The Cornus Montessori School is a family owned Pre-School for ages 6 weeks to 6 years old located in Chantilly, Virginia. The family has used the state national flower, Cornus, as the symbol of its respect for heritage, tradition and sustainability. Each petal represents key tenets of the Montessori philosophy – The Child, The Environment, The Teacher* and the Materials! The Cornus Montessori School adheres to a traditional Montessori program whereby the principles, the ideas, techniques and materials are the catalyst for the children to learn and experience life. Maria Montessori utilized an holistic overview underpinned by scientific principals of observation and program delivery that was able to formulate a stimulating and inspirational model that has stood the test of time – globally!
“My method is scientific, both in its substance and aim”
(Maria Montessori – Dr Montessori Own Handbook).
This grounded and tested methodology ensures a stimulating yet ordered environment where the child leads their education experience and path based on their interest and guidance from their “teachers”. The “teachers”* are guides and facilitators as they assist the children in the daily tasks of learning activities and life skills. The five major focuses based on Montessori ideas about education are:
- Starting an early education for children (birth -6 years) based on Montessori’s idea – the absorbent mind – based on understanding that young children are able to absorb large amounts of information using their senses.
- Teachers based on critical observation of each child are able to ensure that materials and tasks are available for children as they pursue their learning. Montessori ‘s ideas of the sensitive periods whereby children focus on an activity that facilitates the development of a new and specific skill.
- One of the strategic aspects of the Montessori program is the prepared environment whereby the teacher ensures that all aspects of that child’s experience is for that child – the classroom and all activities are child centered and reflects- simplicity, beauty and order.
- Providing as many opportunities during the day that the child can learn by trying and developing control of their motor skills. This opportunity to do various tasks some repetitively and some new facilitates control of error that is a method of self-correction. This reinforcement of learning is built into both materials, tasks and teaching methods. This method enables the child to correct themselves rather than the adult having to correct.
“The children learn from one another and throw themselves into the work with enthusiasm and delight. This atmosphere of quiet activity develops a fellow-feeling, an attitude of mutual aid, and, most wonderful of all, an intelligent ineptest on the part of the older children in the progress of their little companions”.
(Maria Montessori – Dr..Montessori Own Handbook)