There are some things that never lose their charm.
The Montessori orientations are such an event.
It is so gratifying to hear why parents have chosen our institution. Even more fascinating to see the delight in their eyes as the Montessori Methodology is broken down for easy understanding.
2017 marked the fifth year for ILM Montessori. Half a decade has hopped, skipped and jumped by – bringing dozens of talented kids who are sure to one day own the world.
And so this iteration of the orientation had a “jubilee” like feel to it.
There was enthusiasm in the air with the determination to reach bigger, bolder targets.
Trustee Navaid added fuel to the fire by sharing his vision for our wonderful school. While he spoke about excelling in academics, he focused on the importance of values such as truth, honesty, courage and independence.
He touched all hearts by urging staff members and parents to embody these virtues. As these virtues cannot be taught only imbibed. It’s only when we place these values above others that children observing us emulate these themselves.
A Home Away from Home. An Oasis of Calm:
The parents of new ILMites introduced themselves and added a few lines about why they had decided to embrace our institute.
The answers warmed all the cockles of our hearts.
Yalini’s mother Sujata said, “We were glad to learn that you offered staggered timings to help the child settle in. And that you allowed parents to be present till the child to be settled.”
Rishan’s mother Archana added, “I felt very comfortable with the interaction that I had with the teachers. I had a lot of questions and the staff didn’t hurry me but took time to answer them all in detail to my satisfaction.”
Nagasvani’s father Ravikumar was impressed with the patience of the ILM staff, “We realise that at times our child is restless. When we came for the observation session, we noticed the patience that the teachers here have in working with our child.”
Rishabh’s mother Sneha shared why enrolling his brother Ruhaan into ILM was a no-brainer, “We’re parents of ILM already and we’ve seen Rishabh grow here. Whenever we’ve had an apprehension, we were always welcome for a discussion to have that addressed. We did explore other schools for Rishabh’s younger brother, but none matched ILM’s standards.”
Sai’s mother Anupuma motivated us with these words, “This is the only school in Koramangala that has Montessori Elementary, hence we’ve taken a home closer to the school.”
With a fresh resolve to be and do even better, the parents were ushered into the building to explore the various Montessori teaching methods.
Exercises of Practical Life (EPL):
To someone who doesn’t know much about Montessori, children engaged in activities like pouring water, cutting paper, cleaning rooms and tying shoe laces may come across as odd. But these simple tasks form the basis of enhanced hand to eye coordination and a strong sense of responsibility.
Parents were introduced to the multiple benefits of EPL that students enjoy including:
- Better concentration
- Developed Gross and Fine motor skills
- The ability to take care of themselves
They were also advised to hand age-appropriate chores to their kids – just to maintain the rhythm of learning at home.
This segment of the Montessori curriculum is all about refining the five senses with which we take in the world.
Parents were shown the sensorial objects that students would play and engage with. These items are designed for error correction. Kids can make out if they have done something wrong and can correct it without needing the teacher’s intervention.
The independence also promotes problem-solving skills.
Activities and objects like:
- The Pink Tower wherein children have to line up cubes of different sizes in a particular order to understand the difference between “big” and “small”.
- Brown Stairs wherein kids sort cuboids of varying thicknesses to grasp the difference between thick and thin.
- Sound Boxes which teach children to distinguish between the tones produced by different materials.
Keep students focused and happy.
In the world of Montessori numbers aren’t the child’s foe. Because he is clearly shown the need of arithmetic in real life.
Once sensorial objects impress opposites like tall & short, thick & thin, big & small upon his mind, it is natural for an inquisitive kid to ask the question, “How much taller?” “How much bigger?” “How much thinner?”
This is where the magic of maths steps in.
With interesting activities like Long Rods, Number Rods, Spindle Box, Cards and Counters and the Decimal system students willingly reach for numbers to find an answer to their questions and develop a positive relationship with the discipline.
Without language, there can be no self-expression!
Parents were then walked through the gradual progression of activities which leads to effortless and superior reading skills.
Kids are adding to their vocabulary all the time. As they navigate the challenges of EPL and Sensorial inputs, they pick up words to describe objects, variables, dimensions and hues.
What the language classes do is a three stage process:
1. The Teachers sensitise the children to the phonetic sounds associated with words.
2. In the next stage, children are provided with visual symbols for the sounds.
3. Finally, they are taught the sequencing of these symbols.
Viola…by age 6 most ILMites are spontaneously reading newspaper headlines, stringing together simple sentences and often exposing family quirks through their classwork! 😉
It’s lucky that the staff members have a good stomach for secrets!
The cavalcade of exploration stopped at the Culture area where parents were given a preview of what their children would learn in the classes.
They were shown the Botanical World in which kids will identify parts of leaves, flowers, trees and the names and shapes of different laminas.
The Biological World in which kids will marvel at the life cycles of frogs and butterflies and learn to appreciate the diversity around us.
Different Land Form models like gulfs, bays and isles which will expose the little ones to the richness of topography that our earth is blessed with.
Simple everyday objects from the grocery store which will instruct students in the art of practical living.
The Orientation session came to a close on a general note of exuberance. Parents went home satisfied with their decision to entrust their kids to Montessori in general and ILM in particular.
What more can we ask for?