Prospective Parents

About Us

Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future. - Maria Montessori

I am a Montessori certified teacher and strongly believe in Maria Montessori’s philosophy. I have twenty eight years of teaching and administrative experience in education in multicultural environments. For fifteen years, I worked in a prestigious international school system as a teacher, trainer and head mistress. During this time, I went through a variety of teacher training courses and learned valuable techniques to develop the social, intellectual, and emotional skills of children. I also hold a Masters of Education from Michigan State University. This experience taught me the psychology of learning and introduced me to more effective techniques to use for children's education.

I maintain a strong emotional bond with the children, listen to them, make them aware of their feelings and focus on their emotional intelligence. I strongly believe that emotional intelligence plays the most important role in learning and building a caring and respectful relationship between the teacher and the child. I have raised three children and am now blessed with two beautiful grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter, who suffers from autism, is very special and dear to me. Helping her deal and cope with this disorder has opened my eyes to yet another aspect of social, emotional, physical and cognitive problems that a young child may face. I've learned that a loving and motivating environment can help a child overcome any obstacle that may seem unconquerable.

I am very excited to open the doors of my own little children's home to your child, where I will develop peaceful, spiritual and self motivated lifelong learners in a harmonious and respectful learning environment based on Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy.

- Basharat Ahmed, Director

Introductory Video


Philosophy

"It is necessary to give children the possibility of developing according to the laws of their nature, so that they can become strong, and having become strong, can do even more than we dared hope for them" - Maria Montessori

Montessori education is an approach to education which was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1897. It is based on the fundamental belief that a child learns best within a social environment which supports and respects each individual's unique development.

Montessori, an Italian educator, realized that learning is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but by experiences through a child's environment. She believed in three main components of a Montessori classroom: Child, Teacher and Prepared Environment. The teacher prepares the environment for the child and acts as a connector between the environment and the child. Montessori spoke of the prepared environment as being 'the gift of the teacher to the child'. For her work, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times in 1949, 1950, and 1951.

The primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential in all the areas of life. Activities promote the development of social skills, emotional growth and physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation. The holistic curriculum under the direction of a specially prepared teacher allows the child to experience the joy of learning, time to enjoy the process and ensure the development of self esteem and provides the experience from which children create their knowledge.

Each Montessori classroom from birth through high school operates on the principles of freedom within limits. Every program is based on the core Montessori beliefs-respect for each other and for the environment.

Children are free to work at their own pace with materials they have chosen, either alone or with others. The teacher relies on his or her observations of the children to determine which new activities and materials may be introduced to an individual child or to a group. The aim is to encourage active, self directed learning and to strike a balance of individual mastery within small group collaboration within the whole group community.

The multi-year age span in each class provides a family like grouping where learning can take place naturally. More experienced children share what they have learned while reinforcing their own learning.

There are six basic components to the Montessori classroom environment. They deal with the concepts of freedom, structure and order, reality and nature, beauty and atmosphere, the Montessori materials, and the development of the community life. Furthermore, there are two essential components: the environment, which includes the educational materials and exercises; and the teachers who prepare the environment.


Programs

“If houses for children do not exist then let us build them.” - Maria Montessori

We provide early childhood programs in home environment which consist of the following areas:

Practical Life
Practical life is fundamental to Montessori classroom. These exercises help the child develop fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, independence, social awareness, self-esteem, concentration and logical thinking. They also satisfy the child's need for order, indirectly prepare the child for reading, writing or mathematics, and laying solid foundations on which to build for the future. Other examples of practical life exercises are: dressing and undressing, cloth washing, hand washing, shoe polishing, folding, ironing, scrubbing table, putting on apron/folding apron, turning out sleeves/hanging coats.

Sensorimotor
Sensorial materials play an important role in the Montessori classroom. They are designed to sharpen the senses of the young child, and help him or her distinguish, categorize, and relate new information to what he or she already knows.

Each of the sensorial materials isolates one quality, such as: color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound and smell. Isolation of difficulty helps the child understand the direct aim of the material. A child focuses his or her attention on the one quality that varies from piece to piece within the material. For example, red rods, which are all of the same color, texture, and shape, might only differ in length.

Each activity also has an indirect aim which is future learning. It will prepare the child for some other concept. For example, the pink tower, brown stair and cylinder blocks, which are all constructed in sets of ten pieces, helps prepare the child for math and base ten systems.

Language
A child's language is crucial for all areas of his or her development. Dr. Montessori believed that the child's language needed to be constantly supported from entry into nursery. The Montessori materials lay solid foundations for reading, writing, increased vocabulary and listening skills. The materials of Practical Life and Sensorial prepare the child for the use of the language materials. The phonic approach to reading and writing is used initially. Through the non-competitive and individual approach the child gains an enthusiasm for language in all its forms.

Spanish
Hola!
Learning a second language at EMCH is an exciting experience for the children. A native Spanish speaker interacts with them in Spanish, who conducts formal lessons in which the children learn numbers, days of the week, colors and other short phrases in Spanish. In addition, they also learn to sing in the same language.

Mathematics
We use concrete materials to introduce mathematics. Math activities include Golden Beads used to introduce the decimal system, the Spindle Box for counting, Sandpaper Numerals, Numerals and Counters, the Hundred Board and Bead Chains. Through these activities children learn by discovery and develop a positive feeling for the world of numbers. They touch, handle, count, compare and put in order these objects which lead to abstract operations like decimal system, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Geography
Geography is an interesting and important part of our program. Children learn about the world by using wooden puzzle maps, globe and word atlas. By using puzzles as a guide they cut, paste and paint continents and various countries of the world.

Science and Nature
The Science and Nature program is designed not only to help children discover facts, but to develop their sense of wonder about the world. Activities include Land and Water Forms, Living or Non-Living, Sink or Float, Magnetic or Non-Magnetic, the Structure of the Earth and Botany. The children also go on a nature walk to research natural objects like seeds, leaves, flowers and cones.

Art
We have a variety of art and creative activities for the children which we change frequently. Collage and glue, cutting with scissors, hole punching, markers, matching activities with fine art prints, crayons, paint and playdough activities are all part of the Art program. They not only develop fine motor skills but also promote aesthetic sense.

Grace and Courtsey
Through this area of curriculum, children learn to take care of themselves, respect others and respect the environment. The Grace and Courtesy curriculum makes children aware of using polite and respectful language, showing consideration to others, properly introducing oneself, good table manners, carrying things carefully, returning them to their place so others may use them, and moving gracefully and carefully.

Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. It helps the children become flexible, peaceful and coordinated. At EMCH, the children learn animal yoga poses daily, as well as the ability to breathe deeply. Breathing exercises are known to be a popular stress reliever.

Dance
Creative movement dance gives children a chance to explore, create and perform in a safe guided environment. Through exploration of music, situations, stories, and ideas children are able to communicate their thoughts through their bodies and movements. Dance helps develop both gross and fine motor skills, as well as spacial awareness, rhythm and cooperation.

Each dance class ends with an opportunity for each child to create their own dance while the other children are active audience members, promoting the importance of both the performer, the audience and the child's individuality.

© 2015 Evanston Montessori Children's House