Resources in the classroom are designed to help develop motor coordination, using materials that mimic simple household tasks such as pouring, sorting and washing.

Absent is the cluttered chaos often present when a group of 3- to 5-year-olds gathers. “The kids are calm because there’s order and routine in the room,” she says.

Evaluate schools with care

If the Montessori method’s for you, approach Montessori-labeled schools with care: The term “Montessori” is in the public domain (not protected by copyright) and can be used by anyone.

Some Montessori schools base their curriculum on a loose interpretation of Maria Montessori’s teachings. Others insist instructors be trained in a Montessori teacher education program, or be recognized — as Northwest Montessori School is — by an organization such as the Association Montessori Internationale.

Kirsten Richter trains Montessori teachers through Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest (MEIPN). She encourages parents to look for Montessori schools that employ instructors with at least some teacher training. “If you know they have the education, there’s some consistency,” she says. “That means they’ve read the material passed down from Maria Montessori; the general philosophy is there and in place.”

To earn the early childhood credential through MEIPN, students must complete 345 hours of instruction, along with a course in child development. They study Montessori philosophy and how to apply it to every-day activities in the child’s life. Students also learn to teach the math and language curriculum, classroom management, history and geography, life and physical science, music and movement, and art.

When evaluating a Montessori school, look for teachers who value and encourage a child’s “sensitive periods,” Richter says. That’s when the child focuses on certain points in his development — such as language, movement or order — to the exclusion of other work or activities.

What else should families seek in a Montessori classroom? Richter says the best Montessori schools enable students to:

  • Respect their surroundings, each other and themselves.
  • Experiment and work in organized learning areas.
  • Follow the ground rules and clean up after working on a project.
  • Work and play with children both older and younger (often, there’s a two- or three-year age span in one classroom).
  • Operate individually and in a group.
  • Learn in a relaxed environment. “Children in the classroom should feel safe, comfortable and confident in their abilities,” Richter says.

Linda Morgan writes frequently on education issues for ParentMap.