Mission Academy believes in the quality, truth, and beauty of the education of the whole person that is provided through the Montessori Education Method. This pedagogy is focused on each individual child’s needs - physical, mental, emotional, developmental and spiritual. Montessori respects the uniqueness of the child and their inner teacher, giving them the freedom to develop at their own pace, their interests and talents. This educational approach was developed through Dr. Maria Montessori’s medical knowledge, extensive observation of child development, and the child’s work with self- correcting materials. Through her observation she discovered that children have intense bursts of interests, or ‘sensitive periods,’ where they are excited about and absorb more information about that topic because of their interest, “There is in the soul of a child an impenetrable secret that is gradually revealed as it develops.” (Dr. Maria Montessori) By trusting the child and giving them the freedom and safety to learn, children are able to flower to their fullest potential. Montessori also stresses the importance of the environment, carefully prepared and ordered to give the child the freedom to explore and learn with materials, environment and ways of relating with others. The teacher is a crucial part of that environment providing structure, knowledge, kindness, observations, and help on their journey to become who God created them to be, fully alive and living life abundantly (John 10:10).
At Mission Academy we desire to help in the formation of the child’s whole person through this methodology that will allow them the freedom to develop, gain confidence, independence, knowledge and foster the awe and wonder of the beauty of the world God created for them, “It is necessary, then, to give the child the possibility of developing according to the laws of his nature, so that he can become strong, and, having become strong, can do even more than we dared hope for him.” (Dr. Maria Montessori)
At Mission Academy we are also passionate about the formation of our students in knowledge of our faith, but also the contemplation and enjoyment of God in a deep personal relationship. At our school we will be using the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd methodology for faith formation. It is built on the respect of the child’s yearning to know, love and be close to God. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was developed Dr. Sofia Cavalletti, a Catholic Biblical scholar, and Gianna Gobi, a Montessori educator trained by Maria Montessori, after observing that children across cultures respond to certain core elements of the Christian message through the blending of the Montessori Method and catechesis. This will provide a rich formation in our faith that is prayerful, sacramental, biblical personal encounter with the Good Shepherd from ages 3-12.
With a deep understanding of our faith, the children will continue to grow as a community of faith in the classrooms, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) This formation will strengthen them to witness to the world of God’s great love for them, and their individual mission God has given each one of them in their uniqueness to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth.