Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2016

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Page 12 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 13 Maria Montessori's educational philosophy is driven by the idea that children have an innate desire and ability to learn about their surround- ings, and that they learn best with hands-on activities. According to Hawk Meadow Montessori School's Director Erin Castle, the Montessori model is child-centered and directed. It is an individualized model that includes, she says, "freedom within structure." Rather than a teacher dictating which activity a class will complete in which order, Montessori allows each individual student to choose from a number of activities present- ed to them in an accessible way. There may be a number of math manipulatives available, or "practi- cal life" activities, such as stringing beads for younger students or peel- ing vegetables for older students. These activities are set on a low shelf for younger children so they are within reach, a part of the child cen- tered environment of a Montessori school, which includes child-sized furniture and materials. This doesn't mean that children only develop the skills in which they are most interested. A child who pre- fers art and language, for instance, will not have an education devoid of math and science learning, according to Castle. Instead, in the Montessori model, the teacher will use his or her knowledge of the student's interests to engage the student. The Waldorf model parallels a child's developmental stage Like the Sudbury model, the Waldorf model also emphasizes the development of the whole child, not simply the academic side. Wendy Weinrich, director of Mountaintop Waldorf School in Saugerties, says the Waldorf philosophy focuses on the head, heart and hands, in- structing the children, for instance, in "purposeful work" with their hands, such as knitting, playing an instrument, and creating art. She says this is beneficial for children (Continued on Page 14) NEW HACKENSACK NURSERY SCHOOL "We encourage, nurture, and teach... ey explore, learn, and fl ourish! OPEN HOUSE - January 20 6:30-7:30 Snow Date: January 21 PROGRAMS FOR AGES 3 & 4 Come explore the classrooms with your child & meet the teachers! 50th Anniversary 1580 Rte. 376 • Wappingers Falls 845-462-0810, ext. 3 Like Us On

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