Why does the Montessori Method encourage mixed age group?
If you have siblings at home, you would notice that the younger ones learn quickly from older ones. This is natural. Dr. Maria Montessori observed this behavior and reasoned that this behavior is exhibited because children relate to each other better. Thus the typical Montessori Environment would comprise of children in different age groups. The older children would act as assistant teachers and mentors. The younger children also learn the academic and social behavior much quicker due to this setup.
What amount of freedom is a child given?
The Montessori Method provides freedom and choices of learning, enabling children to feel, understand; experiment and explore. With so much emphasis on freedom and exploration, the children are allowed to explore the environment, talk to other children and teach other children just like an adult. Hence the child feels responsible and respected. The child knows his limits and learns in due course that as long as he/she is not a disturbance and behavior is acceptable to the group, the child is allowed to explore whatever material or equipment he/she likes. If a teacher feels that a child is not coming around on his own and tends to be stuck on one material or equipment, the teacher intervenes and presents the child with other options.
When are the children taught to use the material or equipment?
The Montessori Teacher presents materials and use of equipment to a child or group of children when they are ready or express interest in learning how to use the material or equipment. After the initial presentation, the Teacher becomes an observer and guide. The materials are usually self correcting and easy to know if a particular step done was right or wrong. After the initial presentation the children are welcome to use the material or equipment at anytime they want to do so. Repetitive use of the material enables children to master the material.
Can two children share the same material?
The Montessori Method believes in the philosophy of freedom to explore. When the mind explores, the most important thing required is concentration without any distractions. When the child does this for long period of time, the child begins to have focus. In order to develop these skills, the Montessori Method encourages only one child to work on a material till he/she feels satisfied. After this stage is reached, sharing becomes natural as the need to work on the material is automatically decreased. At this point, the child who has mastered this material, not only shares, but also teaches other children learning the material.
Can Montessori School going children adapt to Public or Private Schools?
The Montessori Curriculum believes that a child will be reading and writing at the age of 5. The Montessori Method prepares the child academically and socially. Children out of Montessori schools usually exhibit a great deal of concentration and has a tremendous amount of confidence. Their ability to break large problems into small ones and understand concepts and think out of the box will ensure that they have solid fundamentals that would allow them to have a strong footing when they enter private or public elementary schools.
Is Montessori Method of education for very smart children?
Dr. Maria Montessori first worked with group of sixty young children of working parents who were disadvantaged or had special needs in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. From this experience she developed the montessori method and created the montessori materials. When these “disadvantaged” children used her materials, some of the children actually surpassed the “normal” children in traditional schools. Thus, Dr. Maria Montessori began questioning the teaching techniques of Traditional Schools. Dr. Maria Montessori thus designed materials that could be used by “normal” children which would further open up the process of learning allowing “normal” children to scale to greater heights.