If you are considering Montessori school for your child, you likely want to know what makes it different from other types of programs. There are a number of important differences between Montessori school and other programs. It can be difficult to imagine how those differences play out in the classroom and throughout the day. The typical day in a Montessori school has its own unique rhythm and set of activities. To get a deeper understanding of the Montessori Method, it helps to walk through a typical day at a Montessori school.
Drop-off and welcoming of children
The beginning of a school day or school career can be difficult for young children. Some children (and parents) experience separation anxiety at the thought of being dropped off for the school day. The Montessori Philosophy of education puts an emphasis on meeting the individual needs of each student – even the needs that happen outside of the classroom environment. Because of this, the teachers and staff in a Montessori school help with the separation process each morning to ensure that needs of each student are met.
Circle time and work time
Inside the classroom, students participate in group circle time as well as individual work time. Circle time can include activities such as songs, poems, stories, demonstrations of work, games, and opportunities for expressive language and social development. The Montessori classroom is a prepared environment which means that there are various areas throughout the classroom where children can engage in hands-on learning activities. Students are provided with opportunities for focused and independent work in age-appropriate activities.
Time outside is a priority in Montessori school. There are opportunities in nature for students to explore and learn. The playground activities can be part of the prepared environment as well. Students also get the opportunity for unstructured play and exploration during the typical day in Montessori school.
End of day activities
The end of the school day is typically a time when students come back together as a group. It is a time to talk about the plans for the next school day, listen to a story, and generally wrap up the day. Gathering back as a group at the end of the day helps students get a sense of closure to the school day and gives them time to prepare to go either to aftercare or home.
If you go and observe a Montessori classroom, you will see some version of the day outlined above. Of course, there will be differences in individual classrooms. However, the model that includes time together to interact, time alone for focused learning, and opportunities for exploration, is one that you will see in every Montessori school that closely adheres to the Montessori Method. You can see all of these things for yourself by scheduling a campus tour and class observation at Fountainhead Montessori School.