Our primary Montessori program is for ages 3-6. Since 1967, Spring Bilingual Montessori Academy (SBMA) has innovated and refined the concept of integrating a Montessori education with the acquisition of proficiency in a second language, at the preschool level. At SBMA, our goal is to ensure a future of peace and understanding, in which we speak one another’s language and embrace each other’s ways.
Bilingual Education with Choice of Spanish or French
The SBMA program has been proven effective over the years both for native English-speaking children and for those with another mother tongue. The success of our program is grounded in Maria Montessori’s discovery of the very young child’s special sensitivity to language, which enables children to absorb a new language effortlessly and naturally in the first 6 years of life.
Our classroom environments are bilingual in the same way as a bilingual home where the two parents each speak to their child only in their own tongue. The Montessori Directress addresses the children in English, which is the language of instruction in the Montessori classroom. Meanwhile, her Assistant speaks exclusively the second language of the class. The children also receive direct instruction from the second language teacher daily through a 45-minute period of immersion in the secondary language.
The Montessori Component
We see education as a preparation for life that does not begin or end with the acquisition of academic skills. SBMA offers an orderly, nurturing and understanding prepared environment, which fosters your child’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual growth, as well as the intellectual and academic. The school’s role is to nurture the child’s natural love for learning, work and order through self-discipline, mastering positive attitudes toward learning and achieving ever-increasing levels of independence.
Participation in a mixed-age community provides many role models for learning, and develops respect for the feelings, ideas, and different abilities and cultures of others. Lessons are given individually or in small groups, so the needs of each child are met when they arise. While Montessori children often may read, write and work arithmetic problems before 4 years of age, the emphasis is not on academic achievement but on development of each child’s unique potential.
Repetition of the exercises develops concentration and inner calm. The self-correcting materials allow the children to discover and correct their own errors. Free to talk and move around, they develop not only an astounding physical grace and control of movement but a true social community. A mixed-age classroom offers role models, mentors and peers of all ages. All children experience the opportunity to learn from, and pass on their knowledge to, each of the others.
In an environment of peace, mutual respect and cooperation, under the guidance of a trained teacher, children work unobstructed, at their own individual pace in a loving, nurturing atmosphere.