Parents often ask me this question at the when they hear that Parker is at Liberty Prep, or see him in his uniform. Some ask what Montessori is, and others ask how it is different. My answer generally goes something like this:
How Montessori is different:
1. The Montessori Method
Multi age classrooms
Most programs separate children by age, while a Montessori classroom includes 3 age groups. Younger children look up to and learn from the older peers, while older children have the opportunity to be leaders and mentors. Three years in the same room with the same teachers and friends results in a family like community.
An uninterrupted 3 hour work period
The norm of numerous short periods of study results in constant interruption and no time to truly investigate a topic.
Individual lesson plans
Children differ widely in their abilities, interests, and learning styles. Montessori teachers are trained to build on each child's strength as well as support a child in an area where more time might be required. The unique Montessori materials were created to attract children to work with concrete representations of abstract ideas such as letters and numbers.
Independence and self-confidence
Autonomy is the path to self- motivation. It leads both to a passion for learning and to self-esteem. The experience of being trusted with real responsibility for meaningful tasks—and rising to the occasion by successfully meeting that responsibility—results in children who have the earned self confidence that comes from actual mastery.