Since 2005, parents have been choosing Thornhill Montessori Learning Centre as a better alternative to daycares/child care centres and public school kindergarten programs. Unlike the public school kindergarten program which is play-based, we are academic focused. TMLC is the next step when you feel your child is ready for more academics, or needs to be challenged. We have developed a strong reputation for compassionate care, outstanding academic achievements, quality programming, and one-on-one attention, in a small nurturing environment. Thornhill Montessori Learning Centre is based on the educational philosophy and academic methods of Dr. Maria Montessori. In addition, the program is supplemented with the Ministry of Education’s curriculum (content) and pedagogy foundations (how learning happens) highlighting the interrelationships among children, families, educators and the environment.
The Montessori Method of education is internationally established. Montessori education begins with a deep respect for children as unique individuals and concern for their social and emotional development.
The goal of Montessori education is to help children to achieve their potential without pressure or competition, to challenge them at their own pace, and to respond to each child’s individual needs.
The Montessori classroom brings together children in a multi-age group from 3-5. This allows the teacher to develop a close relationship with each child, thus knowing his/her learning style and ability. It also encourages a strong sense of community, facilitates student discussion and stimulates collaborative learning. The Montessori curriculum is organized into a spiral of integrated studies whereby lessons are introduced simply and concretely initially, and are reintroduced several times over succeeding years, with increasing degrees of abstraction and complexity. It is for this reason that the three-year cycle of attendance is recommended.
The Montessori classroom is organized into several curriculum areas including; practical life skills, sensorial activities, language, math, geometry, botany, zoology, geography and history.
The curriculum is carefully structured and integrated to demonstrate the connections among these different subject areas. Recognizing these interrelationships help children develop a global vision, to see things as part of a whole.
For each level of the Montessori curriculum there is an extensive collection of carefully defined educational materials. Each piece of the material isolates and teaches one concept or skill at a time, and are used as a concrete representation of abstract concepts. This assists students in visualizing and understanding complex concepts and global connections.
The Montessori materials are designed to allow children to work independently by means of self-correcting materials, at their own pace, with on-going support from the teacher as required. The classroom operates on the principle of ‘freedom within limits’.
Materials are carefully organized and displayed on open shelves ready to be discovered by the child. The Montessori classroom nurtures and inspires, leading children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate, research and discover. Growth comes from activity.
Children learn naturally in this prepared environment, through hands on experience. It promotes understanding, not memorization (“I hear-I forget, I see-I remember, I do- I understand”).
The most important years for learning are from birth to age six. During this time there are sensitive periods for learning, periods of intense fascination for learning a particular characteristic or skill, such as putting objects in order, counting, or language development. It is easier for the child to learn a particular skill during the corresponding sensitive period than at any other time in his life. The Montessori classroom takes advantage of this fact by allowing the children freedom to select individual activities which correspond to their own periods of interest.
To take full advantage of these extraordinary abilities, Thornhill Montessori Learning Centre offers a challenging, academic focused environment in which children are encouraged to explore their interests and develop their full potential by stimulating the cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative stages of development. In our Centre, learning is encouraged by allowing children opportunities to choose among an array of purposeful activities. The aim is to encourage active, self-directed learning by providing experiences contributing to the growth of confident, self-motivated, independent learners who are respectful of themselves and others. Children are encouraged to excel academically and are challenged at their own level and ability regardless of their age.