The Montessori Difference
Guess what the founders of Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, and
the creator of SimCity, have in common with Julia Child, Ann Frank & ‘Puff
Would the fact that they all
attended Montessori schools surprise you? (view full list)
Since parents of our students may often be Montessori alumni themselves, sometimes it’s easy to overlook how many others might not be
familiar with the advantages that a Montessori education affords their child,
particularly when the differences are contrasted with that of a traditional
daycare center, or public school kindergarten.
Some Differences between Montessori and Traditional
Does your child love school and can't wait to go every day?
If so, consider yourself fortunate. Why tinker with a winning school situation,
when so many families are frustrated and disappointed?
The goal of both Montessori and traditional kindergartens is
the same: to provide learning experiences for the child. The biggest differences lie in the kind of learning experiences each school provides, and
the methods they use to accomplish this goal.
Montessori educators believe these differences are important, because they help to shape what a child learns, their work habits, and future interactions
between themselves and the world around them. Montessori children in their third (or kindergarten year) have a keen
sense of order and coordination, can sit still longer, and are better organized in the class environment.
Emphasis on cognitive and social development
Emphasis on social development
Teacher-pupil ratio about 1 to 10
Teacher-pupil ratio about 1 to 25
Teacher has unobtrusive role in class
Teacher is center of classroom as “controller”
Environment and method encourage self-discipline, with
assistance from teacher
Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Group and individual instruction
Mainly group instruction
Mixed age grouping
Same age grouping
Grouping encourages children to teach and help other
Most teaching done by the teacher
Child chooses own work, with input from teacher
Curriculum structured for large groups
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching Materials
Concepts are formally presented
Child can leave out work to finish the next day
Child generally allotted specific time for work, and must
put it away at the end of the day
Child sets her own learning pace, teacher assists
Instructional pace usually set by group norm
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and
internal feelings of success
Learning is reinforced externally by repetition, rewards
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration
Few materials for sensory development
Organized program for learning the care of self and
environment (polishing shoes, cleaning tables, etc.)
No organized program for self-care; left primarily up to
Child can work where she chooses, move around and talk at
will (yet will not disturb the work of others); group work is encouraged
Child usually assigned own chair, required to participate,
sit still and listen
Montessori children can usually read by 4-1/2 if they have
been in Montessori for two years prior
Public school children start with only letter sounds in
20 reasons to keep your children in Montessori for
the Kindergarten year
- Kindergarten is not the start of schooling. By five, most
Montessori children will begin to read, and many will be introduced to multiplication
- The third (or Kindergarten) year is the time when many of
the earlier lessons come together and become a permanent part of the young
child's understanding. An excellent example is the early introduction to
addition with large numbers through the Bank Game. When children leave
Montessori at age five, many of their still-forming concepts evaporate, just
as a child living overseas will learn to speak two languages, but may quickly
lose the second language if his family moves back home.
- As a five-year-old, your child has many opportunities to
teach the younger children lessons that he learned when he was their age.
Research proves that this experience has powerful benefits for both tutor and
- Your child already knows most of her classmates. She has
grown up in a safe, supportive classroom setting. And having spent two years
together, your child's teachers know her very, very well.
- Five-years-olds have a real sense of running their classroom
- Montessori children learn how to learn - and they learn to
- In Montessori, your child can continue to progress at her
own pace. In traditional kindergarten, they will have to wait while the other
children begin to catch up.
- If your child goes on to another school, they will spend the
first half of the year just getting used to the new educational approach.
- Your child has been treated with a deep respect as a unique
individual. The school has been equally concerned for their intellectual,
social, and emotional development.
- Montessori schools are warm and supportive communities of
students, teachers, and parents. Children can't easily slip through the
- Montessori teaches children to be kind and peaceful.
- Montessori is consciously designed to recognize and address
different learning styles, helping students learn to study most effectively.
- Montessori math is based on the European tradition of
unified mathematics. Basic geometry is introduced at a young age.
- Even in Kindergarten, Montessori children are studying
cultural geography and beginning to grow into global citizens.
- Our goal is to develop students who really understand their
schoolwork. Learning is not focused on rote drill and memorization. Students
learn through hands-on experience, investigation, and research. They become
actively engaged in their studies, rather than passively waiting to be
- We challenge and set high expectations for all our students,
not only a special few. Students develop self-discipline and an internal sense
of purpose and motivation
- The Montessori curriculum is carefully structured and
integrated to demonstrate the connections among the different subject areas.
Every class teaches critical thinking composition, and research. History
lessons link architecture, the arts, and science.
- Students learn to care about others through community
- Students in Montessori schools arc not afraid of making
mistakes because they have learned how to self-correct
they see them as natural steps in the
- Students learn to collaborate and work together in learning
and on major projects. They strive for their personal best, rather than
compete against one another for the highest grade in their class.
Your child has waited two long years to he one of the five-year-old leaders of their class. Please don’t let your child miss out on one of the most crucial years in a Montessori program. Call or visit to view a short video about the third, Kindergarten year in Montessori.
We look forward to hearing from you.
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Telephone (401) 245-4754 - FAX (401) 289-2155
or email us: email@example.com