“Ours was a house for children, rather than a real school.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
For over 16 years, Orlando Montessori Bilingual Academy (OMBA) has been a part of the Central Florida community as its only Montessori school providing full dual language immersion in the classroom. We have one of the most important jobs in a child’s life: to foster a love of learning.
Our mission is to contribute to the creation of the whole child by providing a rich, dual language environment in which a child can grow physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. By making the classroom into a house full of children we meet the child at their stage of learning, engage them with a classroom created to meet their needs, guide them through their sensitive periods and watch as they consistently demonstrate high levels of academic achievement as well as confidence, compassion, multicultural understanding and independence.
Our philosophy is simple:
- To provide excellence in education for young children based on the Montessori philosophy in a culturally rich environment
- To create an environment of Spanish language immersion thereby exposing the children to dual languages consistently
- To foster a child’s curiosity by providing a safe learning environment in which they can flourish
- To build a partnership with parents that are just as passionate about their children’s education as we are
Why add a second language to the Montessori Philosophy?
We live in a country in which close to 20% of the population speaks a language other than English at home. The U.S. is also part of an increasingly global community.
For many children, language is central to their identity, and learning the second language builds security and self-esteem. Watching their progress from understanding no Spanish, to then mastering two and three part commands in months is quite remarkable.
The exposure to a second language provides the building blocks to greater understanding of other cultures and communities. With more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening, Orlando Montessori Bilingual Academy aims to provide a greater depth and richness to their life experience.
“An Italian physician turned educator, Maria Montessori spent many years observing and working with children. In the process, she built on some of the ideas of others who had worked with children, and she developed and refined her own ideas, materials and methods. Starting in the early 1900s and for the next 50 years she developed an encouraging, stimulating program where children could learn the skills they needed to become responsible, productive, independent and loving citizens of the world. The success of her program inspired many other educators to adopt her method and carry on her work. Today Montessori schools and programs are found all over the world.” – North American Montessori Center
The Montessori Method is based on the child’s tendencies to explore, be independent and make decisions, develop self-control, abstract ideas from experience, be creative and imaginative, repeat for internalization, concentrate, and perfect and master concepts and ideas. Montessori classes are organized into groups representing a three-year age span. Within each group there is constant interaction, problem solving, child-to-child teaching and socialization.
The environment is arranged according to subject area, and children are free to move around the room, and to work on a piece of material as long as needed. It is the role of the teacher to prepare and adapt the environment. The teacher links the child to the environment with well-planned lessons. Children learn directly from the environment, other children, and from the teacher. The teacher works with children one-on-one, in small groups, and less frequently, in large group settings.
All subjects are interwoven. At any given time all subjects—math, language, science, history, geography, art, music, etc.—are being studied, at all levels. Children are exposed to amazing amounts of knowledge.
Hallmarks of Montessori
Components necessary for a program to be considered authentically Montessori include multiage groupings that foster peer learning, uninterrupted blocks of work time, and guided choice of work activity. In addition, a full complement of specially designed Montessori learning materials are meticulously arranged and available for use in an aesthetically pleasing environment.
The teacher, child, and environment create a learning triangle. The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop themselves, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.