Montessori School of Maui (MOMI) has remained a favorite choice for many on Maui for years. On the eve of its 40th anniversary, it continues to grow rapidly. They believe such demand is specifically related to their child-centered, holistic approach to educating children. Research shows that the Montessori approach is beneficial and it will support the advancement of the greater good.
Authentic Montessori programs such as MOMI’s are designed to provide specially prepared environments for young people ages 18 mos to 14 years, so that they may develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically. Through this approach, children are supported to gain the abilities necessary to participate successfully in society. For very young children, the focus is on physical and social development; and as they grow older, exercising their capacity for critical thinking takes center stage as this is what they will later employ when they acquire information and apply it to the real world.
At the onset, the Montessori environment is the child’s first independent step away from the home. Shared relationships develop first. This is the foundation of emotional competence, without which the child can neither gain confidence nor take the next steps toward independence.
The role of the teacher in such an environment is to create a connection between the child and a carefully prepared environment. Here, it is the task of the teacher to observe the development of the child and to guide her toward materials that provide appropriate intellectual challenge and help her make sense of the world.
MOMI’s program focuses on providing for the developmental needs of children. It recognizes and supports the needs of individual children, while supporting social interaction within the group and recognizing the significant roles of both the literal and physical environment in the process of learning.
Ultimately, it is important to ensure that the program you choose for your child is appropriate – from the way it makes you feel to the education it promotes.
To learn more about Montessori School of Maui and the possibilities it can provide your child, please call 808.573.0374 or visit their website at www.momi.org.
Dr. Eric Dustman is presently Head of School at Montessori School of Maui, and has served in a similar capacity for nearly two decades in Ohio and mainland China. He holds Elementary I and II credentials, and has lent support to the writing of standards for authentic Montessori school with the American Montessori Society for nine years.