Enhancing your Child's Creativity
Learning with Traditional values
Toddler & Primary Community
Toddler CommunityIn Toddler Community, We offer a small group experience for children 18 months to 2 ½ years, who are encouraged to explore their interests in a peaceful home environment, prepared with inviting and challenging materials.
Primary CommunityPrimary class is a mixed age grouping of 2 ½ to 6 ½ year-old children based on Maria Montessori’s philosophy of a multi-age educational society. The child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth is fostered and supported.
“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
At Bodhana, we offer an authentic Montessori program. Here are some tenets which we follow.
We offer the child a place of inspiration and distinguished education in a safe environment. We understand the needs of unique child and provide them with specialised learning materials and exploratory activities. Every child will be guided through a series of exercises and encouraged to work independently following his/her own unique developmental path.
At Bodhana, we believe this approach to academics will promote self confidence, self esteem and self motivation. Research has shown that child’s learning abilities and retention power develops well enough even at the age of 1 ½ to start his/her education with Montessori material. “Help me do it myself” is the inner voice of every child in the House of Children.
Taking this into consideration, we have two communities at Bodhana.[POPUP=IMG1]
Toddler & Primary
In Toddler Community, We offer a small group experience for children 18 months to 2 ½ years, who are encouraged to explore their interests in a peaceful home environment, prepared with inviting and challenging materials.
The toddler community is a very important class, especially as this may be the first school experience. This is a delicate class as much personal and developmental growth is happening to these young children.
The classroom is a rich educational setting, filled with hands-on activities for this critical age of development.
We emphasize art, music, practical life, language, gardening and creative free play. Our beautiful outdoor area offers opportunities for gross motor development.
There is a “gallant dignity” within children of this age. When they are nurtured, treated gently, and consistently challenged they retain this dignity into adulthood.
The child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth is fostered and supported.
The Whole Child is Served.
Social: Grace and Courtesy lessons help with the development of compassion, respect and helpfulness. Children become cooperative members of the classroom community.
Emotional: Children gain a sense of competence and experience self-respect as they master new skills. They make choices and practice appropriate and effective communication.
Physical: Specially designed materials and lessons help children develop fine and large motor control, and coordination.
Intellectual: Lessons and materials promote independence, concentration, and academic development. Children work with lessons that include Language, Mathematics, Geography, Science and Art.
All the answers you want
Q1. What is the Montessori Method of education?
Ans.: This system of education is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on two important developmental needs of children:
- The need for freedom within limits
- A carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences.
Through these developmental needs, the child develops intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. The Montessori method of education is designed to take full advantage of the children’s desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities. Children need adults to expose them to the possibilities of their lives, but the children must determine their response to all the possibilities.
Q2. What is the purpose of the Montessori Method?
Ans.: Primarily, the purpose of the Montessori method is to provide an environment where the innate abilities of the child can unfold spontaneously, encouraging the development of the person within, allowing the child to achieve his greatest potential. Maria Montessori stated, “the child is the father of the man.” As the child develops his inner self, a love of life and learning follows naturally.
Q3. When should I start my child in Montessori?
Ans.: The abilities of young children at two and three years old are really amazing. In Montessori environments, Children are able to absorb concrete materials using all their senses simultaneously, a unique ability soon lost. This period of special absorption is called “Sensitive Periods”. As the child grows, these periods change, yet the continuum is set in motion for the rest of the child’s life. Therefore, the early years are the most important, yet most neglected in many societies. Starting a child at 2 1/2 in a good Montessori environment with well-trained directresses can have results that will remain with the child all her life. Still, Montessori for toddlers(1 ½ to 2 ½ years) will help the child gain more fine and gross motor skills and prepare them for the sensitive period effectively.
Q4. What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?
Ans.: Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities with materials that have been introduced to them 1:1 by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education.
Q5. Where are the rows of desks? Where does the teacher stand?
Ans.: The different arrangement of a Montessori classroom mirrors the Montessori methods differences from traditional education. Rather than putting the teacher at the focal point of the class, with children dependent on her for information and activity, the classroom shows a literally child-centered approach. Children work at tables or on floor mats where they can spread out their materials, and the teacher circulates about the room, giving lessons or resolving issues as they arise
Q6. Why does Montessori have multi-age classrooms?
Ans.: Mixed age group is a striking difference between Montessori and traditional educational programs.
Q7. What Do Mixed Age Groups Bring to Montessori?
Ans.: Interaction: The mixed age group environment creates an atmosphere where children learn to help and be helped by other children, because they interact consistently with children whose age and abilities are varied. Children gain an appreciation for their achievement and the accomplishments of others, and are naturally challenged by the achievements of others.
Learning from Each Other: Older children learn to be patient and tolerant, and serve as role models and teachers for the younger children. When an older child teaches a younger one, it reinforces previously learned concepts and is actually an aid in complete mastery of concepts. Younger children learn about courtesy, manners, and conflict resolution by watching the older children in the class.
Work at Child’s Own Pace: Because teachers do not have to set the instruction pace by a whole group, each child is given the ability to learn at his or her own pace. This is a striking difference from traditional education, where everyone turns to page 33 of the book and stays there until every child understands the concept.
Community: By staying in a classroom for a three year period, children develop a strong sense of community and stability, with 2/3 of a class returning every year. This community aids the development of students as role models for one another.
Familiarity: Being in the same classroom year after year allows a teacher to truly learn each individual child’s learning abilities, style, and developmental level to better be able to set the learning agenda as well as build on strengths and work on weaknesses.
Q8. If children are free to choose their own work, how do you ensure that they receive a well rounded education?
Ans.: Montessori children are free to choose within limits, and have only as much freedom as they can handle with appropriate responsibility. The directress ensure that children do not interfere with each other, and that each child is progressing at her appropriate ace in all subject. For every child there will be a weekly and term plan set out by the directress and will be closely followed for the complete development of the child in every aspect.
Q9. Is Montessori only for certain types of children?
Ans.: The Montessori Method of education is not directed at any particular type of child. In fact, Montessori is advantageous for many different styles of learning. Some children learn better by touching, some by listening, and some by doing: there are many ways children become successful in a Montessori classroom. It is been applied and proven successful in wide range of cultures.
Q10. How do older students who transfer into Montessori classes adjust?
Ans.: Some Montessori schools do not allow older students to enter their classes. Most give priority to transferring students from their own or other Montessori schools. Adjustment into Montessori classes depends upon the child, his prior educational experience, innate flexibility, and attitudes toward learning and school. They frequently enter with heightened enthusiasm for the “games” encountered. As they adjust to the more subtle structure of the classroom and their own responsibility for their learning, they usually go through a period of trying the limits. It is not unusual for students entering from more traditional education to want to do everything in the room the first week. The idea of touching, handling, and talking as they work tends to, at first, be over stimulating for some, while intimidating for others. It usually takes 6 weeks to 6 months for students to integrate into the classroom. Once adjusted, however, students who have experienced another form of education can positively engage their peers in introspective observations.
Q11. What happens when my child leaves Montessori?
Ans.: This is the most frequently asked question of most people seeking information regarding Montessori learning. Changing from one environment to another takes self-confidence and patience. Different children respond differently to change. Most children adjust well to the transfer from Montessori to other private or public schools when their self esteems are high. Statistically, those who are in Montessori classrooms longest tend to make the adjustment more smoothly. They usually enter their new environments with a positive, flexible confidence following their experience with, and nurturing of, a real love of learning. The skills that they have learned from being in Montessori classroom completely outweigh the problems that they encounter when they first make the transition to a traditional school.
Q12. No textbooks, no grades! Explain this to me because it does not make any sense!
Ans.: Montessorians see text books as limiting. We teach them the concepts through manipulating objects, colour, movement, matching, comparing, researching and so on. We feel that simply going to a text book for information doesn’t teach a child how to learn. But a child who is taught to use the library, the internet, newspapers, as well as to gather information from their surroundings, use prior knowledge, analyze and extrapolate will.
As far as grades go, in Montessori we work towards mastery- the complete understanding of a concept. In a grade focused classroom people often work on learning tricks to pass the test. A Child’s progress is not dictated by a textbook or a grade level, but by their own innate ability.
“Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world” – Dr. Maria Montessori
Born in Italy in 1870, Dr. Maria Montessori was a remarkable educator whose insights remain profound. She believed each child is a secret which is gradually revealed as he/she develops. Maria Montessori was adamant that intelligence blossoms when imagination is sparkled.
Maria and Montessori believed that “no human being is educated by another person. He must do it himself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues to learn long after he leaves the classroom because he is motivated from within by natural curiosity and love for knowledge”
Montessori began to develop her philosophy and methods in 1897, attending courses in pedagogy at the University of Rome and reading the educational theory of the previous two hundred years. In 1907, she opened her first classroom, the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, in a tenement building in Rome. From the beginning, Montessori based her work on her observations of children and experimentation with the environment, materials, and lessons available to them. She frequently referred to her work as “scientific pedagogy”.
Through her initial work with handicapped and socially deprived children, she began to develop her unique educational philosophy. As a result of her further study, observation, and experimentation, she found the principles of her method to be applicable to all children.
Our children will learn to think and reason, learn to respect and love to learn not as a task but as a journey.
Our goal is not to fill the child with facts from a preselected course of studies but rather to cultivate his/her own desire to learn.
At Bodhana, we follow authentic Montessori Program with all the tenets respected and holistically applied.
The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on the scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world.
It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and children’s physical, social, emotional, cognitive development.
Montessori education is not a system of teaching but a method of guiding children in the total development of their personalities and enhancing key periods of their growth and learning.
“Enjoyment”, “Happiness”, “Empowerment” are the words we hear only in Montessori House of Children. It is not what the teacher does or what the school provides….it is what the child experiences at the end.
“Montessori education is a brain based, developmental method that allows children to make creative choices in discovering people, places and knowledge of the world.”
-Dr. Steven Hughes, Ph.D, President, American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology
- Montessori schools begin with a deep respect for children as individuals. They work with a deep concern for their social and emotional development.
- Montessori classes brings together children of multi-age levels. This allows teachers to have close and long term relationship with the child while also understanding his learning style. This encourages learning from each other. Older children learn to be patient and tolerant and serve as a role model for the younger ones. Also when they help the younger ones, it reinforces his previously learned concepts and will aid them to gain mastery over the concepts.
- The environment is arranged according to subject area, and children are always free to move around the room instead of staying at desks. There is no time limit as to how long a child can work with a piece of material. The subject area includes Practical Life Exercises, Sensorial, Arithmetic, Language, Science, Geography, Art, Music, etc.
- There are self-correcting materials within the environment. The materials are designed so that the children learn through their own errors to make the correct decision as well as a guide point it out to them.
- There is an emphasis on concrete learning and progressive abstract thinking. Children need to experience concepts in concrete “hands on” ways so that they make their own leaps to abstraction.
- The environment is “prepared” for the children. Everything in the room has a specific place on the shelf. Children are orderly by nature and having the room set this way allows them to grow in a very positive way.
- There are no papers turned back with red marks and corrections. Instead the child’s effort and work is respected as it is. The teacher, through extensive observation and record-keeping, plans individual projects to enable each child to learn what he needs in order to improve.
- There are no grades, or other forms of reward or punishment, subtle or overt. Assessment is by portfolio, teacher’s observation and record keeping. The test of whether or not the system is working lies in the accomplishment and behaviour of the children, their happiness, maturity, kindness, love of learning and level of work.
- Education of character is considered equally with academic education, children learning to take care of themselves, their environment, each other – cooking, cleaning, building, gardening, moving gracefully, speaking politely, being considerate and helpful, doing social work in the community, etc.
- Montessori Method emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading for 0 – 6 year children.
For e.g., Alphabets are introduced through Sand Paper letter – to feel and remember the shape and phonetics of different letters.
Numbers are introduced through Number rods to understand them through their quantity.
Number system is introduced through beads – they feel the shape and size of the material to understand the number.
Google Founder Larry Page:
“When Barbara Walters, who interviewed Google founders Messrs. Page and Brin in 2004, asked if having parents who were college professors was a major factor behind their success, they instead credited their early Montessori education. “We both went to Montessori school,” Mr. Page said, “and I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world, doing things a little bit differently.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder of Amazon
According to Jeff Bezos’s mother, young Jeff would get so engrossed in his activities as a Montessori preschooler that his teachers would literally have to pick him up out of his chair to go to the next task. “I’ve always felt that there’s a certain kind of important pioneering that goes on from an inventor like Thomas Edison,” Mr. Bezos has said.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales;
Mark Zuckerberg – the co-founder of Facebook
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Nobel Prize winner for Literature
Prince William and Prince Harry
acknowledges their credits for their Montessori education.This List will definitely include more Indians in coming years as Montessori schools have recently started deeprooting In India.
Will Wright, inventor of bestselling “The Sims” videogame series:
“Montessori taught me the joy of discovery,” Mr. Wright said, “It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori…”
WHAT PARENTS SAY ABOUT US
Bodhana is my son’s first school and as parents we are very happy with the choice. From being a shy child who cried everytime when he has to go to school, my son transformed into an outgoing kid who started to look forward to go to school… he even wanted to go to school on holidays! All thanks to Team Bodhana! The teachers at Bodhana really understand the psyche of each child and cater to their needs accordingly.
There is no undue pressure and the child is given his/her own time to develop. Under their patient and intelligent guidance, kids thrive well naturally. When I was discussing Bodhana’s curriculum and method of approach with one of my friends who is in the education field for more than two decades, she lauded them and told me that my child is in very safe hands. We wish Team Bodhana, all the very best; hope that they continue the good work and scale great heights in their chosen path.Rajeswari
When I was in look out for a school for my son Samridh, all I wanted was a home away from home. In many ways Bodhana offers the same. The concept of every child is unique is what attracted me to the Montessori system of schooling. Here kids are encouraged to be independent and given freedom of thought and action and this school stands by its objectives of providing a spot-on Montessori environment. Aunties are very observant of kid’s activities every day and are approachable anytime. The detailed report given at the end of each term is just very exhaustive of what the child was and the discussions held during that time is much focused. They don’t limit themselves to reporting; also voluntarily extend their helping hand in case of any need (on which I have my first-hand experience).
Kids are at their best when they are allowed to be kids and in that way I am happy that my son is learning things in a logical and fun filled way. He loves to be in school (at times refuses to come home!!!) and as a parent we are happy to give our child a right place to start his learning.Prasanna C N
– We are giving only healthy natural homemade foods for snacks and avoid readymade foods.
– We are trying to make Nikhil independent and make him get ready by himself.
– Trying to reduce the TV/Gadget time and instead play with him physically.
– Encourage him to make his own decisions by providing choices on food/cloth/play etc.
Not just Nikhil, we too miss Bodhana, as it is a great learning place for parents too.
Bodhana has taught Nikhil about life from a child’s perspective which will reflect in his entire life.
Thanks for all your support all these years. Ravishankar and Srividhya
Teachers were so caring and patient with the children. The environment was so positive and learning. Thank you for all the useful sessions and tips on parenting. We wish all the very best to the kids,teachers and Tangaakka of Bodhana. Raj and maheshwari
Like most Montessori oriented parents we were searching for a proper Montessori school in Velachery area. Bodhana was then a startup school.When we met Uma, we were reasonably convinced that they are not here to mint money in the name of Montessori education. We could see that they had passionate and well trained Montessori teachers. Our daughter Charmi joined the Bodhana family when she was 2.5 years. For the next 2 years, she enjoyed her childhood. I would say, she was in total control of what she wanted to learn and she did blossom like a flower in the forest. Unfortunately we had to move to another city and she now misses Bodhana.
In my opinion, these are the reasons why Charmi and we are missing Bodhana:
1. Small community: Larger schools with 5 storey buildings scare us. Bodhana’s small community of kids is well interlinked. They were really a family. We could see the benefit of mixed age group. Charmi learned the need to help toddlers and also got a lot of help from her older friends. Now, she could work well with any age group.
2. Kids do it all: I have come across many schools where projects are done by the teachers and sent back to home to impress the parents. Same way, parents do the projects and they sent it to the school and impress the teacher. Bodhana is not one of them. I always had the joy of seeing a completely scribbled paper as her project for the day. The scribble might not mean anything to us, but for the kid ‘it is all her work’.
3. Teacher’s role is to empower: There is no classroom, no lecture, no reciting and no repeated writing in Bodhana. The teachers (aunties) limit themselves to demonstrating an activity or letting a kid know how to handle something. The kid learns it, does it and even helps the other kids do it. Allowing the kid to take control of her/his learning is the best way to teach. Till date, Charmi learns everything that we do by observing. She would need minimal instructions.
4. Language: When the aunties primarily interact with the kids in English, I have seen kids reply or ask in their mother tongue. I have seen my kid learn to speak in English over the two years seamlessly. There was no forced system mandating everyone to speak only in English. That would have limited the kids’ ability to express. On the other hand, Bodhana encourages kids to sing songs in different languages and kids tend to appreciate the joy of using different languages.
5. Working with nature: Within a limited but beautiful space Bodhana has managed to conduct many nature related activities. The seeds that she planted at the school and pots she brings from her school are all her properties. The Love for nature is inculcated at the beginning of life and this is crucial in building a good society.
6. Outings: This is the most awesome part of Bodhana. Not many schools have the guts to take kids on an outing without a 2 page legal document from the parents. At Bodhana, parents trust them and they trust the parents. They have been to large parks, Church, aquariums and similar places. These outings have definitely helped Charmi to develop her own way of looking at things.
7. Functions: Most schools conduct a grand Diwali/Christmas/Annual day celebration. Most part of the celebration would have been done by professionals and teachers. Children would just play robotic work. Bodhana does not do it. Here every event is organized by the kids. They supply the refreshments, they decorate the room and they entertain us. There is scope for lot of imperfections which in my opinion is a significant learning tool for the kids.
Overall, we miss Bodhana as much as Charmi misses it. With all the social skills she has acquired in Bodhana, she has now settled in a new school atmosphere happily within 2 weeks.Gowri and Krishnan
Anukriti being the first child to Bodhana we are so happy and proud to be the part of Bodhana family. She still recollects all her friends and aunties name and she loves to be back to Bodhana always and she misses everyone.
When she first joined in the school she was calm not even started to talk. Then we could see a huge transformation after her first term. We could see so many changes in her. She started to talk more and became socialised with people. The way she welcomes the people it’s amazing…. She used to recollect all the rhymes told by her aunties till now. Thank you so much to all the aunties and hope we will be back soon.Swarna and Anand
In what is found to be common in parents regarding how their children would accept “school”, we parents of Advaith have not been any exemption. Every child is an apple of his parents eyes and this feeling made us look for such a school which can instil a child attend the path to knowledge – to simply put it for us it is “Bodhana”. At Bodhana we understood that schooling is made a joyous experience to the kids the first step being very friendly and affirmative approach of all members of the faculty. We could realise in no time that it is not a “teacher” there but and “aunt” who could do everything that a teacher does. This indeed was a testimonial
Adding a feather to the cap of their educational approach is the systematic and extensive report Bodhana offers to the parents exhibiting the child’s credentials. With such a child centric approach it is not hard for any one of us to believe that all children are born with exemplary skills and how we hone them is what makes the difference.
We for one strongly believe that the present members of faculty have to be thanked from the bottom of our hearts in helping our child transcend from his own cocoon to a very good socialiser.N Pavithra & S Vasudevan
Soon, Bodhana became the back-bone for my Child to be nurtured, developed, pampered and independent. One cannot believe that in the last two years and 3 months journey that my Child traveled in Bodhana, there was not a single instance when her term reports would disagree with our parental observation. Till date, we wonder how could Bodhana provide us with a qualitative report that traced every single moment and activity performed by the Child.
Bodhana is a great example of how one can extend the best education coupled with values while assuring freedom for the Child. We as parents feel proud to have made the decision and having chosen “Bodhana” as the medium of inculcating positive attributes in our Child.
Thanks to Shanthi Aunty for comforting our Child in her arms and making “Hurrah” as the turning point to change the world around her !
Thanks to Ramya Aunty for being the Child’s sweet singing inspiration !
Thanks to Mythli Aunty and SathyaPriya Aunty for having guided and mentored the Child so well !
Thanks to Thangakka for making sure that the child is taken care off !
Above all, thanks to Uma Aunty for living , breathing and spreading the joy of “Montessori methodology” to parents like us !!
Thanks to Bodhana for capturing the best moments of our life and for helping us understand the deeper meaning of Parenthood through your experiential workshops and articles !!!
“To us, Bodhana is not a School, it’s a home away from home filled with a team of passionate Gurus who practice what they preach not just to Children but also to the parents of today’s busy world. Together we realize that we are collectively responsible to contribute to the “Making of a good human being”, which is our gift to the future generation” !!
Yours Sincerely, Parents and Grand-Parents
Dear Mrs.Uma and Bodhana Team,
We are delighted to have been part of Bodhana’s journey and very much grateful for the beautiful experiences that Aruna had while at your school. Kudos to you, Ramya 'Aunty', Satya 'Aunty', Shanti #39;Aunty', Krithika 'Aunty', Mythili 'Aunty' and others. We could see your passion from the way our child blossomed.
She has become more self-confident and is eager to help (takes up responsibility). Her very different perspective on viewing ordinary things coupled with imagination amazes us. She really loved "going to school", all thanks to the environment at Bodhana. Had we continued to be in Velachery, we would have certainly opted to continue in Bodhana. We were also comfortable with the home like setting – it felt very calm, relaxed and protective.
As parents, we benefited from Bodhana as well from the discussions and talks by guest speakers that you have arranged. We found it very useful since as new parents we had no experience in dealing with children and had no idea how to communicate with them and understand them!! These conversations opened up our minds completely. We hope this will continue to be a central tenet of Bodhana.
Once again, thank you for the Bodhana experience and we are more than happy to talk to future parents if they seek referrals. We wish all of you the very best!Aruna's Parents
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House of Children,
No #11, Officer Colony,
Vijaya Nagar, Velachery,
Chennai – 600 042
☎ : +91 44 2259 1699
✆ : + 91 98408 84533 / + 91 99403 27479