Traditional or public schools offer some great benefits to children. But before you decide if they are for you, consider how Montessori differs from traditional school and all the benefits it affords your child.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that Montessori allows learning without limits. Because each child’s education is tailored to his or her unique needs and interests, students never have to wait for the rest of the class to move ahead or try to catch up if instruction moves too fast. Likewise, every Montessori classroom is equipped with more learning materials than any child can utilize in a school year, so there is always room for growth, however accelerated.
The Montessori classroom is based on collaborative work between the student and the teacher. Having received special training and after extensive observation, the Montessori teacher provides young children with fascinating and highly focused Montessori materials that target the interests of children at their precise stage of development.
In the Elementary classrooms, high academic expectations are discussed regularly by the student and the teacher. Together, they plan an exciting set of activities to accomplish the learning goals and evaluate past progress.
Because social responsibility is key for developing a learning environment in which students work together and care for each other, it is a big part of your child’s education in a Montessori setting. Respect for self, others, and the environment is encouraged from the very beginning of the Primary Program, all the way through the end of Elementary II. Children become increasingly socially responsible as they progress through the Montessori experience. Such skills and attitudes will serve them well throughout their lifetime in managing interpersonal and professional relationships.
Children stay in the same classrooms with the same teacher in three-year cycles. These instructional groupings are based on developmental stages, rather than age or grade divisions. Children of different ages but similar developmental needs work independently and together; older children sometimes guide and help the younger ones who have first received instruction from a teacher. The consistency of having the same teacher for a three-year span is also beneficial because learning is continuous throughout the three-year cycle. In other schools, a child’s learning can be stalled if, at the start of a new year, a new teacher has to figure out each student’s developmental and academic standing.
Fostering a true love of learning and
respect for self, others, and community