Sunday, January 10, 2010

Montessori Apparatus Introductory Workshop

Despite the popularity of Montessori Method across the country, it is in fact not easy to find a school in Malaysia equipped with complete sets of Montessori Apparatus. Not even Institutes that are producing Montessori teachers.

It is thus not surprising that almost all visitors to Montessori House of Little Capers (MHOLC) are amazed by the completeness of its setup: full sets of Montessori Apparatuses - many could only be seen on pictures before - are found in each classroom, being used day in day out, by teachers and students as an integral part of the learning activities.

Feedback from the visitors was that, in many places the apparatus are mainly for display – just to gain/maintain the title of a “Montessori School.” Reasons for not using? Let’s see some common ones:
- Without the know-how to use them
- The apparatuses are costly
- No time to use

To us, none of the above makes sense. Without making full use of the Apparatus as learning aid, no school should be termed “Montessori School”! Simple as that.

Fortunately many of the educationists share our views. While complaining the owner of their school for not investing into the implementation of “true” Montessori Method, our Principal friends were asking if we could help upgrading their teachers in this area.

We are glad to do that, for the sake of promoting quality Montessori learning environment. The first workshop was thus organized, on 21-Dec-2009 at one of the 4-years old classroom of MHOLC. From 9am to 5pm, the 11 kindergarten teachers attended the workshop were introduced to various Apparatuses for the Early Development Group. From the purpose to the way of presentation of each Apparatus, the attendees have gained an eye-opening, first hand experience of the amazing learning tools.


MHOLC Launching Special Needs Classes

Over the past 6 years, quite some parents whose child needs special educational cares have come to Montessori House of Little Capers (MHOLC) for assistance. Turning them away – because we did not possess such expertise – was always heart-breaking: children need help, but unfortunately providers of such services are scarce.

However, the thought of helping the special needs children has never left our mind. What is the excuse not to implement the Montessori Method on special needs learning, if it was actually invented to help special needs children?!
Therefore, along the way we have done research on special education methods, sent teachers for special education workshops, and constantly talked to specialists in this area, just to get ourselves prepared.

The day has finally arrived. MHOLC has successfully formed a Special Needs Team recently, and we will be launching the service in early year 2010!

Our Team consists of Mrs. Dianna Eng, a certified Special Needs Educationist with more than 20 years of hands-on experience; Mrs. Zora, an International Montessori Diploma holder involving in Montessori teaching /training for the last 15 years; Teacher Lim Shih and Teacher Chui Teng, both experienced Montessori Teachers now pursuing their degree of Early Childhood Education inclusive of Special Education.

The Special Needs classes will be conducted as per school calendar, from 2.30pm to 5.00pm in the afternoon. In addition, weekly activities together with children of normal classes will be scheduled to expedite the normalization process.

Before admission, children will be assessed in details by a structured procedure for suitability. If the assessment result is favorable, a tailor-made program with specific learning targets will be constructed for individual child, and periodic progress review will be carried out together with parents.

Since the learning activities will be heavily one-to-one basis, aided by weekly therapy sessions, the fees structure will be different from the normal classes. Please call at our office for further details.