What is Montessori? The Basics You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered, “What is a Montessori?” If you or your children have never been exposed to it, you probably have no idea what it even is. So, today we will take a look into what a Montessori is and how it is different from a traditional classroom.

As moms, we want the very best for our children. One of the biggest impacts on their lives is their education. There are so many different options out there today, parents have an opportunity to choose what fits best with their child.

When looking to start your child in a preschool, one option is a Montessori school. Here are the basics you should know.

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What is Montessori?

Montessori is a method of education that has been around since the early 1900s. It was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori and is still used today in schools all across the United States and all around the world. She focused on natural ways that children learn and noticed that “play is the work of the child.” So through playing, children are actually learning. 

Natural Ways of Learning

Children are curious about the world around them. They are seeing and experiencing new things every day. So naturally, they would want to touch, feel and explore these new things. The Montessori approach is focused on the child learning through hands-on experiences. Dr. Montessori also observed that children will initiate their own learning and continue that learning through playing with the things that they are interested in. It is all about being self-motivated and working independently.

In a Montessori classroom, children are free to move about as they want and work independently or with others. Materials and activities are available for the children to use, explore, and learn with. They learn practical life skills such as dressing themselves, picking up after themselves, preparing food, and using utensils. They also learn basic subjects that are taught in traditional classrooms like math, science, language, and history. 

The Montessori Classroom

The Montessori classroom basically consists of three parts: the child, the teacher, and the learning materials. Everything is at the child’s level so they can get things for themselves. There are hands-on materials and activities for the child to work with. The teacher will teach a small lesson with the activity and explain how to use it. Then the teacher will guide the children throughout the classroom as they choose the activities they are most interested in. 

Guided Learning From Teachers

You may be thinking, “how are the kids learning if they are just going around the room playing with whatever they want?” The teacher is the guide in the classroom. She shows the children how to do each of the activities and there are only a few for the kids to choose from at first. When the teacher feels that the kids are ready to move on she will present new activities that build on what they have already learned. The teacher helps keep kids on task, teaches in small groups, and directs kids who are disturbing others. When done correctly, all of the children are engaged in learning in a quiet and well-run environment.

More Information To Know

One important point to consider if you are thinking about a Montessori school is the name Montessori is not trademarked. Therefore, any school can call themselves a Montessori even if they don’t practice the same principles. It is important to do your research and understand what the Montessori method is and find a school for your child that follows those principles. You can find more information at the American Montessori Society website.

When it comes to our children their education is always a top priority. If you’ve ever wondered about alternatives to the traditional classroom, you might want to consider a Montessori school and help them become the best version of themselves.

Do you have experience with a Montessori? Tell us how it was in the comments below.

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Colored, wooden montessori blocks with wicker basket on the floor

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