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How is a Montessori preschool different from other daycares?
How is a Montessori classroom different from a regular classroom?
A Montessori classroom may be very different from a standard classroom, and is designed with the child in mind. The focus of the room is on the child, and they choose their own work from low, open, easy accessible shelves, helping them become independent learners. The teacher is a facilitator. Children are engaged and concentrate on their work.
Teacher's role is dominant; child is passive participant.
Focus only on social skills.
Most teaching is done by the teacher, collaboration is rare and directed by teacher.
Teacher uses group instruction approach to meet the needs of majority of the children.
Teacher decides what work the children should do, sit still and listen, and movement is discouraged.
Teacher decides how much time to spend on a specific activity.
Teacher is facilitator and coach; child is an active participant.
Both social and academic skills concurrently developed.
Children are encouraged to help, work with, and teach each other.
Teacher uses individual and small group instructions, personalizing these to meet each child’s needs.
Child has choices regarding work, where to work (on rug, table or corner etc). can move around and talk as long as others are not disturbed.
Child has choices about how long to work on specific task or project, and individually or in collaboration with other children.
The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist" - Maria Montessori
What equipment is in a Montessori Environment?
The Montessori environment is equipped with a wide variety of materials. Specific units are designed to expose children to the following areas: practical life, sensorial experiences, science, mathematics and geometry, language arts, geography, music, art, movement and physical education.
Practical life encourages development in daily living tasks to care for ourselves, our environment and others. Sensorial materials stimulate awareness of size relationships, colors, sounds, and tactile qualities. Mathematics, geometry, language, geography and science activities provide academic stimulation. The science and geography areas contain activities that increase the child's understanding of the world. The materials are also self-correcting, allowing the child to find his/her own mistakes.
Movement, music and art enrich the program and contribute to the child's growth. Each child spends time in a group setting daily, learning new songs and movement games, as well as enjoying old ones. Children express thoughts, feeling, and experiences graphically through art materials.
Do children have enough opportunities to socialize?
Group activities are included in the Montessori curriculum. During group activities, children’s interest and attention is focused on a specific topic or task. Group activities help develop listening skills and confidence to speak in groups.
Why Preschool Montessori?
According to most education experts around the world, the greatest opportunity to influence mental growth and development occurs during the first six years of life.
Not all preschool programs yield the same lifetime educational benefits. In the Montessori philosophy, internal (self) motivation is cultivated to create and nurture a young curious mind.
Research studies* show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children perform better on listening attentively, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning and adapting to new situations.
How will my child adjust from Montessori to public school?
Montessori children are unusually adaptable. They have learned to work independently and in groups.
Since they've been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, these children are problem-solvers who can make choices and manage their time well. They are able to exchange ideas and discuss their work freely with others and have good communication skills.
As a result, they have a solid head-start when they transition to public elementary schools.