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Sunflower Montessori

by City Savvy Luxembourg


Giving your children a solid beginning

When the founders of Sunflower are asked what the most important thing about Sunflower Montessori is, they immediately respond that the ethos of their entire foundation is built upon a child’s spirit being nurtured. In doing so, they foster self confidence and give a child the tools to then move into any education system because of this self esteem and confidence.

These core values become the building blocks which spark a love for learning. Sunflower accomplishes this through specific techniques which feel so simple, yet are often rarely successfully achieved in an early learning environment.

The Classroom

Sunflower creates a free environment for the children to move around in. The children, themselves, are allowed to choose their (often) hands on activity and what makes a Montessori classroom different from a traditional learning space begins with the most basic set up of the classroom. Children at Sunflower are not set up to learn through repetitive actions and passive listening is replaced by active learning. 

Time

One thing you will never see at Sunflower is a teacher rushing from one thing to the next in order to keep a schedule. They respect each child as an individual who will learn on his/her own timetable and the curriculum is not predetermined or based upon the idea that all children learn at the same speed. There is a calmness to their classrooms due to taking the time. They understand that every kid is born with the desire to learn, just not on the same day in the same way. 

Method

Upon observing children at Sunflower, you will never see them imposing traditional approaches of writing the same letter over and over again. Instead, you will witness children writing letters in sand because Montessori teachers understand that an important way to create the building blocks of literacy is through sensorial feelings. It is erasable. No one will say ‘You did that wrong’ as in sand, everything is able to be wiped away and nothing is permanent. It’s about practicing a movement in a calm, zen-like style and their work cycle is valued so not to be interrupted. The founder of the Montessori method, Maria Montessori, once said

The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ’The children are now working as if I did not exist.’

Civilised Respect

Sunflower does not believe that teaching should feel like bootcamp and instead, they calmly appeal to a child’s innate desire to learn. As kids don’t frequent rock concerts, children’s hearing is incredibly powerful. They can hear so much more than adults are able to and yet, so often, we are screaming and shouting at them. A first impression of Sunflower is how quiet the environment is. Often, visitors ask ‘Where are all the children?’

Children can be noisy and they are encouraged to do so outside but can you imagine in your working environment- working 9 to 10 hours a day if people in an office were constantly shouting? People treat children so differently than they treat adults. Perhaps you are from a system where teachers shouted. Hopefully you don’t shriek at friends or contemporaries and yet it seems perfectly acceptable in many classrooms to yell.

3 Ways Sunflower Can Help The Older Child: Foyer du Jour, Holiday Camps and Saturday School

Let’s say your child is aged 4 to 12 and in school either at St Georges, École Français, The European School in Kirchberg or local school in Sandweiler? Did you know that Sunflower can pick up your child 1,2,3,4 or 5 afternoons per week and you collect them at 7pm. Here they can engage in relaxing Montessori activities through painting, singing, stories, baking and playing outside. The children can work on their English through stories, poetry, drama, music and experiencing nature in both English and French. Homework completion is encouraged and help with this is on hand. The average age is 8 and are often made up of kids who started out at Sunflower when babies.

School Holiday Camps are also an option. Each week is meticulously planned ahead to make sure kids have at least one outside trip: tennis, museums, or a visit to the climbing park.

They are currently renovated a beautiful farmhouse in Hamm which is scheduled to open in Sept 2019. There is a giant garden, a creche from 0 to 4, top floor, and 20 places for an afterschool/ foyer du jour.

A lovely house in Capellen will be transformed into a beautiful creche opening late Spring this year for 30 children.  Alizeti will expand with another building for 24 foyer de jour places opening in the Spring.

Saturday School has expanded. If you child is aged 4 to 8, they can learn to read and write in English or French. Choose from one of the five locations offering Saturday school and boost your child’s confidence.

Maria Montessori urged her students   to “trust that you know what you’re doing” while moving to the next step naturally, ditching an inflexible overall plan and a one-size fits all method. This approach to creation feels crucial for innovation. In the end, maybe we could all use a bit of Sunflower in our adult lives? 

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