Montessori is not a trend
The beauty of Montessori is that the principles of teaching, the philosophy and the tools have been around for centuries and haven’t changed. There has got to be a good reason for that, as clearly it’s working. The philosophy that Maria Montessori developed many years ago still works for our kids today.
It fosters independence
This is a really big part of the Montessori environment. Absolutely everything you come across in a Montessori classroom is all about raising independent kids. Everything is prepared to allow kids to be able to do things for themselves, instead of letting an adult do it for them. If you enter the classroom, don’t be surprised if you see a 3 year old mopping up a mess on the floor, or washing dishes at the sink. Everything is at the height of the child so that they’re able to perform these everyday tasks.
What’s amazing about why Montessori education works is that you can see the pride beaming from faces everywhere, proud of their achievements, and knowing that they’ve done things for themselves.
All the materials are created to be self-correcting so that students can actually see their own mistakes without an adult telling them that. They then have the power to ask for help when they need it. This is an important life lesson for kids, as they learn to ask for help when they need it as opposed to an adult pointing out a problem and helping them with it anyway. What a brilliant way to foster independence in our eyes.
Kids start to realise that they have the intelligence and the ability to do things for themselves, which is not only empowering but it gives their confidence a massive boost too.
Kids Understand the “Why” not just the “How
Often in mainstream schools kids are taught to memorise and rote learning is practiced all the time. There is often not the element of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ taught. If kids understand the how and why they are more likely to succeed as they understand what is going on. Montessori allows children to understand the how and the why with materials. Students can actually see a division problem occur as he or she divides each place value. They also have the ability to practice it over and over with the materials until it makes sense to them.
One of the best reasons why Montessori education works is that it’s completely individualised. As parents you never have to worry that your child is bored or frustrated. You can rest easy knowing that they’re getting exactly what they need, when they need it. In order for the directress to teach on an individual level they observe, mentor, mould and guide the child to their full potential.
Learning is REALLY fun
What really makes learning fun? Staring at worksheets that need to be completed? No, and that’s unlikely to inspire your child to want to learn more. However, Montessori provides ‘experiences’ to learn from…for example going outside and learning about botany by looking at a leaf or even dressing up as a favourite historical figure if far more exciting that looking at that black and white piece of paper. The reason why Montessori education works is that they learn from the world around them by doing and experiencing new things. It makes learning more relevant and engaging.
Montessori prepares your kids to be global citizens, responsibility, compassion for others as well as self-motivation.
Encourages Co-operative Play
The directress doesn’t actually ‘run’ the classroom per se, but students guide the activities that they will do throughout the day. It encourages kids to share and work cooperatively when they are exploring the various stations in the Montessori classroom. Children in Montessori classrooms, by the very nature of the environment, learn to respect one another and build a sense of community.
Learning is Child-Centred
Montessori students enjoy a classroom and curriculum designed around their specific needs and abilities. It allows them to explore and learn at their own pace and on their own terms. Everything in the classroom is within reach of the child, and furniture is sized for children to sit comfortably. In addition, older children in the class work with the younger ones, so mentoring comes as much from peers as it does from the adults in the classroom.
Children Learn Self-Discipline Naturally
While the Montessori Method allows children to choose the activities they want to work on each day, and how long they will work at a specific task, there are specific ‘ground rules’ for the class that are consistently enforced by the directress and other students. By approaching learning in this environment, it naturally teaches children self-discipline, concentration skills, self-control and motivation too.
The Classroom Environment Teaches Order
All objects and activities are very specifically arranged in the classroom environment. When kids have finished with an activity they have to put the items back where they found them. This creates a sense of order which facilitates that learning process and teaches self-discipline. Children also thrive in an orderly environment and when they work and play in a place that is neat and predictable their creativity is unleashed and they can fully focus on learning.
The Curriculum is Focused on Hands-On Learning
One of the greatest reasons why Montessori education works is due to the focus of hands-on learning. The emphasis is on concrete, rather than abstract learning, as students work on activities that teach language, math, culture and practical life lessons. Directresses encourage students to concentrate on tasks, and they discourage students from interrupting one another, allowing students to focus on activities until they are properly mastered.