Each fall, PRINTS parents get to experience what it is like to be their own child at school. This is an extremely important and educational experience, especially for parents who are in the process of learning about Montessori for the first time through their child's enrollment at PRINTS. This unique experience of Montessori is called "Silent Journey and Discovery" and it is practiced in many AMI accredited schools throughout the world.
What Happens During "Silent Journey and Discovery"?
Parents sign up for this special experience. They come to school for an hour on Friday evening after the children have left the classrooms and – in complete silence – they walk through each of the school's classrooms or "environments" in sequential order. This means that they start in the Nido which is the room where babies are cared for, through the Infant Community (1.5-3 years) then into the Children's House (3-6 years) and so on through Elementary (6-12), and Erdkinder (12-18). As they move through each room, the parents silently absorb information about the materials and activities on offer – but they do not speak or touch anything at this stage.
The next morning, parents return to school for a morning of exploration and engagement. They now spend time in each environment, but they are allowed and encouraged to touch and interact with the materials. After a night of reflection, parents are able to see the thoughtfulness and power of Montessori's vision for the optimal development of each child at each stage. Parents – like their children – may choose which materials interest them. They also are offered lessons by the teachers in each classroom.
Parents' reactions to the Silent Journey are usually ones of wonder, pleasure, awe, understanding and respect for the Montessori approach. They can see the logic and connections of activities across each environment and the progression of concepts, how each level builds and extends ideas to the next developmental stage.
It is a wonderful and enlightening experience for all!
"This was truly eye-opening!"