About North Pittsburgh Children's House
A Note from the Pettits
When we decided to open North Pittsburgh Children’s House, we made a commitment to honor and authentically represent Dr. Montessori’s philosophy, educational intent, and priorities:
Keep the child at ease. We found a cozy Cape Cod style home on a quiet street in Hampton Township, PA, and transformed it into a true Children’s House in honor of Dr. Montessori’s first schools in Italy. Here the child feels safe, at ease and inspired in comfortable rooms full of fascinating and beautiful Montessori equipment.
Draw the child to the materials. Dr. Montessori coined the term “Prepared Environment” for her scientifically designed Montessori setting that appeals to the child while meeting his needs. At NPCH, we display the materials on shelves at the appropriate level for even our tiniest child. The attractive color and size of the teaching materials compel each child to explore. We ensure a constant influx of the most satisfying and exciting Montessori equipment to support the various, broader lessons we teach.
Follow the child. Dr. Montessori tells us to “follow the child.” We do not lecture the child, but rather show her how to utilize the school’s materials. Then we keenly observe her to ensure that she moves to the next level when she’s ready. We do not push the child. Dr. Montessori’s genius was the creation of this dynamic between materials, environment, teacher and each child’s potential, that makes acquiring knowledge a positive and enlightening experience.
Nurture the whole child. Dr. Montessori’s materials foster independent learning since they are self-correcting. They actually teach the child through purposeful repetition. We do not interrupt when a child makes a mistake but rather observe how he identifies his own error and corrects it. From his earnest endeavor to master his “work,” his behavior almost always matures. It is through these learning experiences that he develops the foundation of self-discipline, confidence, cooperation and responsibility. We believe, like Dr. Montessori, that every child inherently seeks to better himself. He naturally embraces the differences of others with respect and without the need to compete. We celebrate these differences and nurture the whole child to maximize his full potential.