- topicMontessoritagged by System, 6/30/12
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Our Child's Education: Our Decision To Make, Not Yours
Last edited: 8/21/13
how do you describe Montessori?
I'm sure you could have googled this yourself, but here are some thoughts .I"m sure some Montessori parents will help you out soon!
Sent from my phone using Tapatalk, please ignore typos!
For me, the key thing about Montessori is that it's child-led, so if I met someone who had never heard of Montessori and was interested, I would start there. I would explain that there are a lot of activities available to children in a Montessori classroom, from which the children can choose freely and progress with them at their own pace. If they were still interested, I would probably describe some of the activities that my son enjoys, particularly some of the practical life activities like cooking and cleaning which are a big focus for the younger kids. I guess this would lead naturally to talking about how independence is encouraged, etc.... I'm sure I could go and on but I think these would be the main things.
Hope this helps a little.
Thanks Lauren for responding! I have read that page in the past. I thought many of us would be asked this question & Montessori isn't that mainstream. I was hoping some would share their translation/summary since I'm terrible at explaining things! I suppose I will have to try & put something together & memorize it.
Sent from my phone using Tapatalk, please ignore typos!
I think in general folks take a little breather of sorts from the School forums during the summer, so you might also want to check in on this question again more towards the end of the summer when members start getting ready for the new school year.
I start with it being child-led learning, and also the philosophy of "Help Me Help Myself" - that Montessori helps a child gain independence in many areas of life, teaching them skills they can use each day to help them in a way they understand, which cuts down on frustration for little ones especially.
Jumping back in after a hiatus of too many issues at the home front:
Montessori - child led learning that is individualized to the needs and ability of the child. No apologies - just say you're so excited about the whole method.
I was at a work "dinner" last night and when I described Montessori - the reaction was:
Oh, yes, I've heard of it (tune out to another conversation at table)
Yes, (listening in)
My basic response - Just an amazing pedagogy with respect for the child and huge successes in so many areas and examples of what my daughter's primary class has done says more than you can imagine.
I always close the description with: Heck, I'll send Lindsey to work if I can go to Montessori!
To be a true Montessori school it should follow these guidelines at the very least:
- Mixed ages: most schools teach groups of children who are born in the same 12 month period or in some case the same 6 month period but Montessori classrooms include children in a 3 year period (example age 3-6) enabling older children to reinforce what they've learned by teaching it to younger children and by providing young children with role models. In this way, too, children progress at their own pace rather than being pushed forward or pulled back just to fit with the rest of the class.
- Deep concentration: one principle of Montessori is to allow children blocks of time to really concentrate on a subject. Generally it's about 3 hours in the am and 3 hours in the pm. So instead of spending 1 hour per subject per day and getting overstimulated or distracted, barely brushing the surface of each subject, Montessori children can really dig deep into a subject and learn more.
- Tactile: most projects are hands on and the children learn by exploring, discovering things themselves. They are not lectured to. They are encouraged to be curious, to investigate, to learn more than to merely "behave" or "listen."
- Values: Montessori schools promote certain values of social responsibility, productiveness/ strong work ethic, organization, and peace.
Most people I am having the conversation with either know my daughter or are seeing her in that moment (she's pretty much always with me minus the 3 hours she is in class) and it is easy for me to describe it by pointing "that!". She is really a Montessori model.
But I agree with others about keys being "child led", independence, life skills. I also talk about there being no workbooks, traditional desks and what most people call teachers and Montessori calls Guides, I call magicians because people don't understand how a room full of 3-6 year olds who aren't being herded like cattle can be so quiet!
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