Why You Should Choose A Montessori School
by Sofia Coraines
For many people, making a choice about where their children go to school is one of the hardest choices they will ever make. There are so many different options and each one seems to be better than the last. However, there is one that stands out above all of the others, and that parents should pay much more attention to. This is the Montessori school, the only school type fully equipped to not just educate children but to help them grow.
The Montessori method, as used in Montessori schools was pioneered by Maria Montessori. Ms. Montessori traveled to a large number of locations while coming up with her philosophy, learning how children learn, and how they thrive. She dedicated her life to creating a scientifically sound education system that worried about the whole child, not just what they were learning. The result is an education system that produces well adjusted adults, happy children, and people with the ability to take on everything in the world.
The first thing that these schools emphasize is the freedom of choice for children. Given a choice, children naturally want to learn more about their environment, and want to take in as much as they can. This also allows for children who have different learning styles to approach each and every problem differently.
Maria actually found that they would prefer to work with education materials than toys, but that toys would be used when children felt burnt out or needed a change of pace. This then showed that children were able to express their limits, and work through them if given a choice. Children were then able to maintain their enthusiasm for a subject, making them retain more and dread their school work less.
The entire system works off of materials that allow children to approach problems in different manners. Learning about the world, themselves, and academic pursuits all at the same time. Their environment is tailored to them, with chairs, desks, and other items all created in their size. This them allows them to feel more in control and teaches them to care about their areas and take care of the things around them.
In many Montessori schools there are no walls, with functional items serving as dividers so lessons appropriate for different grade levels can be combined. This helps children socialize better and learn about people outside of their classes before they get to middle school or high school and are forced to learn a new set of social skills.
Montessori also emphasizes free movement, encouraging play time at various different intervals. Children are brought outside and are able to explore the world, asking questions and receiving answers. Teachers merely supervise, making sure that they are safe, but allowing them to work as they will with the play areas that they are given.
Many times teachers take their charges outside to show real world application of the lessons that they have been covering. Allowing children to connect their academic knowledge with what they learn from using all of their senses. Inside, toys and games that emphasize the same lessons are used for subjects that are less easy to demonstrate in those ways. This encourages them to to apply their lessons outside of school, connecting the world around them with what they learn, making the lessons much more important then those undertaken in traditional schooling.
The school is always going to focus on the children. They will ensure that their needs are always met, and will seek to prevent breakdowns and other problems that are common with stressed out children. This is in direct contrast to schools that only want to make sure their test scores are going to be the best. As a side effect, children generally leave the school better able to undertake their school work, and will often do better on tests and in college than other children.
Finally, Montessori schools make sure that children have a strong foundation that they can build upon for the rest of their life. They will always have the skills that they acquire, but they will also keep most of their basic knowledge, enabling them to do better in any field that they choose.