Mäntsälän Englanninkielinen Montessorileikkikoulu



Does my child need to speak English before they begin Playschool?


No they don't. Our program is designed as an introduction to English for children from Finnish speaking families. Although, when we have some children who are bilingual, that is a benefit in helping other children begin to use their new language. They will become familiar with English through use of Montessori activities, games, songs and daily routines. Our teachers speak both English and Finnish so we can help your child's English develop at their own level and pace. During emotional times we always use the child's home language. 


Can my child attend the Playschool if our family receives Home Care Support?

Starting from 1.4.2007 families receiving home-care support for one child who is at home, can also receive Private Day Care Support for another child who is in daycare.


Why does the Playschool have a half day emphasis?

It seems to be a good balance for young children: half their day in a child group learning new things and developing socially, it supports the value of the child's home life with their parents as their first and most important teachers. Maria Montessori realized that since children often work intensively in the classrom, and this active cognitive learning is best when it's balanced with breaks in the routine. The modern reality is that this situation is not always possible for families, and that is why about half of our child group in whole day care.


How do children learn in the Montessori classroom if they are free to choose whatever they want to do?

Freedom of movement and independently chosen work is one of the cornerstones of Montessori's principles. Children are free to move about, working alone or with others as they wish. They may select any activity they are capable of doing, and work with it as long as they wish, so long as they do not disturb others or damage the materials. They return the materials to its own place when they are finished so others know where to find it.
We often use the word "guide" for what our teachers do because, instead of direct teaching, they guide children through the sequence of materials according to the child's own interest and developmental level. This guided-freedom to choose activities in the Montessori classroom goes hand in hand with a child's own ability to use and care for those activities. Through this they learn to be responsible for their actions, take care of their environment, and respect others by preparing the activities for the next user.


How is English used in the Playschool?

Our teaching language is English and we aim to integrate English with the children's Montessori work as much as possible. Native English speakers are an inportant part of our way to keep the language living "in the air" in a natural way througout the day. Hearing teachers speak together, or parents and teachers speak together in English helps put the language learning into a natural context, which revolves around the daily routines, greetings, songs, games, and the learning concepts of the Montessori classroom. We have found that, in the Montessori fashion, older children make excellent teachers for the younger children in language learning as well.
Children in Mäntsälä go on to attend a Finnish language school, so the basic concepts are taught in Finnish first. Pre-writing and pre-reading activities are in Finnish first, and after that in English, according to a child's interest and skill level.


How active do I have to be in the Parent Association?

Children of all ages do better when their parents are involved in their education. Parents are their child's first and most important teacher in life and it benefits their children when they take an active role in their ongoing education. At the Playschool, parents are encouraged to participate in ways which fit their own interests and lifestyle. Some parents like to be active in yard improvement efforts; some like to sew materials for the classroom; some find it easy to donate supplies; others bake buns for our parties; work as a member of the Board of Trustees, use their skills in advertising or computer areas to help the Playschool. The possibilities are unlimited and very much appreciated. The aim is that with parents' help, we can offer even better services to the children.
Parents and their children will feel that they are part of each other's days, even when apart!


More information in pdf_buttonPlayschool Guide (PDF, 600kb)

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