On Friday, January 31st many Keystone parents and guests arrived on campus after the children had left their classrooms, and in complete silence they walked through a Keystone classroom or "environment" at each level. Parents visited the Toddler class (15 months – 3 years) with the smallest furniture, then into the Children's House (3-6 years) where there are so many materials to explore, on through Lower Elementary (6-9), Upper Elementary (9-12), and finally a walk through the Adolescent class (12-15). As they moved through each room, the parents and guests silently viewed the materials and activities they saw, but they did not speak or touch anything. The first night of the journey is about the quiet observation of each class and a look at how the environment is prepared for the children.
On Saturday morning, the participants returned to school for a morning of exploration and engagement. They had the chance to spend time in each environment, and they were finally allowed and encouraged to touch and interact with the materials. After a night of reflection, the parents and guests were able to see the thoughtfulness and power of Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy for the optimal development of each child at each stage. The participants, like their children, were free to choose which materials interested them. Keystone’s Guides were all present to offer lessons to their newest students.
Reactions to the Montessori Journey are usually ones of wonder, pleasure, awe, understanding and respect for the Montessori approach. After spending time in each environment looking through the eyes of the children, everyone is able to see the logic and connection of activities across each environment. The journey strives to provide an understanding of the progression of concepts, and how each level builds and extends ideas to the next developmental stage.
It was a wonderful and enlightening experience for all! This event is held annually at Keystone. We are grateful to all of those who joined us for the 2020 Montessori Journey.