While public school classrooms are generally furnished with desks and chairs in rows, a Montessori classroom is an open space that encourages roaming. While public school students fill out worksheets, Montessori students sit at scattered play stations or lay their work-mats on the floor.
Unlike traditional schools, preschools or daycare programs, a Montessori environment offers a multi-age-level approach to learning. Students remain with a single teacher for three years. This allows strong bonds to form between the teacher and child, between the teacher and the child's parents, and between students.
Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the highly trained teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.
Dr. Maria Montessori, the Italian pediatrician and visionary educator who founded the Method, believed that when children are given the freedom to choose their own learning activities a self-confident, inquisitive, creative child emerges.
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Montessori education is not inherently religious and does not, in itself, provide any form of religious instruction. However, it does purposefully encourage exploration, enjoyment and respect for all forms of human spirituality.
Currently, most Montessori programs begin at the Early Childhood level (for children ages 2.5 – 6 years). However there are also programs for infants and toddlers (birth – age 3), Elementary-aged children (ages 6 – 12), and Secondary students (ages 12 – 18).
For a child with ADHD, the Montessori environment can be a relief. With fewer distractions, your child is free to concentrate on the task at hand.
Some studies found that students who were educated under Montessori had better outcomes than students who were educated in traditional schools. However, other studies found that this type of education produced the same, or even worse, outcomes.
Joshua Bell, Grammy Award-winning violinist. George Clooney, Academy Award-winning actor, director, producer and humanitarian. Sean 'P Diddy' Combs, Grammy Award-winning musician, artist and producer. Beyonce Knowles, singer, songwriter and 16-time Grammy Award winner.
Maria Montessori favored “real” toys made of natural materials like wood because they're healthy, safe, and inspiring for children. They're also beautiful and durable; some of the earliest toys ever discovered were made of wood.
Kids with special needs, such as learning or physical disabilities, often thrive in a Montessori setting. 3 Materials used in Montessori settings engage all the senses. Students are free to move about the classroom, which is an advantage for those children who require a lot of physical activity.
A true Montessori program has highly trained teachers, specific learning materials and a carefully planned curriculum that will help your child:
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In most traditional Montessori classrooms, play kitchens are replaced with purposeful work, e.g. preparing and cooking real food, and cleaning up real dishes. Children not only get more out of this experience, but they typically prefer it.
I like Montessori for a shy child because there's lots to do to stay busy as the social skills are developing. My kids are both introverted and have thrived in a Montessori school. The three year cycle gives them a chance to really get to know teachers and classmates.
I can see that Montessori, while sometimes giving children more latitude than they may be able to handle, is still a wonderful way to work with strong-willed children. I notice that when my kids are able to make their own work choices, they are much more interested and excited by learning than I ever was.
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Luke adds that "the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child is a lie that they find out later was not true. If this pattern repeats enough times, it will be very psychologically damaging."
Why it happens. Actually, toddler shyness is both normal and quite common. That's because toddlers have immature social skills (not to mention very limited experience with social situations). As this changes, toddler shyness slowly fades away, but it's a process that can continue for years.
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