The three buildings that Harmony Montessori Children House occupy are painted a very pleasant green, complemented by the many trees and lush greenery of its surroundings. There is even a little garden patch at the back where the children cultivate organic vegetables. Aside from its well-maintained playground equipment, sized specially for three to six year olds, its gardens are kept remarkably clean and trim. The interiors are plain painted with the children’s artworks and photographs displayed everywhere.
Harmony bases its curriculum on a holistic Montessori Development Programme integrated with the National Standard Preschool Curriculum. Harmony Montessori Children House not only stresses on a child’s academic development, it also emphasizes his Language, Intellectual, Social, Emotional as well as Physical Development. “By engaging such a balanced concept, a child will be ready for primary schooling when he graduates from Harmony Montessori Children House,” stresses Madam Lee Chew Peng, the Founder and Principal of Harmony Montessori Children House.
When a child completes this expansive programme, he acquires a solid foundation in the three major languages, namely English, Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin including Mathematics, Science and Cultural Studies. Positive social values such as love, respect and sharing are not neglected and the child also gains confidence, self-esteem and a positive learning attitude.
“Nursery classes at Harmony are based on the Montessori methodology of play and learn. They are conducted by two teachers, one teacher to conduct the lesson for the day and another to observe the students. Via this method, weaker students are identified, given extra attention and guidance to progress,” says Madam Lee. Elements such as reading and problem-solving skills are then gradually added to the kindergarten classes. All these factors combined will eventually prepare the children for primary schooling.
All the teachers and caregivers are well qualified and trained to conduct the classes and duties that they are assigned to. They are also periodically sent for refresher courses and seminars on Early Childhood Education organized by the Ministry of Education and the various universities and colleges. Madam Lee herself is a qualified Montessorian. She is also attached to Segi University as a Teaching Practice Tutor and Placement Mentor.
Harmony is very meticulous when it comes to the day to day running and administration, with all its carefully thought out and planned programmes, record keeping, progress reports and charts for each and every child.
Besides school events such as Family Day, Concert and Graduation Day and the various national festival celebrations, holiday programmes at Harmony are a joy to attend. They are well thought out and organized, such as science camps, sushi making and visits to places of interest. There are various exercises and activities to complete before, during and after each programme.
As Madam Lee begins to talk about the children in her care, her carefully cultivated professional demeanor begins to soften and a patient, nurturing and loving side emerges, “My children should be able to consider Harmony as their home away from home. There must never be any negative vibes or feelings. Emotionally the children should know that this is their safe and happy place to learn and to grow up.”
“When a child comes to Harmony Montessori Children House, he learns to read. When the child leaves Harmony Montessori Children House, he will read to learn. This continuous quest for knowledge will lay the foundation for lifelong learning,” beams Madam Lee proudly.
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