Your Child’s Montessori Education
Discover how a Montessori education provides your child
with essential skills for the rest of their life.
Importance of Early Education
Dr. Montessori said, “the most important period of life was not the age of university studies but the first one.” Many of Montessori’s ideas, including the importance of the early years in a child’s development have permeated, unacknowledged, into mainstream education. In her studies, Dr. Montessori discovered that between birth and six years of age, children have a heightened capacity for learning that will never again be so compelling and influential.
Children in the first Plane of Development (0-6) have what Dr. Montessori referred to as the Absorbent Mind- a mind that takes in the entirety of their surroundings without discrimination. During this stage of development children also experience the Sensitive Periods. These are critical periods in a child’s development between birth and age six that show key sensitivity for the child’s attention and exploration of their environment. Once the Sensitive Periods have passed learning is not as deep and is more difficult for the brain.
Children in the First Plane of Development are very aware of others and have an innate desire to imitate and repeat as they construct themselves. They observe the teachers movements closely and are aware of the smallest details. The teachers are trained to present materials in a slow and logical manner so that children can observe each individual movement. The children then practice with great exactitude and independently until the skill is mastered. It is through this process that development of will, concentration, sense of order, logical thinking and problem solving is developed. In other words, this is the period of time when the child constructs himself and lays the foundation for all other learning. What is missed in a child’s development during this period can create gaps in learning and understanding.
The Role of a Montessori Teacher
The role of a Montessori teacher is that of an observer whose ultimate goal is to intervene less and less as the child develops. The teacher’s first objective is to prepare and organize the learning environment to meet the needs and interests of the children as well as promote independence. The focus is on the children, not on teachers teaching. Through careful observation and planning, Montessori teachers remain constantly alert to the direction each child is heading and actively works to help them succeed.
In an atmosphere of calm, order and joy, the Montessori teacher is there to help and encourage the children in all their efforts, allowing them to develop self-confidence and inner discipline. The children learn from their own discoveries and draw their own conclusions.
With the younger students at each level, the teacher is more active, demonstrating the use of materials and presenting activities based on an assessment of the child’s requirements. Children at all levels of Montessori education are actively engaged by the teacher in the learning process which enhances critical thinking skills. The lessons are brief and precise, meant to intrigue the minds of children and encourage further practice or self-directed study.
Montessori teachers are the dynamic link between the children and the Prepared Environment. They systematically observe students to interpret their needs and modify the environment to meet the needs and interests of the children. They present clear, interesting and relevant lessons, model desirable behaviour and evaluate each child’s individual progress. Montessori teachers respect and protect their students’ independence and are supportive and encouraging without the use of rewards or punishments. They facilitate effective communication and are peace educators, consistently working to teach courteous behaviours and pro-social conflict resolution skills.
A North Star Guide for Prospective Parents
Our Parent Guide has much more information you will want to know about your child’s Montessori education. View details about North Star Montessori, admissions, programs, and more.