Montessori education concentrates on the specific needs of the child. Children are taught on a one-on-one basis in a Prepared Environment, specially designed to meet the requirements, established by Maria Montessori. This shift in focus, from the traditional classroom model, helps to create a better sense of self for the children, both in terms of independence and self-discipline. Not only are the educational needs of the children met and nurtured, but also, and just as important in Montessori, their social development is enhanced in an environment of mixed-ages, predicated on openness and diversity.
Montessori has been consistently acclaimed as one of the most developmentally appropriate models available in the world for early childhood and elementary education. The primary reason to keep your child in Montessori for Kindergarten is to complete this maturation process, from the youngest student in the classroom to the oldest student in the classroom. Not only will children have the opportunity to completely develop academically, they will also have the opportunity to grow socially. As Maria Montessori says, the child is like a flower that needs to be tended. Once it starts to bloom, it must continue to be stimulated and cared for, as it has been from the very start. Science continues to validate the procedures and methods Montessori invented and that have been in practice for over one hundred years.
A three year commitment to Montessori House is strongly encouraged to fully benefit from the experience. The Montessori classroom, with a mixed-age environment, was designed to have children participate in the various stages of development. When children first enter a Montessori classroom, they are effectively the youngest. They learn from their older peers, who model best practices, as they serve as role models, mentors and helpers, remembering what it was like to have once been the youngest. Having the opportunity to exercise leadership skills provides valuable life lessons.
As you explore Montessori schools, one of the most important things to consider is if the Montessori school you are interested in is certified and if the teachers are Montessori trained. Anyone can use the Montessori name so it is important to research the qualifications of the school. Montessori House is proud to be participating in the Montessori Quality Assurance Programme established by the Montessori Australia Foundation (MAF) which strives to identify those schools that are committed to providing an authentic Montessori programme. Further information on the program can be viewed on MAF’s website here.