By definition Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the highly trained teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Still unsure? It's ok, understanding all the wonderful characteristics of Montessori is a journey of exciting "aha!" moments for child and parent alike. The following video is an excellent "Montessori in a nutshell" resource that we believe will help you journey along the path to learning and understanding Montessori.
Elements of a Montessori Program
Goals of A Montessori Education:
Stimulate the child’s innate love of learning
Provide a nurturing, cooperative learning environment
Incorporate all the senses in the learning experience
Consider the whole child
Encourage respect for self, others, the environment, and all life
The Montessori classrooms is prepared in such a way to give students the perfect space to discover, explore, and learn. Beauty and order are an essential part of the prepared environment that allows the child to thrive.
The teacher's role is to guide the child toward independence and help develop concentration and organizational skills. Activities with Montessori materials called "works" help achieve these goals.
Students are encouraged to pursue areas of interest. The classroom provides prepared environments that include practical life, sensorial, language, math, geography, botany, art, and science. Uninterrupted work time gives children the opportunity to focus and concentrate. The classroom calms as the students relax and work. Respect for the environment and classmates promotes self-control and develops strong social and academic skills.
The benefit of a multi-age classroom is that children learn from each other with ease. When one child learns a new skill such as tying his shoe, the other children take notice. There is a sense of joy that catches on as the next child becomes ready to learn a new skill.