Our Educational Philosophy
We are a Montessori Christian international preschool in Kobe, currently offering a program for children between the ages of 1-3 years old. The Montessori classroom is the opposite of the traditional “teachers talk and students listen”. Instead, we value a holistic child-centered educational approach.
What does a Montessori Christian international preschool mean?
Maria Montessori believed that within each child lies the potential to create man. From birth the child works hard by himself learning gross and fine motor skills, and even language. Montessori believed that we, as adults, need to be an aid to life. The most important time in a child’s life is their first stage of life between 0-6 years old. The child goes through developmental stages at their own pace and have various sensitive periods. Through the prepared concrete materials the child can use all of his senses to make sense of the abstract. Moreover, he can also develop independence and focus, and learn to master important skills.
Watch the video below to find out more about the difference between a Montessori education and a traditional one.
We want to guide children to find and achieve their God-given potential.
As the children continuously grow and improve themselves through choosing their own work, touching and manipulating the materials, correcting by and thinking for themselves, they develop into the citizens who will go on to change their cities, Japan, and the rest of the world.
As adults continuously acquire knowledge and display true love, they develop into the best examples for the children of what it is to be a husband, wife, parent, and lifelong learner.
We welcome children from any background and culture. Our instruction at Grace is primarily in English. However, we have bilingual teachers and will use Japanese when necessary, as well. Through singing English songs at Circle Time, reading books in English, and hearing English phrases throughout the day at Grace, children can begin to pick up English. Children at this age have an especially good ear to acquire a second language.
What does a typical day at Grace look like?
Education should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentials
– Maria Montessori
We provide a space where children are free to explore and grow naturally. When provided with the right environment, even infants can learn to help themselves. We cannot and should not rush them. Therefore, we let the children lead and explore. We simply follow and observe the children. Our goal is to help each child towards independence. We don’t do something for the child that he can do by himself.
The furniture in our school is child-sized so everything is accessible to the children. Low shelves allow children to choose their own work and clean up after themselves. Children can work on the floor using a rug, or on a low table and chair. Low sinks allow children to learn to wash their hands by themselves, as well.
There’s a saying in Montessori that we don’t give to the mind what we don’t give to the hand first. That’s why in the Montessori classroom the materials require manipulation by the hand. This helps develop fine motor skills that allow them to properly hold utensils and pencils in the future. The materials help the children gain mastery of a variety of skills – gross motor, fine motor, and coordination skills. In addition, they prepare the children for an early childhood classroom, and help the children develop concentration and focus.
“An adult can assist in shaping the environment, but it is the child that perfects his own being.”