If you are exploring the option of Montessori education for your child you likely have a long list of questions. At the top of your list is the question that is the most important and should be answered first, ‘Is Montessori right for my child?’ To answer that question, you need to understand what a Montessori education will offer your child. The environment of the Montessori classroom is much different than that of traditional education because it is self-paced and self-directed. Montessori education is designed to be individualized so that the academic and social needs of each student can be met daily.
The Montessori classroom is designed in a way that allows students to move at their own pace. When your child is advanced in an area of study, he or she will be able to move through the curriculum quickly. This prevents boredom and allows the student to truly excel academically. When your child encounters a concept that is more challenging, she or he will have the opportunity to work on that concept until true mastery is achieved. In Montessori education there is no room for rote memorization or the regurgitation of facts. The goal is always a true understanding of the concepts learned. When students are given the time they need to gain a true understanding of the concepts they are presented with it creates a strong foundation to build upon for future learning. The self-paced nature of the Montessori classroom will provide your child with the level of academic challenge and support that he or she needs.
Learning in the Montessori classroom is self-directed. This means that each student has a say in how they learn about various concepts. For example, there are a number of work stations set up around the Montessori classroom each day. Students get to choose which station to work in during an uninterrupted period of time. This style of learning is based on the core beliefs in Montessori education that children are naturally smart and learn best when they are engaged in something that piques their natural curiosity. The teacher in the Montessori classroom carefully observes each child and creates an individualized learning plan. The teacher provides each student with learning options that are in line with their natural curiosities and interests. This model removes much of the friction that occurs in a traditional classroom because students are more deeply engaged in what they are learning. It also helps students develop a sense of personal responsibility when it comes to learning. The self-directed environment of the Montessori classroom can transform the way that your child looks at school and the process of learning.
In the Montessori classroom students are expected to be active participants in their own education. This design allows for classrooms that have students of various ages, learning styles, and abilities. A Montessori education will provide your child with a learning plan designed around his or her needs, abilities, and interests. If Montessori sounds like it may be right for your child then the next step is to schedule a campus visit. You can tour the campus and observe a class in order to deepen your understanding of what Montessori can offer your child.