Before we ask that question, the question that we need to ask is “Why a school?” All our answers will eventually boil down to one thing-We want our children to be successful in life. Our schools and classrooms must reflect Real-Life Learning. Children should be able to see the connection between a classroom activity and its real-life application. So, why choose the Montessori method for your child, and what are the benefits?
Montessori is one such educational method that focuses on nothing but the Real-World Activities! A Montessori Classroom is a dynamic environment full of real-life activities for children. Children learn independence and gain tremendous self-confidence and self-esteem by learning life skills. To know more, you can read here.
“Education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”- Maria Montessori.
Therefore, a Montessori classroom is a stimulating environment where learning is self-directed and not dictated by the teachers. The teachers act more like guides or facilitators who step in to assist when needed. They are greatly observant of the child which is why a Montessori class is small in size (in terms of number of children) and education is highly personalized.
Another unique thing about the Montessori Method is its mixed-age groupings in the classrooms. This is again a reflection of the real world wherein people interact with others of different ages. At the preschool level, 3 to 6-year-olds are grouped. More often than not the younger ones learn a lot by observing the older ones and the older ones solidify their learning by teaching the younger ones. This helps the children develop an attitude of collaboration and co-operation rather than engaging in silly competitiveness.
A typical Montessori Environment is divided into 5 areas of learning.
- It starts with Exercises of Practical Life: This area grabs the attention and interest of young learners by providing opportunities for daily life chores like buttoning, lacing, cutting vegetables, pounding, watering, and so on. Children’s fascination for these (as they experience them daily at home) triggers their focus and concentration.
- Sensorial Activities: Help the children learn about the world around them through the use of their senses. Each material helps in heightening a particular sense which is important to discourage children from multi-tasking. For Example, The Sound Cylinders which require children to use their sense of hearing, help in making the children more attentive to the sounds of their environment.
- Math: This area of learning is highly tactile as there are so many manipulatives for different concepts. The idea is for children to hold Math in their hands and learn through experiences.
- Language: The environment is rich in imparting Language through experiential activities again. The focus on Phonetics and the Reading Corner in the classroom makes it easy for children to start their reading journeys at an early age.
- Cultural: Children get to know about different cultures, festivals, and practices. This makes them open-minded and respectful towards different beliefs and customs.
Above all, the Montessori Method gives children freedom of choice within boundaries. And that makes the learning experience greatly tremendous, which might be difficult to achieve in a teacher-led environment.
After all, schooling’s goal should be to make children learners for life and empower them to tackle what may come their way!
I hope this post was helpful for you to understand why to choose the Montessori method for your child.
About the author-
This article is written by Stuti Mehrotra. She is a passionate educationist who has a rich experience of working with kids. She has been a teacher, trainer, and educator before being an entrepreneur and running her own preschool called Linden Montessori in Bengaluru.
Stuti highly believes in the Montessori Philosophy of believing greatly in children and allowing them to make their own choices and take certain risks within limits to help them in achieving their real potential as being over-protective with children makes them lose out on a number of learning opportunities. She is the founder and director of Linden Montessori.
You can check out this other article by Stuti which is relevant in today’s time– Everyday opportunities for parenting in covid times.