Your child will achieve independence by learning how to take care of herself -- her body, her belongings and her environment. Montessori understands that at the heart of every child is a helthy drive toward independence. Independence is important becuase it is directly related to high self esteem, competence and cooperation. Therefore, every aspect of the Montessori classroom has been designed with the goal of an independent child in mind. Every feature and piece of equipment in the classroom is fully accessible to the child, so they don't have to constantly ask for help getting things. Tools, like the broom, are of a size they can handle easily, and children are free to choose their own work. Finally, the Montessori Director is trained to encourage independence by allowing the children to do things for themselves as soon as they are capable. For example, if they are learning to tie their shoes, the Director will ensure they are not russhed or interfered with.

A Montessori classroom is a place where children learn order. This provides the sense of security and comfort they need to become self-directed. Everyone, including children, prefers order to chaos because it is easier to function in an orderly workplace. Order helps children become independent because they can always find the work materials they are going to use next without help., By being taught to maintain this order, your cild will be learning awareness for others and the fact that you have to take care of things that are shared - which is the basis of cooperation. The ofer of a Montessori classroom is also present in the routines that exist. The children enter the classroom (which has been set up so that everything is meticulously in its place), hang up their coats and other belongings, greet the Director, and get straight to work. And every aspect of this routine has been patiently presented to them. There is also order within the materials themselves: every tray or piece of material on a shelf is always in its proper place and ready to be used. While at work, disruptions are kept to a minimum so the children can focus on the task at hand. All of this is why anyone observing a Montessori classroom sees a well-ordered, calm and fucntional environment that is perfectly set up for learning.

The classrooom and the materials are designed and displayed in a way that helps your child learn how to cooperate with others in their use and have respect for the needs of others as well as the use of the materials. THe social goals of helping children learn how to get along with each other, respect each otehr and cooperate are an important component of the Montessoi approach to learning. There is only one Pink Tower in the classroom, for example. Having to share materials helps promote cooperation and patience. - Back to Top

 

Having to walk carefully around each child's mat (on which the work is done) teaches respect for others all day long. In addition, Montessori also includes stured lessons on grace and courtesy so that the child learns important social skills such as how to greet and introduce people; graces such as how to sneeze, cough and yawn politely (it's fun to watch all the children blowing thier noses a lot the day they learn how to do it properly).

Your child will be treated with respect and dignity in a Montessori classroom. In Montessori the child is always working on the adult he is going to become. Montessori recognizes that children deserve and need to be treated with the same respect that we treat adults. Although they are relatively inexperienced, as a parent you must recog-nize that the way to help them learn is by not criticizing "failure," but rather by recognizing the incident as an opportunity to learn what went wrong, and helping the child find his or her path to a proper solution. This con-centration on raising the child's self esteem, coupled with a focus on the rights of others, develops the child's entire being in a positive way, and helps the child to learn to respect the rights of others as well.

A multi-disciplinary approach is taken in regard to your child's interests. If your child were interested in dinosaurs, for example, this interest would be explored throughout the curriculum. She would be encouraged to read about dinosaurs to learn language skills; study the measurements of dinosaurs to understand math con-cepts; and depict dinosaurs when doing art lessons. Her interest in dinosaurs could even be used to facilitate les-sons in history and geography. Montessori recognizes that when a child's interests are involved, any subject becomes fascinating.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a Montessori education is that it teaches children how to learn instead of just what to learn. It instills in them a life-long love of learning, which prepares them to successfully go in any direction their skills and interests may take them.

"Your child will achieve independence by learning how to take care of himself and his belongings. Independence is important because it is directly related to high self esteem and cooperation."