Our goal is to provide a welcoming, nurturing Montessori environment for young children which guides them in reaching their full potential. Missoula Valley Montessori strives to create a setting where children are valued and honored, the families feel welcome and informed and the community is enriched by our presence. Through keen observation, a well prepared environment and our commitment to life long learning, we provide an exceptional Montessori education. We are dedicated to instilling in the children respect for the environment, honesty in their relationships and compassion for those around them.
The Montessori cultural curriculum covers a wide range of subjects: geography, botany, zoology, art, science, and music. At Missoula Valley Montessori our cultural curriculum is the foundation of our academics. Each year we focus on one of the seven continents. Many aspects of the continent are then investigated from geography to cuisine. The children are eager to learn about people in far away places. They delight in discovering things they have in common with children across the world and learning different customs, too. Suddenly they begin drawing pictures of women dressed in saris or writing about orangutans in the rainforest. They stand stock still as they role-play guarding Buckingham Palace with a bearskin hat. Aspects of any given culture are woven through other areas of the curriculum.
During morning and afternoon gatherings songs and greetings from faraway lands are learned. Our practical life lessons will include cooking Asian food,for example. The children will learn to count in French, to say hello in Japanese. The language shelves become rich with books, terms, and alphabets from other cultures. Famous artists from a country will be discovered and imitated. Imagine the fun of painting like Jackson Pollock! Finally, each spring the primary students put on a performance to reflect all that they have learned. After studying Europe we had a mini-Olympics. Our study of North America culminated in folk dances from the Mexico, Canada, and our home, the United States. In the words of Maria Montessori, "Let us give the child a vision of the whole universe...for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity."