Harmony Montessori which is in Khar, the northern suburbs of Mumbai, has its own integrated approach where no particular subject is taught. They attend to children between 14 months to 12 years of age. They want to provide an educational experience to the child which is enriching in the spiritual, intellectual, psychological and physical level.
During our conversation with the school head, Beena Parekh, she told us the following things about her school.
1. Tell us something about yourself
My name is Beena Parekh and I graduated in Commercial Science from Nirmala Niketakan. I was a stay at home mom for ten years. Once, when I had gone to drop my second daughter to Playschool, I sat in the classroom and loved the experience and hence decided to work with children. The first month was very overwhelming. Initially it was a small sit in classroom in Khar and there were primary trained teachers.
2. What unique teaching method does your school choose?
No subject is taught on its own, it is a very integrated approach. We give them material to work with, the children are free to work with it and in the process learn a lot of different things.
Multiple languages are taught in Harmony Montessori like Sanskrit, French and Spanish
Few teachers called 'didis' speak in their mother tongue which is Hindi, they come once a week and work for one and a half hour to two hours.
3. What are the values that your school tries to inculcate in its children? What principle has your school adopted?
We teach our students to be independent. Most men are very dependent on women; Harmony believes that every individual should be independent. The children are taught to wash hands, wear socks, use colour pencils, use brooms, dustpans etc. The kids are genuinely interested in these activities. It also helps develop their concentration. Certain activities also help master motor coordination.Toilet training is only done after one and a half years, which is in Toddler class.
They are also taught how to prepare food. It involves activities like peeling cucumber and cutting it into long sticks and using butter knives to cut watermelon.
All our activities have a purpose, it is important for their self esteem.
We follow the principles of Integral Education System founded by Sri Aurobindo.
4. A day in the life of a child in your school:
Materials are kept on shelves and the children are free to use those. They are introduced to different activities and they keep repeating these activities. It provides for a comprehensive development of the child.
Children constantly work with presentations and because of that their skill increases. Children here are very self reliant.
5. Where do most of your students go after graduating from your school?
Most of our students go to ISC, CBSC, IGSCE and International schools and are very happy there.
6. What is the most rewarding part about being a centre head of a preschool?
Watching children enjoying themselves and sitting in the classroom with them is heartwarming. I love to observe them as they learn. The relationship I share with the teachers is very different, it is not a superior subordinate relationship but a very different relationship with a sense of trust.
Learn more about them at: Harmony Montessori