Dr. Maria Montessori, observing that young children are naturally curious and eager to learn, concluded that the ideal school does not force them but cultivates this natural desire to allow them to reach their full potential in life. Because eighty percent of a child's mental development takes place before age eight, the choice of a learning environment for those earliest years is very important. Arden Montessori School and Arbor View Montessori School provide such an environment.

It is like a home, warm and accepting, providing safe limits within which the child is encouraged to become self directed and self disciplined while developing creativity and a positive self image.

Arden Montessori School and Arbor View Montessori School were founded by Lydia Saadeh, who studied at the Maria Montessori Training Center in San Francisco with a teacher trained by Maria Montessori herself. Lydia has a Master's degree in educational administration, is accredited with AMI (Associate Montessori International), and has over ten years of experience in Montessori education.

"What is unique about our Montessori schools," she says, "is that we use purely the Montessori structure and materials." The special materials allow children to absorb information through all their senses in the same natural way that they learn to walk and talk, and at their own pace without pressure. They are delighted to find they are not restrained but encouraged to use their hands for learning! They are not segregated by age because the younger ones learn much from the older ones, who are role models and leaders.

Taking advantage of "sensitive periods" when an individual child is fascinated with a particular skill, specially trained teachers guide his development in practical life experiences, sensory awareness, mathematics, language, creative arts, science, and movement.

"Four and five year olds are reading, "Lydia says, "and learning mathematical concepts like odd and even numbers, geometry, and the decimal system." And most importantly, they still retain the precious joy of learning that can last them all their lives.

"I tell parents they are welcome to visit our schools and other schools, " Lydia says, "compare the outcome for the child, and then make their choice."