Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Montessori method?


Montessori is a philosophy and method of education that emphasizes the potential of the young child and which develops this potential by utilizing specially trained teachers and special teaching materials. Montessori recognizes in children a natural curiosity and a desire to learn, the Montessori Materials awaken this desire and channel that curiosity into a learning experience which children enjoy. Montessori Materials help children to understand what they learn by associating an abstract concept with a concrete sensorial experience; in this manner, the Montessori child is actually learning and not just memorizing. The Montessori Method stresses that children learn and progress at their own pace, so that fast learners are not held back, and slow learners are not frustrated by their inability to keep up.




Why choose a Montessori Education?


Conventional, institutionalized education places children in large groups where concepts are taught by a teacher. Each child has their own desk, and the teacher is at the head of the classroom where instruction is dispensed. The children learn their concepts largely by rote; meaning, they memorize the what’s of a concept without necessarily understanding the how’s. Montessori Education’s internationally renowned approach focuses on creating an environment where the child discovers concepts of their own volition. It is more a holistic approach, taking all a child’s needs into consideration, and shaping their education accordingly. Your child is guided to learn at their own pace with self-correcting materials. The teacher’s role is unobtrusive; he or she becomes a guide, and a resource when the child needs them, moving quietly throughout the classroom so as not to disrupt the concentration. Children learn largely through their own sense of self-development. They are treated as individuals who differ from adults, and who differ from each other. Their innate joy for discovery is a natural one, and Montessori learning enables them to become active, intuitive individuals. You will be amazed at the individual mastery each child achieves, in all subjects, because they have been enabled to discover for themselves, in a guided environment. They learn at a quicker rate than in traditional methods, but more importantly they discover how a concept applies in a practical sense. What they learn is not just conceptual, but an application to their everyday lives.




What is the difference between a Montessori education and a traditional education or play based daycare?


A Montessori education supports the individual personality and learning style of each child and promotes the total development of your child and of the adult he becomes. The focus is learning how to learn, rather than what to learn. In a Montessori classroom children are free to move about choosing their work appropriate for their current stage of development. They can work at their own pace allowing the faster learners to move ahead and slower learners to take more time to gain a complete understanding of the topic. They are not required to sit and listen to a teacher talk to them as a group, but are engaged in individual or group activities of their own, with materials that have been introduced to them 1:1 by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.




What is The Role of the Teacher?


The function of the teacher in a Montessori classroom differs considerably from that of the traditional teacher; hence, Dr. Montessori used the term “Directress”. The directress brings children into contact with the world in which they live and the tools by which they learn to cope with the world. She is, first of all, a very keen observer of the individual interests and needs of each child, her daily plan proceeds from her observations rather than from a prepared curriculum. She demonstrates the correct use of materials to the children as they are individually chosen and carefully watches their progress and records their work. Individual children's total development as well as their progress toward self-discipline is carefully guided by the directress, who prepares the environment, directs the activities, and offers each child enticement and stimulation. The mutual respect of the student and the teacher-guide is the most important factor in this process.




What is Montessori apparatus?


The Montessori classroom offers over 500 unique educational didactic (self-teaching) materials which are manipulated by the children in the classroom. They accommodate many levels of ability. They are not "teaching aids" in the traditional sense, because their goal is not the external one of teaching children skills or imparting- knowledge through "correct usage." Rather, the goal is an internal one of aiding the child's mental development and self-construction. They aid this growth by providing stimuli that captures the child's attention and initiates a process of concentration Children then use the apparatus to develop co-ordination, attention to details, and good work habits. When the environment offers materials that polarize children...the teacher is then able to give the freedom needed for healthy development.




Why does Montessori have multi age classrooms?


The multi-age grouping in each class provides a family-like setting where learning can take place naturally. More experienced children share what they have learned while reinforcing their own knowledge and skills. The younger children look up to the older children and they emulate their behaviour. The multi-age community interaction is intrinsic to Montessori. This encourages rich language experiences, and opportunities for the development of empathy and social learning.




Is Montessori for all children?


Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multi age grouping allows each child to find one’s own pace without feeling “ahead” or “behind” in relation to peers. As a small center, it must be noted that we do not have EA’s available to assist within the classroom; a child that requires consistent one-on-one interaction due to a developmental diagnosis, would not receive the classroom accommodations that would allow the child to flourish within our care. We believe that children will thrive in the right environment for their developmental needs and we are committed to helping parents determine what that may be.




Why are Montessori children generally self-confident, out-going, and self-reliant?


Montessori is based on a profound respect for each child's personality Children work from their own free choice and are allowed a large measure of independence that forms the basis of self-discipline. As children progress at their own pace and successfully complete the self-correcting exercises, they develop confidence in their ability to understand their achievement. Montessori presents endless opportunities among the children for mutual help that is joyfully given and received. Co-operative social interaction among children of different ages engenders feelings of friendship, respect for the rights of others, and self-confidence. These aspects of the Montessori program help eliminate the necessity for coercion that often causes feelings of inferiority and stress.




Are Montessori Children Successful later in life?


Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations. Children with a Montessori background become better prepared to cope with the complex challenges of tomorrow’s world.