Montessori Questions

Where did Montessori come from?

Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician, founded Montessori education in 1907. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities.


What is Montessori Method?

Montessori Method has three main parts:

The Montessori Method can help your child to grow in many ways. It allows your child to learn the way she learns best and easiest by doing things herself.

Each Montessori class, from toddlers through high school, operates on the principle of freedom within limits. Every program has its set of ground rules which differs from age to age, but is always based on core Montessori beliefs-respect for each other and for the environment.

The Montessori Method is built on your child’s natural life-long motivation for continuous learning. It helps your child remain in touch with her natural growth and development and avoids forcing her to do anything she is not truly ready for.


What is Montessori classroom environment?

The Montessori environment is your child’s “teacher”. In a Montessori school, your child teaches himself through the use of the specially designed Montessori materials. These are attractive, generally simple, child sized materials that are self-correcting, that is, if a child makes an error, he can see it by looking at the material itself.

Because he can choose his own work and do it at his own pace, your child had many opportunities for success. He will also have access to plants and animals and will help care for them. The Montessori classroom is an attractive place in which your child can be free from adult domination and can discover his world and build his mind and body.


What is Montessori classroom?

The Montessori classroom includes children of different ages. By placing your child in a classroom with children of varying ages (usually between 2½ and 6 years), you are exposing her to a wide range of learning possibilities. The Montessori classroom covers a number of different areas. The “Practical Life” area is especially for the very young child (2½ – 3½ years) and teaches her how to care for herself and environment. Here, your child will learn to dress herself by using the dressing frames (buttons, snaps, zipper, buckles, pins, laces, bows, and hocks and eyes), to pour (rice and water), to wash a table, to polish silver and to properly wash her hands, among other things.

The “Sensorial” area allows her to use her sense to learn about the world. Here, your child will learn to judge different heights, lengths, weights, color, sounds, smells, shapes, and textures.

The language, math, geography, and science areas provide your child with aids for her intellectual development. Exercises in body movement assist her physical development and her awareness of her body and what it can do.


What is the role of the Montessori teacher (directress)?

The Montessori Directress has many jobs to do. Unlike the teacher in a traditional school, the Montessori directress is not the center of the classroom. Instead, she is very often hardly noticeable in the room as the children are working. She has no desk and spends her time working with children at child-sized tables or on the rug.

The directress must be a keen observer of children and needs to have a clear idea of each child’s individual level of development. She then determines what materials are best for each child to work with. She guides each individual child in this way and helps him learn the proper use of each material.

She must be flexible and willing to try new ideas to help each child. Your child will come to see the directress as a friendly helper and guide, someone who is there when needed, but thinks for himself.


What is the best age to start Montessori?

The most important years for learning are from 2½ to 3½ years. At this age children possess unusual sensitivity and mental powers for absorbing and learning from the environment which includes people as well as material. At the same time a special sense of order, co-ordination and independence begins to emerge.

This is the perfect time to begin a child’s education in Montessori set up, in order to build a strong foundation for future creativity and learning.


What happens when a child leaves Montessori?

Montessori children are unusually adaptable. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they’ve been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, these children are problem-solvers who can make choices and manage their time well.