"The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence."
~ Maria Montessori
When it comes to investing in your child’s education, it is important to do the proper research. The question, “Why Montessori?” is a valid one. Here are several reasons why investing in a Montessori education is a wise choice:
Research-driven education: The Montessori approach to education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori more than 100 years ago, and is today practiced in more than 5,000 schools across the United States. Through her early work with impoverished and mentally disabled students, she came to a crucial insight: Children naturally want to learn, and when they are provided with an environment that has been carefully prepared to support this desire, they engage in learning willingly and happily.
Self discipline, responsibility, and independence: Montessori schools promote hands-on learning that is self-paced, collaborative, and joyful. A Montessori curriculum focuses on key developmental milestones. The Montessori philosophy begins with the child and encourages levels of independence, interdependence, care for self, others, and the environment at its core. At Alexander Montessori School, learning how to manage ourselves - our time, our choices, our work - is a lifelong journey and one that is practiced daily in our Montessori classrooms in our Toddler, Preschool, Lower Elementary School, and Departmentalized Middle School Preparatory Programs.
Child-centered education: One of the main differences between a traditional education and a Montessori education is that the Montessori approach to teaching and learning is child-centered. A Montessori classroom does not have a desk for every student; instead, Montessori classrooms have work tables and work areas which include using the floor as their work space. This concept promotes freedom of movement which is one of the essential elements of a Montessori environment. Children are allowed to move freely, choosing their own work during their work periods. Montessori education is paced to meet the needs of the child. Each skill or concept is mastered by each child at their own pace. This individualized, self-paced form of education comes from understanding that each child learns differently and in their own unique way.
Mixed-age groups: At Alexander Montessori School, when you walk into a classroom, you will see twenty or more mixed-age children all engaged and productively occupied in their chosen tasks or work plan. Montessori students learn to work together and build relationships. Younger children learn by watching older children as well as adults. In a mixed-age classroom, older children who are completing challenging lessons are an example to the younger children. The older children are mentors to the younger ones. They show what is possible and inspire the younger children. The Montessori classroom is calm, the space is pleasant, and the children are empowered to discover, explore, ask questions, and learn.
Learning to Love to Learn: The traditional approach to teaching and learning is that children should learn through direct instruction from an adult or older child. The Montessori approach believes that children are driven to learn and explore and have an inner capacity to do so. A Teacher’s role is to observe each child, and to provide them with tasks appropriate for their developmental stage that would help them acquire knowledge and the appropriate skills. The Montessori Method of education provides children experiences in learning how to learn. From the Early Childhood level to the Elementary level, a Montessori child learns to ask the right questions and explore the answers instead of memorizing and regurgitating facts. The Montessori approach follows and nurtures the child’s natural curiosity which enables them to continue to be eager to learn and ultimately to learn to love to learn.
As parents, we have so many responsibilities and choices to make. We want what is best for our children. A Montessori education inspires confidence and nurtures the child’s innate desire for learning and discovering. Investing in a Montessori education is definitely an empowering choice.