The design of some public school programs could lead you to believe that every child learns in the same way and has the same needs. That is, of course, ridiculous because there is a huge range of learning abilities, types, and styles. There was a time in the past when children with learning differences were written off as unable to learn. Thankfully, trailblazers like Maria Montessori found that children with learning differences can learn if they are provided with the right type of instruction and classroom environment. Maria Montessori started her work in education by teaching students who were considered ‘unteachable’. She developed the Montessori Method from her work with these students. In the modern Montessori classroom, teaching and learning are still approached using the foundation Maria Montessori created from working with those original students. If your child has dyslexia, is gifted, or has a primary learning style that does not fit well with traditional classroom instruction, Montessori education may be a good fit.
Dyslexia is a learning difference that is common in public and private schools. Undiagnosed dyslexia can lead to a situation where a student gets more and more behind. School can become stressful, overwhelming, and a place that the child dreads going. With the right intervention, however, a student with dyslexia can make progress, develop strategies, and succeed academically. In the Montessori classroom, a student with dyslexia can thrive because there is an emphasis on individualized instruction. There is no chance that your student will get lost in the shuffle in the Montessori classroom. One of the primary tenets of the Montessori Method is that every student is unique. Because of this, instruction should be individualized. When a student with dyslexia receives individualized instruction, he or she will get the attention and resources necessary to succeed academically.
Children who fall into the category of gifted have a learning difference. Gifted children need additional resources in the classroom. If a child who is gifted does not get additional resources, he or she can start to have behavioral issues or even struggle with grades. Children need to be challenged and have the opportunity to consistently make forward progress in learning. In order to do this, gifted children need to be provided with additional resources inside the classroom. The individualized approach to education in the Montessori classroom is ideal for gifted students because they can move forward or dig deeper into a topic instead of waiting for other students to catch up.
Different learning styles
Some students do not fall into a specific category when it comes to learning differences but they still do not fit the mold expected in the traditional classroom. There are a number of different learning styles that students can display. A student who does not learn well through listening to the teacher talk may excel when presented with the same information in a hands-on format. In the Montessori classroom, students get the opportunity to learn about concepts in a variety of ways. If your child prefers one learning style over all the others, the teacher will customize your child’s options to fit within the learning style that is the best fit.
The Montessori classroom is uniquely designed to meet the needs of children with learning differences. The core beliefs that all children are smart and have the capacity to learn, inform the design of the classroom and the approach to instruction. You can schedule a time to observe a class at Fountainhead Montessori School and see for yourself how learning differences are addressed.