This is a sponsored guest post.
Writer: Inês Marinho
Developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator woman, the Montessori method is a child-centered educational approach that has been in use for the past 100 years. In Montessori classrooms, children are creative and make their own choices in their learning, by exploring several activities. Children work in groups or individually to discover the world by themselves and to stimulate their own potential while developing their skills and own trust.
The Montessori method focuses mainly on the key to development stages. Between the ages of three and five-years-old, this method is applied to encourage multiple developments in their growing stage. Younger children focus on language skills and refining their body muscles. Four-years-old worn on motor skills and completing everyday activities: art, crafts, cooking. The older preschoolers embrace the challenge of going on school trips, special events, and experiences with the community.
Learning to manage their daily activities, how to respect each other and building a sense of community is another main key of the Montessori method. The teacher is not ‘the boss’ of the classroom. Students decide and guide the activities they want to do throughout the day. Due to this, children encourage themselves to share and work cooperatively to explore various stations of the Montessori space.
Everything in a Montessori classroom is within the reach of the children and the furniture is especially sized for children to be comfortable. The surroundings are designed based on the children’s needs and abilities that allow them to explore the world at their own time and terms. Besides, older children in the classroom start mentoring other kids by playing and helping them. The adults are not the only ‘grown-up’ reference of the youngest.
All objects and activities have their own exact place in the classroom. When the children finish some activity, they place all the items they needed back in the proper places. This gives them a sense of order, teaches self-discipline and plants the seed of an ordered environment. Playing in an area that is predictable and cleaned allows the children to achieve better the learning process.
Teachers in the Montessori pre-schools are considered guides that facilitate the children’s experience to learn, rather than determining what they are supposed to do and be. The adults ensure the ground rules, encourage the kids to perform activities at their own time and make sure the environment is healthy.
A research directed by Angeline Lillard, a psychology teacher at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, in the USA, examined the abilities of children who have been taught in a Montessori school.
The results were published in 2006 in the journal Science and it found that five-year-old children in Montessori classrooms have higher math and reading skills than their equals in public schools. The incentive to self-discipline is also important for children who later want to pursue a career in sports, potentially going through the college football rankings.
One of the greatest benefits of the Montessori Method, particularly during the first year of the learning experience, is the focus on hands-on learning. The focus is on concrete, rather than abstract learning, as students work on activities that teach language, math, culture and practical life lessons, as dealing with people.
The teachers encourage students to concentrate on tasks, and they discourage interrupting one another, allowing students to focus on activities until they are properly mastered and focused on the task.
There are well proved potential benefits of a Montessori preschool for children just starting out in the education process. In a society where people tend to instruct the kids to all the manners and rules, these important early years prepare a student for the learning experience that is to come. The Montessori method teaches easily about life than any other preschool. It teaches how to feel, to have time and to share with others.