If you visit a Montessori school, you'll quickly realize that it's like no other school. Montessori schools are a space filled with educational, inviting materials, attentive students, and peace.
When I first visited the Montessori school that my preschooler attended, I stood in awe as my typically loud child played quietly and attentively with letters.
Maria Montessori started the first Montessori school in Rome, Italy, and it expanded quickly throughout the world. You might be surprised that dozens of celebrities and even royalty attended Montessori schools.
That leaves you wondering what is so special about Montessori schools and why do they stand out in the crowd. Here are some interesting facts about the Montessori method.
7 Facts about the Montessori Method
1. There Are No Grades Given
This fact tends to be a shocker for parents, but the Montessori Method has no letter grades. Kids work towards mastery, not a grade. Kids learn concepts at a basic letter than progress higher. The teacher keeps track of where the kids are on each concept.
Since there are no grades, that means that there are no tests either. Kids never feel pressure to perform.
2. Kids Decide Their Lessons for the Day
When you send your child to a standard school, the teacher decides what they will learn for the day. The Montessori Method looks different, and teachers are referred to as guides. Guides observe and create an environment for kids that are better conducive to learning.
Kids move from hands-on activities that they refer to as "works," and the kids pick freely. They might spend time looking at a shape placemat and build with other kids. Then, your child might move to letters and build words.
Students move freely throughout the classroom after they finished their works. The curriculum is based on each child rather than all of the kids.
3. Children Gain a Sense of Self Worth
When you send your child to a Montessori school, children gain a strong sense of self-worth. They learn how important they are, including what they thought. Their ideas are valuable and worthwhile.
Kids gain more confidence as they master new skills. They have to solve difficult problems each day and reach new levels of success.
4. The Grade Levels Are Combined
Take a look at any Montessori school website and you'll see that the classrooms have mixed ages. Classrooms are divided into groups: 3-6 years old, 6-9 years old, 9-12 years old, and 12-14 years old. It's not because they don't have enough enrollment; most Montessori schools have a waiting list.
This practice is intentional. It allows kids to learn from their peers. The older kids help the younger kids adjust, learn classroom rules and start learning academically. Mixed ages also better represent reality since we all interact with each other in mixed-age settings.
5. Kids Learn and Work on Real-Life Skills
Montessori classrooms include glass pitchers and breakable items. Kids have their lunch on plates and need to wash their dishes afterward. They have to clean up their works before moving to another.
Students learn to take pride in their environment. Some Montessori classrooms have pets that are brought in by the teacher. The kids work on real-life skills, feeding and caring for animals. They sweep the floor, wipe down the table, and more.
6. Manners and Politeness Matter
Do you think that other schools pencil in politeness and manners are on the curriculum? In the Montessori Method, it's referred to as Grace and Courtesy which help kids learn how to greet each other, solve problems, respect each other, and clean up.
Maria Montessori put a lot of value on social and emotional learning. Montessori instructors focus on the whole child, not just academics.
7. Kids Don't Wear Shoes
When I prepared to send my child to our Montessori school, the list of supplies stated that each child needed, at least, one pair of slippers. At first, I was confused; why would my child need slippers?
If you visit any Montessori classroom, you'll find that kids don't wear shoes, but they might wear slippers. There are a few reasons for this.
- Since shoes are worn outside, often in the mud, not wearing shoes keeps classrooms much cleaner.
- When kids don't wear shoes in school, they feel much more comfortable in the classroom. It helps kids learn better, and it leads to a quieter and calmer classroom.
Have you ever sent your child to a Montessori school before?