The pandemic has brought tough challenges to the educational system in various parts of the world. However, the Children’s Paradise Montessori School (CPMS) has found a way to help parents deal with this difficult situation.
CPMS founder and president Marivic Bathan explains the school has implemented a strategy that helps encourage the Montessori method of learning in the homes of its students.
According to Bathan, the school has been conducting coaching programs for parents so that the Montessori way of learning can still be implemented at home until face-to-face classes can be held at the school again.
Children’s Paradise Montessori School President delivered a message to the participants of the Virtual Celebration of the school’s 16th Foundation Day
“In that coaching program, we gave series of workshops. We do that online. Even before the pandemic, there was an active collaboration between the school and the parents,” she explained.
While the coaching program started before the pandemic, CPMS realized that the situation will not be resolved in a year. This meant that parents have to make adjustments since the classes have to be conducted online.
“That’s where we have a solution. We need to closely work with and actively partner with parents in creating a calm, nurturing, and organized environment so learning continues at home. We don’t believe that if they’re not in school, they would not learn as much,” Bathan said.
The goal was to create a Montessori environment at home by training the parents who have been challenged over the situation as they are now held more accountable to oversee their children’s education.
Bathan said the Montessori method is ideal in developing to child to become a self-directed, intrinsically motivated, and independent learner.
“To a certain extent, they (children) are independent but guided. The bottom line is the foundation, which prepares the children for this kind of distance learning,” she pointed out.
The purpose for the coaching program is to orient the parents on the Montessori method, which provides the child the opportunity to develop and enhance their interests, talents, and their skills in creative and critical thinking.
“There is alignment with whatever we do in school. We orient parents, so they would be consistent at home with the Montessori way. So, if in school we let them do things on their own, we expect that parents let their children do the same at home – consistency and alignment. They need to understand why this is done,” Bathan said.
The goal was to create Montessori homes where spaces are set up to provide a conducive learning environment, she added.
“If you want your child to be independent, create a space for the child depicting the culture and the calmness of the environment. We have webinars for parents to guide them on how to create this environment at home,” Bathan said.
There are three elements of the Montessori education. These are the Child, the Environment and the trained Adult/Guide.
The approach gives so much respect to the child by recognizing and considering his/her natural characteristics. It is experiential and highly individualized as it validates the uniqueness of every child. The method has to fit the child by providing for their needs at every stage of development. Also, the environment provides a space for movement and should have learning materials that teach specific concepts concretely and are accessible to the child to work on. And lastly, there is an adult that provides the link between the child and the environment.
Developed by the first Italian woman physician Dr. Maria Montessori, the Montessori education uses a child-focused approach.
In Montessori classrooms, children are either working independently or in small groups and in mixed ages using purposefully designed learning materials. The Montessori Method encourages self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development such as cognitive, emotional, social, and physical.
The CPMS has been lending their Montessori and other learning materials to the homes of students, on a rotation basis, Bathan said, adding that these are important tools in implementing the Montessori method.
“To learn, children do not need a teacher, a trained adult, to be around them at all times. They need some freedom for self-construction to take place. The role of a teacher is not to teach but to facilitate, to guide the students because the (learning) materials are can be teachers themselves,” she pointed out.
A Virtual Thanksgiving Mass was presided by Fr. Robin Dumaguit, OAD during the Children’s Paradise Montessori School 16th Foundation Day in celebration also of the feast of St. Thomas Aquainas
The CPMS, which has recently marked its 16th anniversary, has recently held the Philippine premier of the film Let the Child Be the Guide through online screening.
CPMS initiates the Philippines Premiere of “Let the Child Be the Guide”, the 1st International documentary film on Montessori Education as lived by the children themselves.
The film is a documentary depicting an actual Montessori classroom among 3 to 6 year olds.
Bathan hopes that the film would further spread the Montessori method of learning, which can inspire more parents and educators to rethink about education, consider a non-traditional approach, as well as help address the difficulty and frustrations they encounter as classes continue to be held online.
For more information, check CPMS website at www.childrensparadise.edu.ph, visit its FB Page, or text/ call 0998-5795992 or 422-3446.