We believe each child to be created by God uniquely precious, & to be cared for as an individual with his or her particular gifts. Learning must focus on the child's needs, therefore, educational experiences must vary in kind & degree that each student's potential may be challenged. We believe the method of education should be open-ended & should encourage innovation & growth. We believe that children possess the drive to develop themselves. Children learn best from their own physical activity & senses if given the freedom to discover, explore & create in an enriched environment with supportive guidance based on observation of the children's interests & needs. We believe that children want to learn how to interact appropriately with others. Therefore, we offer lessons in grace & morality in the classroom. Courtesy & kindness are marks of the Montessori staff & children. Montessori can be described as a method of teaching developed by Maria Montessori, who was an Italian Doctor in the early l900's. She was fascinated by young children & their delight with the world around them. After she began her studies of handicapped children & had discovered & proved that they learned as easily as normal children, she began to wonder why she couldn't help normal children learn in the same way. She then researched & developed her ideas of children's concentration, need for repetition, fondness for order, preference for work over play, need for freedom
The Atrium The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is taught in the Atrium. The Atrium is a place where children grow in the knowledge of Jesus and His love, where they become more capable of responding to His love. The materials and lessons prepare them for involvement in the larger worshiping community. The religious curriculum is fused together with historical lessons. It offers a prepared environment which allows freedom within limits, and where children can gain a sense of self while experiencing spiritual development. Children are allowed to develop spiritually, emotionally, socially and intellectually at their own pace. The Atrium's Prayer Corner is a space for reflection, meditation, and spontaneous prayer with God. The Discovery Shelf helps the children encounter the gifts God has given in creation from the heavens, earth and sea. They are able to express their experiences in different art forms with materials from the Expression Area. The 3-6 year old child is particularly capable of receiving and enjoying the most essential elements of the Christian faith: the announcement of God's love in the person of the Good Shepherd who died and is risen. Materials on the life of Christ and his teachings help make the mystery of God concrete for the child. The catechetical part of the Montessori program is optional and is offered for one hour once a week.