Using the Montessori approach, Mile High Early Learning helps the children it serves by fostering in them social competency, a habit of concentration, initiative and persistence, pride in the physical environment and a life-long joy of learning – all qualities which engender school success and responsible and engaged citizens.
Mile High Early Learning’s experience with the Montessori approach over the years has evolved in concert with its understanding of why the Montessori approach works with low income children and their families and what about the approach needs to be enhanced.
Often times when people think of Montessori, they think in terms of a structured curriculum and specific sets of materials that are essential if one is to be a “real” Montessori center. Mile High Early Learning thinks rather in terms of an approach that is inspired by the principles of Maria Montessori but adjusted to meet the needs of the specific population it serves. The goals of a Montessori approach are “to provide an education that allows the child to grow at his/her own pace successfully and in a beautifully well prepared environment.”
In keeping with these goals, the Montessori approach that Mile High Early Learning considers essential includes the notion of self-directed work in a context of choice which allows children to learn within a framework that matches their innate interests. Another component which is critical for children who often live in a poorer and less structured environment is the sense of respect that Montessori engenders in children—respect for the classroom they are in, for the classmates with whom they interact, and for the adults who are part of their world. Oftentimes poverty brings with it such a drive for survival that the ability for a child to have positive choices and for adults to be able to teach respect and care for others is shortchanged. For these children, an inspired Montessori educational experience fills in some gaps that they will benefit from all of their lives. A prepared Montessori environment helps children learn a sense of order, when sometimes their lives are chaotic; teaches them a sense of beauty, a sense of contribution to their environment, an understanding of the beauty of cleanliness, and a sense of independence and self motivation.