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What should you look for in a Montessori school?

Montessori Education is an educational approach developed by Dr Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician.

Based on her scientific background and clinical understanding, Dr Montessori observed how young people learn best when engaged in purposeful activity rather than simply being fed information.

The hallmark of a Montessori program is a prepared classroom environment. Each classroom is equipped with materials that first teach through the senses and later lead to reading, writing, advanced mathematics, problem solving, geography, science and cultural studies. Visual arts, music and movement are interwoven throughout the days’ activities.

The below points will help you understand how beneficial Montessori education is, specifically between 3 and 6 years in a child’s life and this will also help you know what you have to look for in a Montessori school, if you are planning to enroll your child.

For Infants

  1. Infants learn by touching and responding to gentle touch, and by moving freely as they interact with their surroundings.
  2. Infants learn emotional and intellectual independence through movement.
  3. Freedom to do that is very important for an infant’s overall development. Montessori offers this kind of good nurturing environment for the child.

For Toddlers

  1. Toddlers in a Montessori classroom are assisted as they fulfill the basic human tasks of trust, separation, independence, and self-control.
  2. Toddlers are rapidly changing in this developmental age. They learn to make order out of their surroundings, to move with intention and coordination and to communicate with others.
  3. Independence is encouraged in all things and toileting skills become a major part of the curriculum. Montessori teachers who work with this age group must have an incredible energy and deep sensitivity.

For Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

  1. Early childhood (3-6 years) classrooms are the most common age range found in Montessori schools. Montessori early childhood programs offer the most comprehensive curriculum for parents who have the goal of preparing their child for elementary school.
  2. Nearly everything within the walls of a Montessori classroom is child-sized. Children “work” with authentic Montessori materials including a wide range of high-quality, age-appropriate materials—objects such as wooden blocks, sand trays, textured fabrics, and glass beads, to name just a few. All of the materials are designed to be self-teaching.
  3. Children learn to solve problems, see natural connections in knowledge, learn skills related to practical living, and therefore, expand their imaginative thinking. Montessori schools inspire children to work at their own pace, alone or with others. Classes are comprised of a range of ages and abilities.
  4. Older, more experienced children take on the role of peer mentors, reinforcing their own skills and experiencing the responsibilities of leadership through helping others. Younger children, in turn, enjoy the daily stimulation of older role models, while children of all ages learn to respect each other in a warm atmosphere of acceptance and joy.

If the Montessori school you are looking at, offers the above elements in its program and environment, to provide quality Montessori education, you might want to go for it!!

Excerpts taken from http://www.communityplaythings.com

 

Author: Rekha Arikere

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