As parents, it might feel like you’ve barely brought home your baby and then faced with decisions about preschool and where they will go to elementary school.
Not only can it feel competitive, but it can also feel daunting to find a school that is the best fit for your child and family.
You might have heard about Montessori schools and Montessori education if you’ve started to look. Are you wondering what are Montessori schools and how are they unique from any other school my child might attend?
Read on to learn more about Montessori schools and what makes their philosophy unique.
What Are Montessori Schools?
Montessori is a philosophy about how you allow kids to learn at school. Instead of being teacher-led, where the teacher makes executive decisions about the learning and the students follow suit, the learning is student-led.
This means for a student that learning is open-ended where students get to make decisions about their learning and be directors of it. They can identify education and projects that interest them, and the teacher will act as a guide to their learning.
Montessori learning is often a hands-on experience. Students work at a natural pace and not dictated by the teacher and the group of other students. If a student is ready to advance to the next level, they can without being held back by the class or the grade levels of the work.
Click here to see and learn more about a Montessori school setup.
Cornerstones of Montessori Learning
It’s important to know that Montessori learning follows many ideas and philosophies on child development and learning. It’s not, however, trademarked.
This means that any school could open and call itself a Montessori school, and they may or may not follow the tenets of Montessori. So, as you’re considering a Montessori school, there are some things to watch for.
Classrooms of mixed ages are an important component of Montessori learning. Remember, when a child is ready to advance, they do. They don’t have to wait to do first-grade work until they’re in first grade. If they are prepared before that, they can advance.
So, setting up classrooms with mixed ages makes sense based on their learning, not just their age.
Long learning times are another cornerstone of Montessori learning. Students won’t be hustled from activity to activity in an authentic Montessori school.
They should be given chunks of time to dig into their learning. They can linger on something and go deeper with their understanding. If they want to spend hours on one art project, for example, they are allowed.
Of course, work time gets aged appropriately too. If a Montessori classroom has work time, the time allowed for a toddler classroom might be much different than one for school-aged kids.
Learning Creatively Through Montessori
You might wonder if kids spend time doing nothing or become unmotivated because they have more freedom. Remember, teachers are present to act as guides to learning. They also work to engage students in learning that genuinely piques their curiosity.
For more education articles like this one, and to answer more questions like “what are Montessori schools?” be sure to visit this page often.
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