Preschool in Voorhees, NJ 08043
6 School La
Voorhees, NJ 08043
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Naudain Academy opened in 1977. This begins our 35th school year.
Naudain Academy was honored by the American Montessori Society when we were the only Montessori school in New Jersey to be showcased during an AMS Fall Regional Seminar. The selection was based upon excellence in programming, staffing, and facilities. We were honored and grateful for the selection. Our tradition of excellence continues today.
In March of 2007, a tremendous honor occurred to one of our former grandparents. The 100th anniversary of Montessori education was celebrated in NYC. Dottie Sweet Feldman, a former Naudain grandparent, was chosen as the living legacy.
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The Montessori Method and Your Child
Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first woman physician, developed a unique approach to the education of young children through scientific observation and rigorous experimentation. Noticing children’s motivation towards independence and their innate desire to learn, she designed an environment scaled to the child and capitalizing on developmental periods of sensitivity to certain stimuli.
Each and every exercise, piece of equipment and method Montessori developed was based on what she observed children do naturally by themselves. Through this, she developed the follow the child theory. Children will learn and retain appropriate actions, behaviors, language, and skills if they are interested in what they are doing and if the environment lends itself to these periods of interest.
A child between the ages of 3-6 is going through a period in which they soak up everything around them; their little brains are like sponges. Children of this age have a need to explore and touch everything in order to learn through discovery. Because they want to touch everything, they have a high interest in most things that stimulate all their senses, such as smells, colors, tastes, etc. Children at this age also have a need for order as they feel most confident and comfortable when they know where things belong. The Montessori environment offers these children the chance to learn the best they can as they have the freedom to explore the materials, move about the room and encounter social situations with other children. Children have the choice of which materials they would like to work with (once theyve had a lesson on it) and work independently with it. Within this freedom, the classroom still maintains much structure and order. In this type of an environment, children are able to work at their own pace which allows for the development of independence, self-discipline and concentration.
Each piece of Montessori equipment provides a concrete experience from which a child absorbs basic concepts necessary for success in our complex society. The child learns by doing and teaches himself through the use of self-correcting materials. By allowing the child to choose the materials which fulfill the inner needs of each sensitive period, the Montessori Method gives each child the individualized opportunity to learn at his own pace and maximize his potential.
Many people often ask why Montessori classrooms are made up of mixed ages. There are usually 3s, 4s, and 5s all together in a classroom. This serves as a developmental purpose for the child. . The younger children get to see what the older children are doing which will, no doubt, peak their interest in that lesson when they are ready. The older children get to give lessons to the younger children, which reinforces what they have been learning. Through social encounters, children are learning to take responsibility for themselves and their work. They learn to respect themselves, each other, the materials; basically their whole environment. Maintaining the classroom becomes a routine that they all take part in and enjoy. The Montessori classroom becomes a thriving community in which everyone takes pride in everything they do.
The upgraded classroom and mixed age grouping of 1 1/2 to 6 year olds provides a family atmosphere and natural social interactions. The older children are role models for the young and take pride in aiding the younger children to follow classroom rules and to use new materials. The children are free to spontaneously organize group activities, relate to older and younger children as well as their own peers, and seek friends on their own level of maturity and intellectual development.
This non-competitive, non-judgmental method has a dual purpose. In addition to specific information and academic skills, the child develops self-confidence, self-reliance and a love of learning for its own sake. The skills, work habits, and character traits fostered by a Montessori start to education easily transfer to a traditional school situation because the child has been encouraged to be independent in his mastery of skills and a concrete foundation has been laid for the demands of the elementary grades. The three most important (and neither of the three is more important than the other) aspects are the child, the teacher and the materials. The teacher should work to perfect the environment and materials for the child. She serves as a bridge between the child and the childs discovery of what the materials have to offer. The child works to perfect him/herself and in doing so, should gain a great sense of self-pride and confidence. The teacher surrounds the children with peace, goodness, respect, and the children will absorb these qualities as well.
The Montessori teacher acts as a guide to the child, neither imposing inappropriate tasks nor abandoning the child to his still incompletely controlled impulses. This is accomplished by responding to each individual child at his level of ability, readiness and interest on a one to one basis . . . a startling concept in this era of mass education and conformity.
The program of learning is carefully sequenced and builds from the simplest exercises done upon entrance by 1 1/2 to 4 year olds to complex tasks involving more academic subjects typically done by 5 to 6 year olds. A Montessori School is neither a babysitting service nor a play school which prepares a child for traditional kindergarten. Rather, it is an educational institution which reflects a total approach to the child which is based on respect for the needs and motivations of this unique period of life.