Montessori education builds a transformative experience within an especially prepared environment to prepare the child for life. Montessori education method, is based on the scientific and careful observation of the developmental needs of children and the creation of this specially prepared environments, tailored to the stages of human developmental, designed and enriched with materials and activities for the child’s individual manipulation, exploration, and work. Functional independence by caring for self, others and the environment ensures a sound preparation for life and includes the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of every child.

The combination of a prepared adult, the prepared environment, and the natural gifts of the child together create the most beneficial conditions for both the nature and nurture of the child to arise as a connected, compassionate, integrated, warm-hearted, brilliant human being.

The Prepared Adult

Dr. Montessori presents to us that all adults in the child’s life and the teaching guide form what we call the Human aspect of the environment. This is both a privilege and responsibility. All adults should, with great care and self-awareness, present and model to the child the most beautiful human behavior and through this modeling aid and support the process of self-discovery and learning. Dr. Montessori emphasized the spiritual preparation of the teacher, and, at Tara School, we abide by this, and extend it to include opportunities for the preparation of the caregiver, believing, as Dr. Montessori did, that the work of education far surpasses what is done in the classroom, and that every person connected to the child serves, in some sense, as their educational environment. Our teachers are certified with diplomas from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) in the specific developmental stage of the children they guide. They are lifelong practitioners of the Buddhadharma and of Montessori pedagogy, which enables them to embody a unique approach to education that integrates the good heart and preparation for life.

The Prepared Environment

The Montessori prepared environment supports the developmental needs of the child in a holistic way, the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the child are stimulated and enriched, creating a beautiful cascade of exploration leading to natural and harmonious learning. Through beauty and order we inspire the child to care and sustain their inner and outer worlds. Through movement we allow the child to freely, gracefully interact with that world. Through exercising grace and courtesy, the child learns to find and express his inner voice, while respectfully creating a more harmonious community. Each Montessori environment is tailored to meet the needs of a specific stage of development within a mixed-aged group that provides real life relationships; in which we learn from one another, interact as mentor-mentee, as teacher-student, as big sister-little brother, and so on. In other words, the child finds themself as part of an interdependent community.

The Gifts of the Child

We recognize that each child carries within a natural force of development. This internal process, through the interaction and experiences in the world, drives the development of each human being. We are all endowed with Human Tendencies, allowing us to adapt to life and become a member of our greater human family. Critical Periods work as windows of opportunity to focus the child’s attention and entice the acquisition of life important skills. The power of the Absorbent Mind enables the child to internalize, without discrimination, every aspect of the physical and human environment, making them “persons of their place and time.” These enormous powers are the Gifts of the Child, guiding human development during the first six years of life.