The Montessori Children’s Academy opened the doors of its Madison Campus to 45 students in September of 1999. Demand quickly necessitated the addition of more classes, including an Elementary Program in 2002. The need for more space brought the opening of the Chatham Campus in 2003 and MCA expanded again to meet the growing needs of the Short Hills community in 2007 and Convent Station in 2010. At present, MCA serves more than 450 families and offers programs for toddlers through early elementary. The demands of today’s world make a Montessori education more important than ever, and MCA plans to continue to grow to meet them.
The educational method that guides our school was pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator passionately devoted to the welfare and development of young children. Her keen observations led her to the finding that children have “sensitive periods” that coincide with the human developmental process. During those periods, which are self-limiting, children are able to focus on certain types of learning with eagerness and intensity and, as a result, are able to absorb information naturally and almost without effort. By recognizing those periods and fulfilling the children’s needs during those times, adults are uniquely positioned to not only help children realize their potential, but to promote their awareness of themselves as capable and in control of their environment.
Central to Dr. Montessori’s philosophy is the belief that we must “…observe the needs of the child and answer them…”. This is accomplished by providing authentic and meaningful learning experiences that guide children from a concrete to an increasingly abstract understanding of their world. Although founded more than 100 years ago, the Montessori method has been validated by the most current research on human learning and development. Ultimately, the goal of a Montessori education is to give students the skills, motivation and path to become independent, secure, responsible individuals who remain lifelong learners and caring, contributing members of society.
Watch Trevor Eissler’s YouTube video “Montessori Madness!” to see how your child could benefit from a Montessori Education. Trevor Eissler is the father of three Montessori students, a business jet pilot, children’s book author, and international speaker.
“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”—Maria Montessori