If you are unfamiliar with the Montessori approach to education, you may wonder if everything you hear about it is true. The answer is, some things are not! There are many misconceptions about Montessori education and today we’d love to tell you more about what it’s really like to have your children attend a Montessori program.
Montessori classrooms are unstructured and children can do what they want all day.
TRUTH: Although the children have more freedom in a Montessori classroom to choose their activities, there is still plenty of structure and a schedule set for the day. It is not just a free for all! The Montessori philosophy suggests children should be introduced to a variety of subjects with specially developed, age-appropriate materials. Through self-guided exploration at Sandwich Montessori, children can work at their own pace to learn basic functions, concepts, skills, and independence. We don’t have the day scheduled out down to the minute, as it is in a traditional daycare, but there is a schedule for the day. Montessori schools have blocks of time where children have the freedom to choose what they want to work on. Some days a child may pick something they have done over and over, while other days they are encouraged to try something new and more challenging. Each student is encouraged to progress at his or her own pace. This allows every child to master skills by working both individually and with their peers in small groups. By using materials and activities that are appropriate in terms of progress and abilities, your child will master their skills through repetition and recognition of their own mistakes.
It is the perfect mix of freedom, independence and structure, and the Sandwich Montessori classroom itself is very well organized and orderly. A Montessori classroom also has 3 important rules, which are very easy to follow: – you can not do harm to others – you can not do harm to yourself – you can not do harm to the environment. Montessori children know that rules are a positive thing to help them to feel respected, comfortable and work in a friendly and respectful environment.
Montessori schools are religious.
TRUTH: Some people get this confused because the name Montessori sounds vaguely like the word monastery; a community of monks living under religious vows which people connect with religion. But in truth, Montessori is actually derived from Maria Montessori, the Italian physician who developed the learning method. Dr. Montessori’s educational methods focused on the social and neurological development of children, rather than focusing on religious teachings. Maria Montessori started her education as a physician and then went on to study child psychology, quickly becoming a leader in the field. The advances that she made were all brought about by her observance of the students’ advances, her tweaking of the curriculum, and continued study of how kids responded to it. It was a scientifically-based field of study that she championed for more than 40 years.
Montessori teachers don’t teach.
TRUTH: Our Montessori teachers, whom we refer to at Sandwich Montessori as Montessori Adults, facilitate learning rather than instructing the class. This approach allows students to explore their own interests while maximizing developmental outcomes for each student. Montessori Adults act as a guide to a child’s independence. By presenting the materials to the child, the child is free to explore it and learn through self-correcting. The teacher’s observation of the child helps to plan for future lessons: By watching the ways in which each child plays and learns, they can discover the best way to teach each particular child. They will then use this knowledge to guide the child toward other activities so that they can learn as quickly as possible while still being challenged. By observing the behaviors of the children in every circumstance, teachers are also well equipped to handle disciplinary problems in the classroom by knowing what a child responds to best. Each member of the Sandwich Montessori team is fully trained and credentialed to guide the growth and development of your children. We believe that by surrounding our students with highly qualified, specially trained professionals, each will reach his or her full potential from a cognitive, social, emotional, and physical perspective.
Montessori education is expensive.
TRUTH: Many people associate Montessori with wealth and a private school education, assuming there would be no way they could afford to send their child to a Montessori school. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Montessori is for EVERYONE! What many don’t know is that Maria Montessori actually started her development of the Montessori education for disabled and disadvantaged children; although, it was her goal to extend Montessori to all types of children. Today, you can find Montessori in many variations and price points. There are, of course, some private Montessori schools which will be charging a higher tuition rate in return for additional benefits or the community it is set in – but you will also have the middle of the road price points. Often, if you look around you will be pleasantly surprised! Many Montessori preschools are on par with, or are not much more than other regular full-time daycares! Sandwich Montessori offers a mixed age environment to develop coordination, concentration, and knowledge-based skills at competitive prices. So don’t hesitate to stop by and take a tour if you are interested in your child attending, you can call us to book a tour at: 508-403-0118.
All Montessori schools are the same.
TRUTH: If you’ve seen one Montessori school you’ve seen them all, right? Wrong! Just like traditional schools, no two Montessori schools are exactly alike. The Montessori approach is based on a philosophy of education and is neither franchised nor licensed. Some Montessori schools are private; others are public or charter schools. Some strictly follow the original Montessori model; others slightly vary their interpretations. The bottom line: although all Montessori schools likely have some common characteristics, they also have unique features that make them distinct. What sets us apart and makes us unique? At Sandwich Montessori it is our mission to inspire a love of lifelong learning, independence, responsibility, and respect in all students. All of the extracurricular activities we offer support these values and provide preschoolers with an extra enhanced early education program that is vastly different from other preschools.
The Sandwich Montessori School is dedicated to providing an outstanding learning environment for children in preschool through kindergarten between the ages of birth and 6 years. The school is dedicated to the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, and follows a philosophy of child-centered education with an accent on the arts. Our goal is for each child to fulfill his or her potential in a safe, caring and challenging environment. The Sandwich Montessori School provides a stimulating environment for children to learn and express themselves with an emphasis on self-esteem. To learn more about our program, book a tour by contacting us at 508-403-0118.