What exactly is a Montessori Education?

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At its core, Montessori is a way of being with children that allows each child to develop fully into the person he was destined to be.  Between the ages of 0 to 6 years of age, your child has extraordinary powers of mind and heart.  She possesses a once-in-a-lifetime ability to simply absorb information and concepts from her surroundings, like a sponge.  A Montessori Environment is designed to meet the needs of your child in this crucial phase of her life.  Her experience in the classroom affects not only on the amount of knowledge and skill she will have at her command, but, more importantly, her attitudes toward herself, her world, and learning.

In Montessori, you will see …. 

Children are engaged peacefully and purposefully in a wide variety of activities.  Many parents are often surprised to see the calm environment of a Montessori classroom; in fact, it is designed to help your child become her best self. We support his natural drive for independence by encouraging him to choose activities of interest, without interruption.

It’s a mixed-age class.  Your child can work at her own pace while participating in a mixed age classroom community.  Younger children benefit and learn from the activities of the older children, while each older child gains the self-confidence that comes with responsibility and leadership.

The children are very independent.  We carefully teach your child how to care for her own needs and provide opportunities to practice and improve.  As your child learns how to care for herself and the environment in which she lives, she builds self confidence and experiences satisfaction at her accomplishments.

The classroom is child-centered, not teacher-centered.  You won’t see a Montessori teacher standing in front of the classroom writing on a chalkboard, but rather down at your child’s level, engaged with her or a small group.  Unlike traditional classrooms, where your child is expected to pay rapt attention to the teacher, here the learning takes place through the child’s own activity.

The curriculum is highly individualized.  The teacher is trained to recognize and respect the unique potential operating within your child, and strives to connect him to the activity best suited to him at that moment.  The art of being a Montessori teacher is in finding the activity that combines both interest and the right level challenge – not too hard and not too easy.  In this classroom, your child will become engaged with an activity, increasing her ability to focus and concentrate.

A wide variety of beautiful, hands-on learning materials help children learn.  Use of the materials builds a foundation of concrete experiences of abstract concepts, such as mathematics, assisting your child to a deeper level of understanding. Some provide the opportunity to perfect the practical skills of caring for her own needs or for the classroom environment.  Some enrich her vocabulary and open the door to writing, reading, and the parts of speech.  Others build on your child’s natural interest in counting and introduce an understanding of the decimal system and the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Some encourage artistic self-expression through the introduction of skills and media.

While most of the morning and afternoon is spent in self-directed activity, there are also times in the day for group activities and play.  The teacher may gather a group for songs and stories about social, biological, geographical, and historical themes of interest and your child will have a choice to participate or continue on with his activity.  Indoor classroom space extends to a safe and contained outdoor environment with gardens and activities, so your child can work outdoors.

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