Children study the basics: math, writing, language and reading, as well as geography, zoology, botany, physical science, art, music, and more. The teacher can respond to a child’s interest and level of understanding by presenting lessons to individuals. The classroom and teaching and practical life lessons are all oriented to the child becoming a self-sufficient and disciplined individual.
Our main goal for the pre-kindergarten/kindergarten child, ages three to five years old, is to help him/her learn to work independently, to take care of one’s needs, and develop a good self image. Children have different interests at different times in their lives. Maria Montessori termed these developmental stages “sensitive periods.” Our respect for these stages and the individual variations within them gives us unique expectations for each child.
Within the Montessori classroom, children are free to move around the room instead of staying seated at desks. There is no limit to how long a child can work on something she/he has chosen. Opportunities for both individualized learning and large group experiences occur naturally in this multi-age setting. The wide variety of activities and materials nourish self-confidence, concentration, cooperation, and respect for others.
The organization of experiences and impressions is guided by a multi-sensory approach. The child discovers reading through phonics, mathematical concepts through concrete materials, and geographical relationships and scientific information through manipulating objects and real life materials.
It is between the ages of three to six that the child most easily learns the ground rules of human behavior. These years should be constructively devoted to empowering the child through the acquisition of good manners and habits to assume a place in society. The child who has had these opportunities in the Montessori environment is better prepared to devote more effort to the development of his/her intellectual faculties.
Before and after school child care available. See Child Care section.
Renee attended pre-kindergarten through third grade at Montessori School of Ojai. She came back to work in the Child Care program and then as an assistant while completing her Child Development Education. She enjoyed her experiences here so much she also took the Montessori Teacher Training classes and, in 2000, became a teacher in the pre-kindergarten class. In addition to an Associates degree in Business, Renee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. Renee continually enhances her education with seminars, clinics and workshops pertinent to Early Childhood Education and Special Needs students. Renee was awarded the Ojai Valley News Teacher of the Year in 2004.
Jenny received her own early education at Montessori School of Ojai. After attending Chico State University, Jenny returned to Ojai and came to work first in the Child Care program and then as an assistant, while pursuing her Child Development Education. She has completed Montessori Teacher Training under Dr. Victoria Matthews and Montessori Infant Teacher Training and the Preschool-Kindergarten Teacher Training Courses through the North American Montessori Center. She has worked with every age group at the school, but her love of infants inspired her to be instrumental in the development and start of the Infant Program at MSO. Jenny serves as a Montessori Teacher Trainer.