Why choose Montessori education for your child?
The Montessori method is a thoughtful and purposeful approach to education that emphasizes children's innate ability to direct their development when given the opportunity and tools. Parents who choose a Montessori school for their children do so because of this emphasis on self-directed learning, the multi-age grouping environment, and dedication to individual growth.
Emphasis is on multi-age groupings which benefit children in many ways. Children of differing experience levels, abilities, and ages are grouped together and taught to learn from one another. This way, the younger children begin to emulate the older children's attitudes and behavior, and older children learn about caring for and mentoring their younger classmates.
Montessori schools inspire confidence and nurture the child's innate desire for learning, discovery, and social interaction skills in an environment where teachers are encouraging, engaging, and value the individual child. Activities are set out in such a way to contain everything the child needs to complete the activity themselves. The activities are broken down into concrete, manageable tasks that the children practice until they can complete with confidence and move on to increasingly complex activities. Children learn how to learn, and this prepares each child for future academic and social excellence.
Children are usually in the same class with the same teacher for at least three years, creating a community of people who know and care about each other and understand how to be with each other.
The Montessori method has been time-tested for 75 years and has achieved success throughout the world (research).
Montessori is a positive environment for your children.
In the scientifically prepared environment of the true Montessori school, the child develops the prime elements of character; freedom, concentration, independence, self-discipline, industry, sense of reality...in an atmosphere of cooperation.
Each child is taught individually.
The child's natural development of language is utilized in the process of learning to read.
Children have the unique opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Children work at their own pace and their own level.
Habits and skills developed in a Montessori classroom remain for a lifetime.
Though much has been said about the academic achievements of Montessori children, the true value lies in the self-discipline, self-mastery, and love of learning the children achieve.
Doctor Montessori (1870-1952)
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children learn naturally.
She opened the first Montessori school—the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House—in Rome on January 6, 1907. In this first classroom, Montessori observed the behaviours of the young children which formed the foundation of her educational method. She noted episodes of deep attention and concentration, multiple repetitions of activity, and a sensitivity to order in the environment. Given a free choice of activity, the children showed more interest in practical activities and Montessori's materials than in toys and were surprisingly unmotivated by sweets and other rewards. Over time, she saw a spontaneous self-discipline emerge. Based on her observations, Montessori implemented a number of practices that became hallmarks of her educational philosophy and method. She replaced the heavy furniture with child-sized tables and chairs light enough for the children to move and placed child-sized materials on low, accessible shelves. She expanded the range of practical activities such as sweeping and personal care to include a wide variety of exercises for the care of the environment and the self, including flower arranging, hand washing, gymnastics, care of pets, and cooking. She also included large open-air sections in the classroom encouraging children to come and go as they please in the room's different areas and lessons.
“The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult. That is, it is the place where he can do things for himself to live his own life without the immediate help of adults. Therefore, the environment is a place where the children are to be increasingly active, the teacher increasingly passive. It is a place where the child more and more directs his own life; and, in doing so, becomes conscious of his own powers." (1)
Montessori experimented with teaching materials for writing and reading—letters cut from sandpaper and mounted on boards, moveable cutout letters, and picture cards with labels. Four- and five-year-old children engaged spontaneously with the materials and quickly gained a proficiency in writing and reading far beyond what was expected for their age. This attracted further public attention to Montessori's work. Her work was widely published internationally and spread rapidly. By 1912, Montessori schools had opened in Paris and many other Western European cities and were planned for Argentina, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland, Syria, the US, and New Zealand. Public programs in London, Johannesburg, Rome, and Stockholm had adopted the method in their school systems.
Over the next 20 years, Montessori traveled the world and wrote extensively about her approach to education, attracting many devotees. There are now thousands of Montessori schools in countries worldwide.
(1) Standing, E.M. (1957). Maria Montessori, Her life and work. London: Hollis & Carter Limited.