THE MONTESSORI APPROACH
Nurturing a child is important, but it’s no easy task, especially when it comes to lifelong learning. The children’s house, the leading Montessori preschool in Klang Valley with its humble beginnings, is committed to transform the process of children’s education that will shape their attitudes when they transition into adults to contribute to society and make a huge difference. For more than 30 years, The children’s house has expanded exponentially, with more than 10 schools throughout Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. With the Montessori method, The children’s house is set to go even further as Malaysia’s leading Montessori preschool.
How did the preschool prevail for more than 3 decades?
A Life-Changing Choice
Nan Civel was caught in an unfulfilling career and felt that she needed a shift in her life. It took her a single sheet of a leaflet to change her life forever. She discovered the existence of the Montessori Method and was determined to transform her life by bringing Dr Maria Montessori’s legacy to Malaysia to provide the best early years education to children. Walking on the path that Dr Montessori graciously paved for aspiring educators in early childhood, Nan knew that this was her true calling. She adopted a baby soon after, and as a wife, a mother, and educator moved forward with steely courage to set up the very first complete Montessori preschool in Malaysia, called The children’s house.
The Montessori Method
To be the longest-established Montessori preschool in Malaysia, The children’s house needed to have a curriculum that could be applicable for each unique child. The Montessori Method has a huge role in fueling The children’s house evergreen popularity among parents. One of the main elements that makes the method stand out is its focus on nurturing a child to be gracious, courteous, kind, and compassionate yet intellectually inclined at a young age. At The children’s house, children are taught basic self-care such as washing their hands before and after meals, table manners, teamwork, courtesy and compassion through simple and regular routines.
The unique teaching approach created by Dr Montessori is still effective to this day, and The children’s house has been using them ever since the establishment of its first school in Batai. The Montessori Method and its materials focus on Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Number Work and Culture—crucial elements that are needed in ensuring a well-rounded growth in each child.
The didactic materials are meticulously sized-down to fit into children’s hands, enabling them to fully explore their surroundings with their senses. Children imitate physical tasks in Practical Life, using tools like trays, jugs, bowls, spoons, tongs and dressing frames to develop their concentration, movement coordination, sense of order, and independence. Sensorial materials provided are made to refine a child’s senses, triggering them to learn and expand their vocabulary as they explore the world through their senses.
Language materials are made to help children gain better control over writing instruments and form letters of the alphabets using their stereognostic sense, enabling them to learn reading and writing better. Materials for Number Work provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn calculation and master complex terms like decimals, odd and even numbers. In Culture, children are exposed to a wide range of topics like biology, botany, zoology, geography and history along with the integration of music, arts and craft. The combined materials and subjects along with fun nature walks enable children to gain a better understanding of their environment and the world. Children are also free to choose which materials to work on at their own pace—this is how they truly and fully grow into well-rounded individuals.
The teachers of The children’s house are made up of individuals who share the same mindset as the school: to emphasise lifelong learning when educating children. Children and teachers share a unique bond at The children’s house, with each child fondly calling each teacher as ‘Aunty’. This teacher-child bond is a pride of the school as it takes a great deal of genuine passion for teaching children to achieve this.
Each teacher, or Aunty, possesses the traits of an ideal educator for early years education. The Aunties always navigate children towards the path of gaining independence. While keeping in mind the need for them to learn things on their own, teachers at The children’s house act as facilitators in lessons, giving children ample space and time to explore their surroundings on their own using Montessori materials. The Aunties are aware that they are the children’s role models in preschool and set the best example for them through their acts of kindness, mannerism and compassion. Aunties at The children’s house are qualified with a Diploma in Montessori or Early Childhood Education and have received training in the Montessori method. Some of them even have more than 10 years of experience teaching in The children’s house! Their wholehearted dedication in educating children has provided a strong pillar that supports the school’s long-lasting reputation as Malaysia’s best Montessori preschool.
“…my daughter wakes up every day and can’t wait to go to school. She loves her aunties, her friends and the great environment she can explore.” -Parent
Dr Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori Method, believes that parents, educators and caregivers all play a huge role in stimulating healthy brain growth for children. Having lasted for more than 3 decades is indeed an impressive achievement for a preschool, and for The children’s house, this milestone is also due to the parents’ endless support and faith in the school’s core values. Parents understand and support the Montessori Method to be used as the school’s curriculum, as they have seen for themselves the positive impact that it brings to their children.
“…she feeds herself and chomped up all food that was given to her at school. She could identify 96% of all her body parts, sing a handful of songs and managed its lyrics.” -3 Batai Parent
Parents are also actively involved in the school’s event and celebrations, accompanying their children in fun activities and games. The children’s house believe that parental support creates a circle of love, harmony and mutual respect. When parents experience a celebration with their children at school, making crafts and trinkets together, it also boosts a child’s self-esteem and confidence. The parents have absolute faith in the school’s ability to nurture children into lifelong learners, knowing that each time their child goes to school, they are in the best hands that are capable of cultivating confident, courteous, independent and respectful individuals.
Some of the parents are even alumni of The children’s house. Dominique is the first child in the very first preschool at The children’s house, who is now a chiropractor with his own clinic in France. His fond memories at The children’s house have stayed with him until this day.
“I loved the red school bag and carried it everywhere! Now I cannot describe the bliss of being a father.”
Celebrating Life With Children
“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” –Maria Montessori
At The children’s house, children come together as one as they work together, play together, learn together and explore their little worlds together. It is the job of teachers and support from parents that unite The children’s house community together as one. From a humble preschool that expanded to more than 10 branches, The children’s house has come a long way, producing individuals who are set to bring great contributions to society through high-quality early years education—and the school will continue growing as Malaysia’s leading Montessori preschool while celebrating life with children.