How to Explain ‘Montessori’ to Friends and Family

Have you ever known that something was great and worthwhile from personal experience, but struggled to explain to someone else why exactly  it is so great? I know for me, this has happened as I’ve tried to describe to others why a Montessori education is such a beneficial educational style. Being personally raised in Montessori, I experienced the goodness of it myself, and yet years later, could use a little help as to exactly what makes Montessori different…and wonderful. Written below are some of the key components to the education Adobe Montessori preschool children are receiving:

Child Initiative

Traditional pre-schooling relies heavily on the instructor dictating the specific activities your child will be working on, and explicitly how they are to be done. However, with a child’s psyche being inherently keen to grow and discover new things, letting the student decide which of a selection of approved options they’d like to work on, their learning abilities are more fully engaged, because they themselves initiated the opportunity, rather than simply being told to. True learning requires an open, active mind.

Multi-Aged Classrooms

In the world we adults work and live in, it is a common and essential phenomenon for us to receive input and guidance from older, more experienced colleagues and acquaintances. Instead of dividing or segregating children into yearly age groups, social skills for both older and younger children are honed by integrating children of very similar age groups together. It is a beautiful experience to watch a slightly older child take a younger one under their wing, helping them complete a task or activity they would have struggled with otherwise.

Sensory-Based Materials and Activities

Abstraction (the umbrella term for traditional methods of instructing children verbally, then later testing their knowledge) is not the only way to learn, particularly for very young pre-school children. By enabling students to utilize their senses of smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing, the speed and integrity of their learning skyrockets, helping them master concepts that perhaps only some would have understood if materials to engage the senses weren’t available to them.

Free Work Periods

The opportunity for children to freely and willingly ‘bounce’ between learning activities is something especially unique to Montessori. On a daily basis, children are given uninterrupted work times where dozens of learning scenarios are available to them, and they can move between them without explicit permission of an overseeing teacher. Doing so promotes confidence, willingness, and proactivity!

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