Frequently Asked Questions
Parents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Montessori way of learning.
Please become comfortable with the correct terminology.
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What is a Montessori School?
Then it gets more complicated. Children need space and freedom to learn and grow. Montessori schools provide that space and freedom, but in a well-constructed environment that exposes children to different stimuli and materials that encourage them to develop academically, physically, psychologically and emotionally.
Learning is based on the child’s self-motivation to explore and grow, but it’s guided, subtly, by teachers.
There are four important elements to Montessori education:
1. Most importantly, children are recognised as individuals. They learn differently to adults and they develop differently from all the children around them. This means that a generic approach just doesn’t work.
2. Children’s brains are like sponges, absorbing everything in their environment and learning as they go. Their educational settings should be structured to maximise this process.
3. Montessori classes are designed to facilitate the transition from unconscious to conscious learning, which is a very important step in early childhood development.
4. Children love to work with purpose, as you’ll know if you’ve ever watched a child absorbed in a practical activity. The pleasure (and the learning) is all in the doing, which is why the Montessori Method provides activities and materials that will encourage children to develop cognitively, physically and emotionally.
There is constant interaction, problem solving, child to child teaching, and socialization. Children are challenged according to their ability and never bored. The Younger children learn from the older children and the older children gain confidence and increase their self-esteem when helping a younger classmate.
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 situation. Most children appear to adjust readily to new classroom situations.
Montessori teachers (or the Directress) are, essentially guides. They don’t steer children in a particular direction or force them to work according to an agenda. They show the children what materials are available and how to use them and they give help whenever they are asked.
The method of teaching is indirect, in that it neither imposes upon the child as in direct teaching, nor abandons the child as in a non-directive permissive approach. Rather, the teacher is constantly alert to the direction in which the child has indicated he or she wishes to go, and actively works to help the child achieve his or her goals.
Providing opportunities for independence is the surest way to build your child’s self-esteem.
Try to avoid brain-numbing toys like video games and encourage your child to do fun, practical activities or read, rather than sit in front of the TV for hours at a time.
You will have to invest time in your children if you want to help them reach their full potential!