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About KMA

KMA was founded in October 2011. Mila Jajoo, owner and the Director of the school, is a certified Montessori teacher and has 28 years of experience working in early childhood education. She and her dedicated team of teachers and administrators provide a caring, loving environment where your child will be encouraged to flourish socially, emotionally, and academically.

KMA is a private, nonsectarian school with an international clientele. We are located on Grand Mission Blvd in Richmond, adjacent to Juan Seguin Elementary.

 

Our team aims to be much more than a drop-off daycare. We are committed to building a strong home/school partnership for the benefit of your family and your child. Students experience a secure environment where they will be given opportunities to explore, discover, and understand, with the ultimate goal of preparing them for success in their future learning journey.

Jajoo Family
Owners of KMA

What is Montessori Education?

Proudly developed by Maria Montessori, the first female-Italian medical doctor, Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore their maximum potential. 

Montessori Education or Public School?

The first years of childhood education are the foundation for future learning. Montessori children have been described as having an understanding of teamwork, self-direction, and confidence. Independent, self-paced education and exploration of a child are often denied or limited in a public school setting. The following is a list of skills only offered in Montessori education:

  • Amazing mental concentration

  • Freedom of Choice/Self-discovery

  • Explosion into writing 

  • Spontaneous self-discipline

  • Longer one-on-one instructional times

  • Natural materials 

  • More focus on understanding material rather than memorization

  • Discovery of reading 

  • Emphasis on life skills such as self-care, care for the environment, courtesy/respectfulness, control of movement, social awareness 

KMA is the best Montessori for your child!

Every material in our Montessori classrooms supports an aspect of child development, creating a match between the child's natural interests and the available activities. Children can learn through their own experience and at their own pace. Likewise, they can respond at any moment to the natural curiosities that exist in all humans and build a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

10 Foundational Principles of Montessori Education

1. Experiential Learning

Children in Montessori schools learn by working with specially designed materials. Rather than memorizing facts, they begin by counting and adding more concrete materials. By using smaller objects and a set of wooden letters known as movable alphabet to learn to read and write. Dr. Montessori observed that children need to move and learn through experiences, rather than only sitting and listening to a teacher for a set period of time.

2. Mixed-age Classrooms

Our Montessori classrooms include mixed ages and mixed skill-levels, generally divided into three-year groups (e.g. 3-6 year olds, 6-9 year olds, etc.). Peer learning is encouraged as the little ones learn from observing their older friends and the older children solidify their knowledge and gain valuable leadership skills through giving lessons to younger children. 

3. Uninterrupted Work Period

All authentic Montessori schools have long, uninterrupted work periods (generally 2-3 hours depending on age). Rather than having 30 minutes for math and then 30 minutes for language, children have a long morning and afternoon work period in their respective classroom that includes all of the subjects. This long period allows children to engage with the materials deeply and reach intense concentration.

4. Academics

In addition to math, language, and science, Montessori schools include two other academic areas: practical life and sensorial.

7. Educating the Whole Child

Montessori focused on educating the whole child, including physical, spiritual, social, mental and emotional education. 

5. Role of the Teacher

A Montessori teacher is sometimes referred to as a guide, rather than a teacher, and this reflects her non-traditional role.

A Montessori teacher’s job is to observe the children and introduce them to the academic materials at just the right time. She/he is often hard to find in the classroom, as she/he is generally working one-on-one with a child, rather than standing at the front of the room talking to the whole group. Maria Montessori saw the role of the teacher as providing children with tools for learning, rather than pouring knowledge and facts into them. 

8. Individualized Curriculum

If a Montessori class has 25 different students, each of those 25 will be at a different academic level that is observed and tracked by the teacher. Rather than just giving group lessons, Montessori provides one-on-one lessons catered to the specific level and needs of each child.

6. Freedom within Limits

The work in a Montessori school is child-directed. A teacher gives a child a lesson on a material he/she hasn;t used before, but the child can then independently choose to work with it at their own pace, Children are also granted to sit and do work in a location of the classroom  of their comfortable, but of course with the guidance and supervision of the teacher. Children are not allowed to distract their peers during work time and still required to do work within the curriculum.

9. Prepared Environment

Montessori classrooms are referred to as a “prepared environment”. This means that they are designed with everything the children need to explore and learn independently. Teachers observe the children in their class and decide the necessary work to place on the shelves to meet children’s interests and academic needs. Montessori classrooms are far more minimalist than traditional classrooms. They are full of muted colors and natural light to foster concentration. Likewise, materials in the classroom have a specific location on shelves carefully organized to help children develop a sense of order. 

Peace Education 

Dr. Montessori lived during a time of world wars and global upheaval. Perhaps for this reason, she placed great emphasis on peace education.

She believed that the future of the world depended on us teaching our children the importance of peace and this belief is still reflected in Montessori schools today. There is a greater emphasis on community both the classroom and global population. Children learn about the world and also learn tools for calming themselves and conducting peaceful conflict resolution.

Mission Statement

Kids Montessori Academy exists to provide a safe, developmentally appropriate environment for preschool and school-age children. We aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who will help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Our goal is to create an environment where young children develop a strong sense of self and belonging and to support a child's desire to be a lifelong learner.

Language

Introduced via a phonetic approach to reading, speaking, vocabulary and writing which enhances the communication skills.

Mathematics

Through the use of Montessori materials such as numbers and symbols, children develop the ability to solve mathematical problems.

Practical Life

Initiated by taking care of one's self in a changing environment through the use of coordination, concentration and social responsibilities.

Sensorial

Introduces the five senses (seeing, smelling, touching, tasting and listening) via manipulation of several different objects.

Culture

Focuses on the geography,

zoology, science, history, music and art.

Five Primary Curriculum Areas in Montessori

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