A Foundation For Your Child's Future
North Austin Montessori School is a private educational center dedicated to providing a quality Montessori education with high academic standards in a warm loving environment.
North Austin Montessori School and Arbor Montessori Academy are sister schools in Austin. The director is AMI certified with over 45 years of experience.
At NAMS, we have the privilege of teaching bright and curious students from Austin and the surrounding areas and beyond. If you are new to our community and would like to learn more about the Montessori method, our school values and teaching staff, or anything else, we would love to hear from you.
The Montessori Method is founded on Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy. Her basic principle was to “follow the child”. A Montessori classroom is carefully prepared to allow the child to work independently and allow for the joy of self-discovery. Teachers introduce materials and children are free to choose them, again and again, working and discovering, and ultimately mastering ideas. Lessons are given, but the goal is for children to discover the answers by using the “auto-didactic” or “self-correcting” materials that are found only in Montessori classrooms.
The Montessori Classroom is a prepared environment which invites activity and exploration. The classroom consists of the following areas:
Practical Life Exercises
Young children are attracted to activities that help them become independent and take care of their environment. Materials in the practical life area allow children to practice such activities as cutting, polishing, sweeping, pouring and washing a table. The purpose of these activities is to develop concentration and attention to detail, finishing each task and putting away all the materials before seeking out another activity. Children are encouraged to repeat activities so they may perfect coordination skills and develop concentration. The skills developed through practical life exercises will lay the foundation for academic exercises.
Sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom are designed to help the child explore the world through their senses. Each of the sensorial materials isolates one defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound and smell. The materials help children to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate new information to what they already know. The Sensorial Materials are largely self-correcting so the child can accomplish the exercise alone. Children find a sense of order in these materials and acquire a joy in learning that their environment has order.
The Montessori mathematical materials isolate each concept and introduce it to the child in a concrete form using manipulative equipment. Children are first introduced to the numbers using the sandpaper numbers. Once they can recognize the numbers they are introduced to activities that teach them to associate each numerical symbol with the proper quantity. These exercises not only teach children to calculate, but they provide a deep understanding of how numbers function. They learn concrete mathematical concepts and the materials lead them to the abstract, so that their understanding has a firm foundation. The child progresses one step at a time to a more abstract understanding of the concepts of arithmetic including addition, multiplication, subtraction and division.
Dr. Montessori believed that the evolution of language begins with the infant's unique capacity to absorb fragments of language which serve as a basis for development. First Children discover that sounds have meaning, and then they isolate the parts of speech. Finally, they grasp the use of sentences. The child between two and a half and six is in a sensitive period for language, and hence the constant assimilation of language results in a sudden expansion of vocabulary.
Montessori children begin writing and reading when they are ready and progress at their own pace. Their experiences in practical life and their sensorial education serve as a preparation for this. The sandpaper letters provide a phonetic basis for reading. Children’s desire and sensitivity to touch are utilized by these letters which are cut out of sandpaper and mounted for tracing. They not only hear the sound and see the shape, but train their muscles for when they begin writing.
Once the children are able to recognize the letters, they build their own words with cut–out letters placed on a mat. The material frees them from the fatigue of their still developing writing skills and yet still provides them with the opportunity to pursue their interest in words. Children build up their store of words through story–telling, conversation and many other exercises. These activities serve as preparation for the time when children assimilate what they know and are then ready to explode into writing.
Other Academic Areas
Montessori introduces geography, geology, biology, history and many other interesting subjects to children at a young age. Children can joyfully absorb many difficult concepts if they meet them in concrete form. The common stumbling blocks in the middle elementary grades can be exciting if they are presented to youngsters at an earlier age when they enjoy manipulating with their hands. In a Montessori classroom, a fraction is not simply a number on a paper: it is something which children can hold in their hands. A verb is not just a word on paper; it is something which they can act out. In similar fashion, they can pour water around an island or form a five squared with five rows of five beads each. The materials that make these concepts tangible for them will serve as touchstones in their memory for many years, to clarify the abstract terms when they meet them again and again in future learning situations.
Ranjinie Perera A.M.I. is the Director of North Austin Montessori School. She received her AMI Montessori Training from the Good Shepherd Maria Montessori Training Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has taught in Montessori Classrooms in the United States, Canada, The Maldives and Sri Lanka for over 45 years.
Our family has had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Ranjinie Perera, who has been a Montessori educator for 50 years, and Tammy Perera in 1998. The Perera family was responsible for introducing us to the Montessori Method at North Austin Montessori School (NAMS), a sister school to Arbor Montessori Academy.
Through the Perera family’s encouragement and devotion to Montessori education, our sons continued with Montessori in Austin through 9th grade. They then attended and graduated from one of the nation’s top-ranking magnet high schools in Austin.
As we see it now, no matter where they are, no matter what they do, they are set for life. Our sons are leading a thoughtful life. They learn for the sake of learning. They also have a greater sense of self and of community.
We never would have known, back then, what an impact Montessori would make on our lives – not just our childrens’ lives. Unhappy with typical daycare experiences, we feel fortunate to have found Mrs. Perera and her school. We scheduled an informal interview during which she helped us become acquainted with the materials used in the classroom. They are elegant and straightforward, and, when we thought about it, the purpose of each made sense, as each fit into the much larger Montessori Method.
At NAMS, our older son started in Montessori at 2 ½ years; our younger son began at 18 months. What we have experienced several times over is watching our sons blossom by the final year in the third-year cycle. It’s at this point in the three-year cycle that Montessori children seem to radiate the most confidence and leadership. They’ve mastered their work, they’ve taken it to new heights, and are starting to mentor others.
We are most grateful to Mrs. Perera and to Tammy Perera for continuing their exceptional work. Our family attributes our sons’ growth to the foundation built at NAMS.
If you’re considering committing to a Montessori education, our family highly recommends North Austin Montessori School and Arbor Montessori Academy. But don’t take our word for it. I encourage you to take the time to observe students in the classroom environment. Pay particular attention to returning students. They will stand out from the crowd and, in most cases, leave you in awe of their maturity, leadership, and confidence.
Catherine and Ted, Montessori Parents Since 1998
Tamara Perera B.A., M.B.A. is the Director of Arbor Montessori Academy. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her M.B.A. from St. Edwards University.
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North Austin Montessori School is a private educational center dedicated to providing a quality Montessori education with high academic standards in a warm loving environment. North Austin Montessori School and Arbor Montessori Academy are sister schools in Austin.
We have been providing exceptional Montessori education in the area for 40 years. The schools are conveniently located in North Austin near major employers including Apple, Cisco, NI, Indeed, 3M, Charles Schwab, IBM, VRBO, Visa and more.
To schedule a tour, please fill out the form below or give us a call for more information.
12400 Amherst Drive
Austin, Texas 78727