Founded as the first Jewish Montessori preschool of Orange County, California, the Olam community has pledged to provide Jewish youth from the entire Jewish community a hands-on educational environment that allows our students the freedom and guidance to fall in love with learning, Judaism, friends, and the possibility of what they can achieve.

The Olam community is comprised of students, veteran educators, parents, volunteers, donors, and community agencies. We work in partnership to honor the long-standing tradition of our Judaic community, while integrating secular innovative programming, and to preserve the unique natural setting of the Montessori classroom.

Olam Jewish Montessori is part of a worldwide Montessori community who believe that all children have an inherent passion for learning, and that teachers have a unique opportunity to fuel that passion into a lifelong pursuit. Integrating the Montessori educational philosophy and weaving the rich cloth of our Judaic heritage, children learn how to celebrate and observe the Jewish holidays, increase Hebrew language skills, understand the meaning of mitzvot and middot. The word Olam in Hebrew means world, which is derived from the root “alam” meaning hidden or concealed.  Together as your partner we will strive to motivate your child to unlock that hidden potential within him or her and create a warm, caring and loving community.

The results of recognizing children’s inherent strengths and developmental needs, and meeting those needs in carefully designed classroom environments, are students who not only achieve academic excellence, but also students whose creative thinking and self-direction have been nurtured and truly prepare them to meet any future challenge or pursuit with confidence.Because we cannot predict the skills needed for tomorrow, it is important that our children know how to learn and adapt; we want them to have the ability to analyze, synthesize, and utilize information. The world is rapidly changing. As populations increase, resources become increasingly limited. We are more closely connected and interdependent than ever before in history. Social literacy – understanding, respecting, and being connected to others – is more important than ever. The future leaders and innovators, the citizens of tomorrow, need to be prepared with a “new” set of skills.

In his book The Global Achievement Gap, renowned author, speaker, entrepreneur, and most recently, the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, Tony Wagner, delineates Seven Survival Skills – the skills that matter most for work, learning, and citizenship in today’s global economy. Each is listed below with examples of how this skill is supported in the Montessori classroom.

 


Montessori Preschool Method

 

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world. “
Maria Montessori

The Montessori approach of teaching is based on the philosophy of Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori (1870-1952) and recognizes the child’s natural desire to learn from his or her environment. According to Dr. Montessori “education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.”  She observed that young children learn best in an environment that allows for hands on experiences in which the child practices using his five senses. The teacher acts as a link between the child and the classroom environment, which is designed using child-sized and developmentally appropriate activities that can be done individually or in small groups. Freedom of choice in the classroom, allows the child the liberty to choose an activity to work on what he or she is naturally drawn to.  The educational materials found today in a Montessori classroom allow children to develop the tools needed for creative learning as well as stimulate mental and manual agility. Made from real materials such as wood, the Montessori activities are child sized and aesthetically pleasing. Each activity is designed for multi-level learning, allowing the child to progress at his or her own individual pace. Maria Montessori believed that learning should occur naturally and joyfully at the proper moment for each individual child.   The Montessori classroom is comprised of multi-aged groups of children where younger children can learn from older peers and older children, in turn, can act as leaders creating a cooperative community of learners.