Can Children with Learning Disabilities Succeed in the Montessori Classroom?

26, Jul 2022

For children with learning disabilities, it can become quite clear that a traditional classroom is not well suited for a child’s individual needs. Sitting still for long periods and having a standard to achieve at a particular time can seem impossible when the child is struggling in a new environment that is so different from home. Alternatively, a Montessori classroom offers a child with learning differences the freedom to move around the classroom, interesting sensory and visual learning interactions, choice of what to learn when they are ready, and a sustained connection with their peers and teachers.

Freedom to move and choose

Montessori learning involves hands-on skills and tasks so that children can explore all the ins and outs of how something works. This approach is used for all subjects such as art, sensory activities, language, science, and math. To a child, this type of learning naturally mimics play, giving the child enjoyment while exploring new skills and topics.

Children, like all people, have a vested interest in something when they are able to decide what to do. If it is appealing to them, they may stay at the station longer, developing more skills. By letting interest guide what they learn, children can be motivated by the subject of education instead of requiring a reward system to make them want to do their work.

How a Montessori classroom functions

Maria Montessori believed that order in the environment affected order in the mind. A messy classroom can be overwhelming and over stimulating for anyone but especially a child with special learning challenges. Because the focus of the Montessori method is on order, returning each item to its proper place before moving on, children have a peaceful, clutter-free environment in which to learn and play.

In every Montessori classroom, instead of separating students by each grade or age, there is a three year span of ages. For example, three, four, and five year olds will all be in the same classroom. This helps older students feel helpful and knowledgeable of the rules and how the classroom functions as well as allows the younger students to see examples of what is appropriate behavior. For a child with learning challenges, this creates a predictable environment with a sustained connection with their fellow students and teachers because they won’t change classrooms every year.

Not only can a child with learning disabilities succeed in a Montessori classroom, but they will learn skills and order that will help them thrive in everything that they do. Knowing what to predict when they get to school each day for several years will provide comfort and peace so they can truly enjoy learning in a Montessori environment. If you live in the Bay Area and are looking for a Montessori school for your child with learning challenges, contact Fountainhead Montessori School today!

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