The Montessori way is well-known around the world—and for a wide variety of reasons. Aside from its inviting classrooms and unconventional method of teaching, it is also known to produce independent thinkers with a lifelong love of learning. In fact, it has produced several notable personalities such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Julia Child among many others.
As a parent preparing for their child’s education, you may be wondering: what’s so special about the Montessori method? What makes it different from the rest?
To answer those essential questions, allow us to share with you some key principles that are at play in a Montessori classroom:
1. Hands-on Activities
The Montessori way acknowledges the fact that children like to move around. In the same way, they find it difficult to sit perfectly still and listen to their teachers for prolonged periods.
Rather than forcing them to stay put and be quiet, this method actually encourages them to move around—to learn by working with materials hands-on. For example, rather than simply letting them remember formulas, the kids are taught how to count, add, subtract, multiply, and divide using various learning materials.
Essentially, the children learn through actions and experiences rather than through memorization.
2. Vertical Grouping
Another characteristic that differentiates Montessori classrooms from the rest is that it divides children into three-year groups. This means that you’ll find children aged 3-6 years old in the same class.
This arrangement encourages children to learn from one another. The younger ones will naturally observe and learn from their older peers. On the other hand, the older ones practice what they learned by teaching the younger ones. This also allows them to hone their leadership skills at an early age.
This is an area in the Montessori philosophy that focuses on helping children become more independent and responsible. Specifically, this covers day-to-day activities such as pouring, washing, wiping, carrying equipment, and so on.
These activities train children to look after themselves and empower them to gain independence in their day-to-day activities. Consequently, these also make them feel confident in themselves, helping them develop a healthy self-esteem.
4. A Prepared Environment
Some parents who are learning about Montessori schools for the first time often think that their classrooms are disorganized.
The truth of the matter is that Montessori classrooms are orderly and carefully prepared environments. All materials are thoughtfully made to be educational and interesting at the same time. Furthermore, these materials are laid out on shelves which children can reach on their own.
If you would take a closer look at how learning materials are laid out, you will also notice that they are arranged according to their difficulty. Everything is strategically placed to help the children develop a sense of order as well.
What makes Montessori schools different from traditional schools is that they steer away from the conventional method of instruction. Rather than forcing children to sit still and listen to teachers explain concepts, they let them learn on their own through experience. This method allows them to work on the materials they want, learn from their peers, and gain independence. Ultimately, it strives to live by its guiding motto, “Help me to do it by myself.” If you are interested in sending your child to a Montessori school in New York, consider enrolling him at St. Aloysius Regional School! We are the only institution to offer Montessori Pre-kindergarten program in the region. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our school.