One of the most common questions asked of Montessorians is, "what is the difference between Montessori and traditional schools?" This five minute video produced by Trevor Eissler gives a succinct overview of some of the major differences between Montessori and conventional approaches to education. Well known in the Montessori community, Mr. Eissler is a Montessori parent, advocate, public speaker, and author of the book "Montessori Madness!".
Why should I choose Montessori?
If you want more than just the average pencil-and-paper educational experience for your child, choose Montessori.
If you want your child to develop a true passion for learning, choose Montessori.
If you want your child to be a problem-solver and an innovative thinker, choose Montessori.
If you want your child to learn from the expansive world and not just from books in a classroom, choose Montessori.
If you want to give your child the freedom to pursue their own interests and follow their own drive for knowledge, choose Montessori!
When is the best time to start my child in Montessori?
If you are truly committed to a Montessori way of life for your child, then the earlier you get started, the better! Maria Montessori emphasized the importance of the Early Years with the need for early education. She wrote, “the most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to age six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed.”
In the first six years of life, a child has a unique ability to constantly absorb impressions from the environment without knowing that they are doing so like a sponge. The child absorbs his or her environment so closely that it becomes a part of them. Like a camera, the child captures every detail about the environment. That is why the first six years of life are the most important stage in the development of a child, and the ideal time to start your child's Montessori journey.
Do Montessori children succeed in life?
Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared later in life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, 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.
Some famous Montessori alumni include Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, magician and illusionist David Blaine, celebrity chef Julia Child, Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney, author Anthony Doerr, author and memoirist Anne Frank, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Hunt, and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Is Montessori good for children with learning disabilities? What about gifted children?
The methods used in Montessori schools are highly effective for students who are self-disciplined and can work independently for long periods of time without a lot of teacher interaction or redirection. Our students complete a three-hour independent work cycle every day. Each child does their own individual work during this time while the teacher does small group lessons throughout the morning. If your child gets easily distracted, can’t work independently, or has trouble with lots of movement and activity, then the Montessori classroom may not be in their best interest. Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom where children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multi-age groupings allow each child to find his or her own pace without feeling “ahead” or “behind” in relation to peers.
How do Montessori children adjust to public schools?
Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust quite easily to public school. They are usually better prepared to be good students and spend their time in productive ways because of their self-direction and positive attitude towards learning.
What is the Montessori standpoint on Assessments & Testing?
There are no grades in Montessori, nor are there other forms of reward or punishment, subtle or overt. Assessment is by portfolio as well as through the teacher’s observations and record keeping. The test of whether or not the system is working lies in the accomplishment and behavior of the children, their happiness, maturity, kindness, love of learning, and level of work. If assessments do take place, they are meant only to serve as a baseline to give students, parents and teachers a better understanding of how students can productively work towards reaching their full potentials.
Isn’t Montessori school expensive?
Tuition in Montessori preschools throughout the country is sometimes higher than other preschools because of the extensive materials and curriculum, specially designed environment, and highly trained staff. Giving your child the finest possible experience in the most sensitive years provides a strong foundation for growth and a love for learning which will last a lifetime. At Nona Park Montessori School, we offer several discount and scholarship programs to enable all children to benefit from a Montessori education.
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