Choosing a Montessori environment for your child has many benefits. In addition to rapid academic and social growth, the Montessori Method also encourages empathy, a passion for social justice, a joy in learning, and an appreciation of the environment.
How does this happen?
Every child is regarded as an individual with gifts that will unfold.
Montessori teachers understand that children develop at their own pace, and that children learn in different ways. Just as babies learn to walk sometime between nine and 16 months, children develop cognitively over a continuum of time. In a Montessori classroom, teachers know that all children are born with many gifts, and it is the job of teachers and parents to unwrap those gifts. Children are encouraged to explore, question, and dig deeply into material of interest.
Montessori nurtures order, concentration, and independence.
The building blocks of “executive skills” begin in early childhood. In a Montessori classroom, students learn to initiate and complete a work cycle, wait their turn for a desired material, and put learning materials back in a particular order so that the material is ready for the next child. Many of the materials are “self correcting,” so that students can see for themselves whether or not they have completed a task successfully. As students grow older, these habits that they are developing become the foundation of executive skills such as task initiation, self-regulation, goal completion, and metacognition.
Students are part of a close, caring community.
Montessori classrooms are multi-age (usually 2 to 3 years) and take on the warm feel of an extended family. Older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Teachers model respectful interaction and facilitate conflict resolution when necessary. Teachers model “grace and courtesy” to help children internalize social skills. Respect is at the center of a Montessori classroom: respect for self, others, and the environment.
Montessori students enjoy freedom within limits.
Students are active learners in a carefully prepared classroom environment. You will see that children are often able to choose between activities designed to reinforce a particular concept or skill. You will see children working individually and in small groups, not seated at desks all focused on the teacher or doing the same worksheet. With this freedom, students are taught to assume responsibility for their actions and their learnings. This increases self-motivation and self-regulation. Montessori classrooms encourage creativity and invention. Montessori teachers lead children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate, and discover. Their ultimate objective is to help their students to learn independently and retain the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence with which they were born. Some of our society’s most creative people got their start in Montessori schools: Larry Paige and Sergey Brin (Google), Jeff Bezos, Julia Child, Anne Frank, Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, Stephen Curry, to name a few.
Montessori schools, based on a century old pedagogy, are cutting edge! Come and visit!
- Maria Montessori