Known for fostering independence, encouraging empathy and supporting lifelong learning, the Montessori method instills lifelong skills that last beyond the classroom. Here are just some of the reasons why choosing a Montessori school might be the best decision you can make for your family.
It encourages independence with child-led, hands-on activities.
Created by Maria Montessori to address the developmental needs of different ages, the Montessori classroom treats each child as an individual, recognizing that everyone learns at a different pace, in their own way.
The Montessori classroom is different from the traditional classroom in that you won’t often find a teacher standing in the front of the classroom instructing the students, nor will you see worksheets. Instead, you will see various stations set up around the classroom to encourage learning through the five senses, exploration, curiosity and a lifelong love of learning. The stations will meet a variety of interests, such as cooking, gardening, science, math, reading, cleaning, music, library, art and more. The children choose where they wish to work, with the teacher monitoring their progress and assisting when necessary.
Children benefit from multi-age classrooms.
Montessori classrooms typically span a three-year cycle. This benefits students as they learn to work with, and alongside, children from different age groups. Older children are able to help the younger children. In doing so, they develop leadership skills, as well as learn the importance of helping and caring for others in need. As the younger children work with the older children, they will learn by their example and hopefully be motivated to lead and help others as well.
Cooperative learning is an integral part of the education.
In the Montessori classroom, cooperative learning is encouraged. As the children move from station to station without time limits, they learn to work with the other students. Asking questions and working together to come up with solutions to problems are both encouraged. As the children work together, they begin to learn the importance of teamwork and working as a community early on.
Grades are not a measure of progress.
Another major difference between traditional education and Montessori is that the child’s measure of success is not evaluated by a grading system. Instead, the teacher keeps a portfolio of each child that includes notes about what the child has chosen to engage in and observations made by the teacher. This helps the parents to better understand the child’s interests and ways they can further encourage their curiosity, interests and education at home.
There is a focus on the student as a whole.
Montessori education strives to create a life-long love of learning in their students through hands-on activities that focus on the child as a whole. The goal isn’t to receive straight As, but instead to foster the natural gifts, talents, skills, interests, wonder and curiosity that each child possesses. The focus is on the overall development and well-being of the child, and this includes their emotional well being, personal interests, maturity, ability to work both independently and cooperatively with others, being kind, respectful, self-motivated and helpful.