The Montessori School of South Riding, using the principles of Montessori education, provides a warm, enriched environment designed to stimulate the child’s natural desire to learn.
Since its founding in 2003, MSSR has offered a unique program in which skilled professionals, sensitive and responsive to the learning patterns and needs of each child, help the child to grow in confidence, independence and knowledge. At the Montessori School of South Riding there is a special blending of freedom and responsibility, choice and structure, creativity and discipline, individual interest and group co-operation.
The Montessori School of South Riding admits all children regardless of race, creed, color or origin.
The Montessori School of South Riding is accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and is licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services.
MSSR is a Primary School for children 2 1⁄2 to 6 years old. MSSR is founded on and operates within the educational philosophy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, who recognized and respected the natural interests and sensitive periods of learning present in children.
Dr. Montessori followed a ‘whole child” approach, fostering not only cognitive skills but also social and emotional growth. Montessori classes span three age levels, and children stay with the same teacher, encouraging a sense of community and allowing teachers to develop those relationships and a deep understanding of the child’s learning style.
The Montessori teacher prepares the environment with aesthetically pleasing and developmentally appropriate multisensory materials to engage the children’s interest and guide them from concrete to abstract learning. Long, uninterrupted work periods are provided during which the children choose from a wide range of activities and are able to learn at their own pace, both alone and in cooperative groups. The teacher is trained in careful observation so she is prepared to “follow the child” in his or her development.
To summarize, the Montessori philosophy is a response to a universal plea among children: “I want to learn, but help me to do it myself.” Through carefully orchestrated experiences guided by physical and mental order, children acquire the inner discipline necessary to persist at their chosen tasks, to interact with the world respectfully, and to participate
confidently in an increasingly complex world.
Our School, A Bilingual Experience
When asked how best to teach a second language to children under six, Renilde Montessori, Maria Montessori’s granddaughter noted the following. "The simplest and most natural way to do this is to have a person in the school with whom the children need to communicate, an assistant for instance, making sure that this person speaks only the one language that needs to be introduced" (AMI/USA News,1995) Dr. Montessori observed that human beings have a predisposition for language and a desire to communicate. These two qualities, combined with the presence of a foreign speaking person in their environment, encourage children in our schools to become bi-lingual while following their natural and individual development.
At MSSR, we have native speakers whose pronunciation and fluency are naturally available to all of the children all of the time, in the same way that the Montessori materials are there and available for the children to use whenever they are interested. A child who has been exposed to a second language while his brain is developing acquires the pattern of that language in the brain. Even though that child may subsequently forget the lessons and vocabulary of childhood, when later exposed to the language, he will be able to recall the basic patterns of the language and consequently will be able to pick it up more quickly than if he was learning it for the first time as an adult.
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