The Alive Montessori & Private School elementary school program is based on the Ontario public school curriculum – with a difference.
First of all, we place a very heavy emphasis on the Basics of reading, writing and math to ensure that each child has a sound foundation on which to build his education. All other learning becomes simpler and more rewarding if these Basics are mastered. Therefore, our first priority with any new student is to bring these skills up to speed before spending too much time on other learning.
Unique to our approach is that we use “checksheets” outlining the materials to be covered and the skills to be mastered. The student is expected to fully understand each step before moving on to the next item. In this way, the student progresses at his or her own optimum rate. This moves away from the one-size-fits-all approach and allows us to provide the individual attention lacking in so many schools. It acknowledges the fact that learning does not occur in a smooth, linear progression, but happens in spurts. By using this unique teaching method, the slower student is not overwhelmed with things he is not ready for, and the fast student is not held back and allowed to become bored.
Another unique aspect of our approach is that we teach our elementary students HOW to study. Surprisingly, if you check the curriculum of almost any school from Kindergarten through university, you will find that this is a skill that is almost never taught. Yet in this rapidly changing world, it is vital that our students learn how to accumulate new knowledge and develop new skills quickly, thoroughly and effectively.
The typical modern classroom, for far too many students, has become a place that is uninspiring, dull and boring. This is partly the fault of the school environment itself and partly from poor textbooks and teaching methods that are too heavily weighted towards theoretical book knowledge. Most students will turn off if they cannot see how they can apply what they are supposed to be learning to their lives. It is still necessary to find hands-on activities that will engage the students and we make sure that these are provided at our school. Our classrooms are lively, fun places with lots of activities to keep students interested.
While we use the Ontario curriculum as a base so the child does not get lost if the family moves or if he or she has to re-enter the public system, this is enhanced in many ways. We make extensive use of the E.D. Hirsch (of The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy fame) series What Your ____ Grader Needs to Know as well as other materials the children find interesting to give a more thorough and rounded education. Also, by taking the child’s interests into account, we keep him or her involved and excited in the learning process.
You will also find that your child will not be inundated with homework – we don’t expect parents to do our job. We expect the child to get his or her work done at school.