If it seems as if there are more educational opportunities and choices now than in the past, it's because it's true. Montessori is just one of the many choices now available. This type of education focuses on attention to a child's psychological and social well-being. If you don't know much about it, you're not alone. Here are a few commonly asked questions by parents considering Montessori education for their children.
Are children divided into classes by age?
Not exactly. The classrooms are actually mixed ages. You could have 3-year-olds in the same class as 6-year-olds, for example.
Who determines what the children learn in class?
Students in each classroom are offered several activities to take part in. Students will then work on an activity, uninterrupted, for about three hours at a time.
Does Montessori education include direct instruction?
Rather than focusing on direct instruction, Montessori encourages its students to work with different materials.This is called a "discovery" model, and it gives students more control over their education. The goal is to focus on characteristics like abstract thinking, communication, order, exploration, and purposeful activity.
What are the sensitive periods that Montessori educators talk about?
When Montessori educators talk about sensitive periods, they are referring to periods of time in which a child is particularly sensitive to a certain stimulus. Educators believe that children in these age ranges need to focus on different types of activities to hone these skills. From birth to the age of 6 years old, children acquire language skills best. Children learn about order between the ages of 1 and 3. Social behavior has a sensitive period for children ages 2.5 to 4.
What are preschool and kindergarten classrooms like?
Montessori preschool and kindergarten classes serve children up to about 6 years old. This is the primary level, and each classroom may serve up to 30 children. One teacher and one assistant are often present, supervising activities that children choose. Students will learn about practical skills, including motor movement, math, language, music, and art.
What are elementary classrooms like?
These classrooms cater to up to 30 students with one teacher and at least one assistant. Children are typically grouped into similar ages, often 6 to 9 and 9 to 12. Students will learn lessons in small groups and then complete work independently. Lessons center around math, history, science, art, language, and more.
What are Montessori middle and high school classrooms like?
Montessori education is not as developed for the middle and high school levels, and it mainly caters to younger students. Still, some schools do offer education that seeks to apply similar standards to adolescent education. Some Montessori schools do not offer education for these levels.
Do Montessori students receive grades?
Generally, no. The Montessori model does not recognize grades as an adequate measure of a student's achievements. Still, teachers do monitor the progress of their students carefully. Students are required to take standardized tests, just as in other public schools.
For more information, contact Country Day School or a similar location.