When we first saw Taska LMC Montessori House with its newly-painted sparkling white walls and bright red pillars, we thought it was a new preschool in the USJ 11 neighbourhood. Little did we know that the school started almost 22 years ago and has the privilege of being the first Montessori school in the whole of Subang Jaya. It is also the first Montessori school we have visited so far that is accredited by the London Montessori Centre (LMC) in the UK.
The owner and principal Ms Pushpa explained why everything looked so new: “We moved into this new premise a month ago and had repainted the whole place, just in time for our 2017 registration.” Belying her youthful looks, Ms Pushpa, a qualified Montessorian, has been involved in early childhood care & education (ECCE) for almost 17 years. Besides being a preschool owner and a principal, she is a trainer and mentor for students taking ECCE and psychology.
Many parents also treat her as their mentor, seeking advice on matters concerning their children and family. “We are a community-oriented preschool where parents are invited for all our field trips, celebrations of festivals, annual concerts and charity galas; we are quite a closely-knitted group. Many of our pupils’ parents treat us as part of their family structure and will call us when they need advice or assistance,” said Ms Pushpa. Through the years, she has personally received and responded to many urgent plus not-so-urgent calls from parents seeking her help. Although it takes up a lot of her time, she feels rewarded for her labour of love because it means that parents have put their trust in her. It also explains the motto printed on the LMC Montessori House t-shirt Ms Pushpa was wearing: “Keep Calm and Love Your Family”.
LMC Montessori House is among the most well-equipped Montessori centres we have seen so far. The precisely-designed Montessori apparatuses were arranged neatly and orderly within a child’s reach, the walls had colourful and informative materials that brightened up the classrooms, and shelves displayed books that were appropriate for the different age groups. Everything fitted in so beautifully and harmoniously that we felt relaxed and happy in that environment; the children in this preschool probably feel the same way too.
Ms Pushpa demonstrated some of the apparatuses for us: “We use these to help the children learn from the concrete to the abstract. These specially designed apparatus enable the children to work independently as they can see the different shapes, colours and sizes, plus they can feel the different textures. In doing their work, their senses and fine motor skills are slowly being developed. We also train their eye and hand coordination, for example when they pour water into the cups.” As in many Montessori centres, five areas are covered by the school, i.e. Practical Life, Sensorial, Literacy, Maths and Culture (which includes Botany, Zoology, History, Geography and Science).
“Montessori education aims for a holistic development of the child. We do not only focus on the academics but also emphasise character building and teaching of moral values so that the child develops academically, emotionally and socially. As teachers, we respect the children and do not talk down to them. We do not say things like ‘Don’t do that!’ and ‘Keep quiet!’. Instead, we use positive words to explain how we want them to behave or what we want them to do. There is freedom of speech and movement. We allow the children to talk and to move freely as we believe all these will help them to develop self-confidence, become more independent, and be dynamic learners,” Ms Pushpa elaborated.
Parents will be happy to know that LMC Montessori House accepts children with mild autism, dyslexia, ADHD and Down Syndrome. “We know that it is not easy for the parents to look for a place for their child. Here, we look beyond the child’s difficulties and limitations, take the extra mile to care for the child, and provide extra help with his/her work when necessary,” said Ms Pushpa, aptly demonstrating the good moral values she wishes to impart to her students.
Find Out More About LMC Montessori House, UEP Subang Jaya