We as parents know that a right preschool for our children is crucial because preschoolers learn a lot and prepare for their future life. Parents want to help preschoolers to start on a lifetime journey of being in love with learning. There are some Montessori Daycare Programs that promote learning while playing. Is the Montessori approach right for your child?
From the post of “Review of the Most Popular Preschools”, we know that the Montessori Approach is one of the most popular preschool systems in U.S. Since by now there are over 5,000 schools in the U.S, Montessori schools are also found in North and South American countries, throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. We would like to share more about it with parents who are interesting to find a right preschool for their child.
Montessori believed that children could grow and develop very well if left to do so without too many restrictions but with an orderly environment that promoted their efforts at being independent and critical thinkers. Order, most especially within the child, but also in the child’s environment, is prerequisite to the child becoming an independent, autonomous, and rational individual.
The Montessori approach believes all children are uniquely intelligent, which is related to each person’s “multiple intelligences” these days. This is the belief that intelligence is not fixed at birth and that the human potential is without limit. The validity of this belief has been confirmed by the research of Piaget, Gardner, Goleman, and many others.
The role of a Montessori teacher is that of an observer whose ultimate goal is to intervene less and less as the child develops. The teacher creates an atmosphere of calm, order and joy in the classroom and is there to help and encourage the children in all their efforts, allowing them to develop self-confidence and inner discipline. With the younger students at each level, the teacher is more active, demonstrating the use of materials and presenting activities based on an assessment of the child’s requirements. Knowing how to observe constructively and when, and how much, to intervene, is one of the most important talents the Montessori teacher acquires during a rigorous course of training at AMI training centers throughout the world.
A Montessori classroom is filled with children of mixed ages engaged in activity. Most classes are large, usually from 25 to 30 kids, with a two- to three-year age span. Some work alone while others work in small groups. The room is warm and inviting, filled with plants, books, art and puzzles. There is likely to be some kind of music playing softly in the background. Children move at their own pace through the classroom, which includes “practical life,” “sensorial,” “language arts” and “mathematics” areas – each with their own materials for children to work with. The teacher’s role in a Montessori classroom is to guide the children. Independence is encouraged, and a love of learning is instilled. Children progress at their own speed without boundaries.
The exercises in Practical Life are the very heart of Montessori education. As young children wash tables, pour liquids, sweep and dust, they are developing the inner aptitudes of calmness, order, concentration, coordination, and fine motor skills. At the same time, through the process of learning to meet their own needs, learning to take care of the classroom environment, and through the experience of helping others, children in Montessori programs begin to develop independence, self-confidence, and self-respect. For example, in many early childhood programs, there seems to be the assumption that five-year-olds are ready for “real work.”
In Montessori preschools, guided by teachers trained to observe and identify children’s unique learning capabilities, children learn in educational partnership with their teachers. Because children’s interests are heard and honored, Montessori students develop confidence and become self–directed. A powerful learning formula emerges as a result of this self–directed, self–initiated orientation to learning. When interested, a child becomes self–motivated. Self–motivation leads to becoming self–disciplined. When self–disciplined, a child engages in a process of mastery learning and fully develops his or her potential. Dr. Maria Montessori called this a “normal” approach to education.
Is the Montessori approach right for your child?
Some Montessori schools only offer early childhood programs; others offer early childhood through elementary or secondary. Most of them are private or independent schools, founded either by an individual teacher or a parent board. There are a growing number of public school programs, and many home schools implement aspects of the Montessori approach.
However, it is not every child fits the Montessori approach very well, because Montessori’s teachers are trained as only facilitators and not the primary focus, some experts say the teacher is too passive in a Montessori environment, and some parents claim that their kids had adjustment problems when moving into a traditional classroom because they were so used to working cooperatively.
For more information on Montessori Daycare, please refer to www.montessori.org.