Imagine walking into your child’s classroom and seeing them intently working at a work station. A younger child walks over, interested in their station, and your child takes to the task of helping the younger student understand and participate at their level. You look all around the room and children of all ages are doing the same, working intently at stations, some with adult teachers, some with other children, some independently. That is a look into a Montessori classroom.
Montessori schools have been operating for 100 years and founded in Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori began the method in the slums of Rome. Although it has humble beginnings, it’s seen as an elite privilege, because the schools are usually private institutions funded by tuition and donations, and the training, accreditation and quality Montessori materials are expensive. But there are great reasons to choose Montessori over other schools.
They Allow Children to Choose
The method lets children choose what to work on within the classroom setting. They spend as much time as they want on different activities during a three-hour session. The classrooms are aesthetically pleasing and welcoming atmospheres. Instead of toys to play with, the students have specially designed Montessori materials to work with.
They Allow Children to Learn
Although children choose what they want to do in the classroom, it doesn’t keep them from learning. They do activities that peak their interest, and in so doing, they explore the subject farther, and the learning process happens. The teacher is a guide rather than lecturer in the classroom, guiding the students through activities that increase their learning. Most Montessori students learn faster than traditional students.
They Allow Children to Grow
When children learn from the choices they make, they become confident in their choices and grow. They grow into self-aware, confident, and creative individuals. The schools have a mixture of ages, with such a structure, the older students help acclimate younger students and take on leadership roles. Because they are helped by elder classmates, they naturally want to take on the same role as they get older.
They Allow Children to Be Independent
Children gain the confidence, social and critical thinking skills needed to gain independence. The method centers around letting students be independent which makes life easier as they mature. In high school and college, they use their independence to succeed in all they choose to do; this naturally carries over into their future career.
There are multiple education methods. The traditional method used in public schools, the classic method, the Charlotte Mason Method and many more. They all have the goal of preparing young people for adulthood, but the Montessori method proves itself in making children control their own destiny. The Montessori method is a holistic approach to education that involves all the senses, not relying mostly on reading and writing, but using all faculties to discover, create and take charge.