When we were forming the idea of opening Montessori in the Woods, we wanted to combine the Montessori philosophy with the concepts of Forest schools and Waldorf schools. We are awake to the fact that education, at least to us, is a journey of collecting wisdom and gaining maturity thru engagement with meaningful life-giving experiences while being guided by loving, wise adults and having the opportunity to grow and express in a calm and beautiful environment. We place a huge emphasis on the emotional and psychological development, and the ability of the child to thrive in a social setting, to express, to be independent in all aspects, to be kind and loving, to set boundaries, to know appropriate behaviour. Every other skill, including academic skills, will come by default when everything in the environment is working synergetically.
We love the Montessori curriculum, allowing the children to preserve and develop their own personality and make their own choices. Montessori emphasizes the individuality of the child, as they are always making their own choices according their own interests and their inner drive. We also love the fact that the child is directing their own educational journey, if so allowed, and that the teachers are actually in the background guiding the students along, rather than deciding this learning journey for them. If the Montessori method is applied in the correct way, it’s a very holistic and healthy education, preserving uniqueness of the child, which is a very important aspect in the Montessori in the Woods.
Nature provides us with wisdom, beauty, never ending learning possibilities, it teaches us respect for all living creatures, brings forth appreciation for the environment and the Earth. It’s unnatural to separate children from the natural world as it gives them the opportunity for imagination, creativity, it opens up their senses, as they notice the trees, animals, weather changes, variety of textures and smells and sounds etc.
In Montessori in the Woods, experiencing nature via our garden is vitally important. We recognize that nature is missing from children’s lives, especially here in the city and we wanted to incorporate it in our school’s curriculum.
To us healthy holistic education would not be complete without proper nutrition. Montessori in the Woods is passionate about food and how it affects our well-being. That’s why we actually grow our own produce in our garden and prepare our own plant based/vegan dishes with the children.
As we have done with our own children, we believe that investment in your child during the preschool age, birth to age 6, is the most important investment you have ever made, much more so than any other stage of life.