Montessori Education

Montessori is a unique educational approach that nurtures a child’s intrinsic desire to learn. Montessori focuses on the whole child—his cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.

Montessori education is right for children of any age. Childhoods provide Introducing your child to Montessori as early as possible puts her on the right path to becoming a confident, self-motivated learner.

The Door to Learning

In a Montessori environment, children learn by exploring and manipulating specially designed materials. Each material teaches one concept or skill at a time, and lays a foundation from which students can comprehend increasingly abstract ideas. Children work with materials at their own pace, repeating an exercise until it is mastered. The teacher may gently guide the process, but her goal is to inspire rather than instruct.

Throughout the classroom, beautifully prepared, inviting curriculum areas contain a sequential array of lessons to be learned. As students work through the sequence, they build and expand on materials and lessons already mastered. And all the while they are developing qualities with which they’ll approach every future challenge: autonomy, creative thinking, and satisfaction in a job well done.

Tracking Your Child’s Progress

Although most Montessori teachers do not assign grades, they closely observe each student’s progress and readiness to move on to new lessons. They may orally question a student about what she has learned, or ask her to teach the lesson to a fellow student. If your child attends a public Montessori school, you will probably be given information about her performance on standardized tests, which you can use to evaluate her progress against national norms. Some independent schools also administer standardized exams, particularly if they will be a requirement of schools into which their students will transition.

Some parents may wonder why Montessori doesn’t endorse grading, if only to motivate students to work hard. But grades, like other external rewards, have temporary effects at best. Instead, Montessori education nurtures a child’s intrinsic motivation to learn, create, and do satisfying work

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