The Guidepost mission
We exist to guide, empower, and nurture independence in children from infancy to adolescence.
“Development takes the form of a drive toward an ever-greater independence. It is like an arrow released from the bow, which flies straight, swift and sure. The child’s conquest of independence begins with his first introduction to life. While he is developing, he perfects himself and overcomes every obstacle that he finds in his path.”
The Montessori approach
Montessori combines highly intentional learning materials, rich social development, and a joyous approach to practiced independence to help children develop an enduring love of learning and the core social, emotional, and academic skills they need to flourish.
Our singular mission at Guidepost is to guide and empower each child as she grows in her independence.
The Montessori approach to human development is based on the belief in the limitless potential of the child, and on the belief that it is only the child herself who can realize this potential. To grow up well is to become increasingly independent — to be increasingly capable, confident, and secure; to be increasingly able to meet one’s own needs, form one’s own values, and author one’s own life. Our job as caretakers is to understand and love this process as it unfolds for children in our care, and to support each child in blazing her trail.
Though the circumstances of children are as varied as the children themselves, their fundamental need is timeless: to be supported as they achieve their own development. The fundamental method, too, is timeless: to provide the child with the material, environment, and guidance that is lovingly optimized to support her in that work.
As caretakers we believe in supporting a child’s budding independence in many ways:
- By elevating a teaching and parenting philosophy to consciousness. This allows us to be proactive rather than reactive, find innovative solutions to difficult questions, and take an integrated approach to each child’s unique path toward independence.
- By preparing ourselves for our role as guides. The rewarding, but demanding, nature of this role requires us to lovingly invest in understanding and navigating the stages of a child’s development, and to self-consciously manage our own lives, motivation, and energy as we do so.
- By recognizing the child’s role in achieving her own development. Through joyful concentration and effort, the child builds all her capacities—from grasping her first object, to eating independently, to toileting, to putting her world to words, to reaching the whole world of knowledge, skills, and culture.
- By crafting an environment that enables independence. One of the best things we can do for a child is to set up a space where she can be maximally independent, a space that is comprehensible and enticing, a space that is aesthetically and pedagogically rich—a space that allows her to understand the world and act efficaciously in it.
- By inspiring children to enjoy the work of learning and growing. Every child learns to walk, but not every child learns in a way that feels like an exciting challenge, that redounds upon her confidence. By providing enticing materials and encouragement, this can be achieved for all of human development and knowledge.
- By connecting with and learning from passionate Montessorians everywhere. Other parents, teachers, developmentalists, and pedagogues add their own experience and wisdom to our accumulated knowledge about child development. We benefit tremendously from participating in continued discussion, validation, and refinement of the Montessori method.
Guidepost Montessori is many things. It is a network of Montessori schools. It is a community of Montessori parents and educators. It is a growing encyclopedia of Montessori resources. It is virtual and at-home and self-serveMontessori programming. The common denominator, the undercurrent, is the Montessori approach of fostering independence in developing human beings.
The work of the child
When we recognize that children are creating themselves, we see how they are putting effort into doing so. Even young infants set simple goals, such as grasping a nearby object, and then voluntarily direct incredible amounts of energy toward that goal, over extended periods of time and in spite of distractions. This process, and the joy a child takes in it, is a major part of what spurs development. As a result of this work, the goals, actions, time, and energy the child spends all naturally expand in scope — and the child conquers each milestone, separately and in increasingly integrated concert.
Curiosity is at the heart of our approach
The centerpiece of Guidepost’s Montessori approach is the creation of conditions in which the child can perform this deep, developmental engagement. “The role of education,” at all levels, Montessori wrote, “is to interest the child profoundly in an external activity to which he will give all his potential” (FCTA p. 11).
The fundamental impetus for this effort comes from within the child; our job is to ensure that the activities and materials that she engages with are challenging and valuable, and that they inspire her to keep the flame of inner curiosity burning.
The result? Children who grow by their own effort. Children who genuinely experience success independently. Children who are joyously earning confidence. Children who know that they can do real things and engage in real learning.
At Guidepost Montessori, all of our curriculum and pedagogy — both inside and outside of our classrooms — is designed to enable the work of the child:
- We optimize for sustained concentration over time, allowing a child to build her capacity not just to make choices but to learn the joy of persisting in them.
- We use highly designed learning materials and activities. The sequence of Montessori learning materials is designed to give a child foundational learning experiences — in motor control, sensorial exploration, math, literacy, and human culture—that systematically build on one another. The result: the priceless advantage of foundational knowledge and skills, and the habit and joy of lifelong learning.
- We help children do things that are meaningful to them. “Practical life” includes supporting infants in the process of their own weaning, helping children learn to love maintaining the cleanliness of their space, scaffolding for older children the organization of their own time and energy, and more. With the right materials, environment, and adult perspective, a child can extensively practice her natural desire to participate in her human life.
The work of the child is to create herself: to create her own knowledge and abilities by effort and practice, to create her own sense of self-worth, to create her own connection to the world and to people within it.
At Guidepost, we fuse our love for the child with an understanding of her work — by offering the child an endless set of meaningful choices and tools worthy of her effort.
Ideas from the Guidepost Blog
Parenting tips, Montessori explainers and strategies for helping your child become an independent, capable human being — The Guidepost Team is here to help parents succeed
How Montessori at Home Improved the Lives of an Innovative English Family
The Montessori Method helped Florence Taylor connect with her son and become a better adult, regardless of how childishly others reacted to her parenting techniques.
The Guidepost Glossary of Montessori
From A to Z, a comprehensive breakdown of all the Montessori terms you need to know
Giving your child the keys to life
Guidepost Montessori offers a unique and holistic approach to education for children of all ages with over 120 brick & mortar schools, virtual and homeschool, and Spanish and Mandarin language immersion options.
Our curriculum fosters independence, creativity, and a love of learning. Book a school tour today and take the first step in giving your child the gift of a Montessori education.
Learn more about our: