The work of Maria Montessori has become one of the most well-known pedagogical philosophies in Early Childhood Education. She spent decades observing young children, refining her theories, methodologies, and materials to create a lasting educational system that has stood the test of time.
At Sprout and Spark, our Montessori Curriculum centers on the three-hour work cycle. From 8:30-11:30, children are able to pursue their passions and interests in the classroom, what Dr. Montessori referred to as the "work of the child." We have a range of traditional materials and teach children how to use them through one-on-one or small group instruction when the child expresses interest. We do not compel students to use certain materials at certain times, rather, we allow the child the freedom of choice and provide instructional support when it is needed.
The materials we provide are tools that teach precise skills and concepts. They are self-correcting so the child can complete the work independently, and beautiful so the child develops a sense of care when working with them. Materials are arranged neatly on child-height shelves and children are taught right away how to put a material back once they have finished the work.
Materials cover a range of subject areas including mathematics, literacy, exploration through the senses, science, geography, and practical life. In addition to these core subject areas, students also develop their ability to wait when a material is unavailable, persist when a task is difficult, and focus for longer and longer blocks within the three-hour work cycle.
Like many other Montessori inspired programs, Sprout and Spark is child centered and filled with a variety of engaging materials. What sets us apart from other programs is that we also provide screen-free technological materials, including logic boards and modular robots. We believe the inclusion of these materials deepens a child's understanding of how computers think and learn, a skill that has become more and more essential in the modern world.
Additionally, we make our artist's studio available to our students for the entire three hour work period. To read more about our focus on the arts, please continue on to find out how we have been inspired by the schools of Reggio-Emilia.
Dr. Montessori's work is the first of three educational foundations we have built upon here at Sprout and Spark. Click the button below to learn more about how we incorporate Reggio-Emilia practices into our curriculum.
One day, we'd love to make a video like this with our own students.
For now, please enjoy Lindsay Palmer's masterpiece: "A Montessori Morning."