How does a parent prepare their child for an unpredictable future? Don’t we all just want to give them every possible advantage?
How do we define success in our children’s lives? Is it about being able to provide for oneself or is it finding joy in the work we do? Is it about contributing to our communities or perhaps continuing to learn throughout our lives? Couldn’t it (shouldn’t it) be a little bit of all of those things?
We think Montessori is one beautiful way to work toward all of these goals, and we are prepared to make some bold statements:
Montessori gives children a strong understanding of basic math and language skills, starting earlier than most methods and using materials that support their development and methods that correlate with current research findings.
Building a sense of independence and confidence is a major component of what we do. We know that children of all ages are fully capable of doing more for themselves than they are often given credit for. We have learned to sit back, observe, and assist only when necessary. This allows children to grow in incredible ways, amazing their parents (and frankly, us, too!).
Respect for and connection to the earth is built directly into our curriculum, especially in the elementary grades. We know that around age 6, children start to think about where they fit into the bigger picture. We teach them about the universe, our solar system, the beauty of our planet, and the variety of life on it, just at a time when they are seeking those answers.
Choice and freedom are important for all human beings. We give both to children because we believe they are capable of knowing what they need and want, and the more practice they have the better they will get at making decisions when we are not there to support them.
We value teaching responsibility and time management skills. This goes hand in hand with focus and attentiveness. The ability to make choices about one’s learning must be balanced with accountability; as the children in our classrooms get older, they know there are certain expectations. For example, they may be able to choose the order of their work, but they know that they have to do grammar at some point during a specific time period, even if it’s not their favorite subject.
Rather than drilling arbitrary facts into children and forcing them to memorize information that may not serve them in the future, we take a different approach. All children are exposed to a wide variety of basic scientific, geographical, and historical information, and are given extensive opportunities to more deeply explore the topics that they find fascinating.