Why Montessori?

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Iconic Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori developed her revolutionary empowering method of teaching and learning over the first few decades of the 20th century.  Montessori teaching has grown ever more popular as increasing numbers of people question the traditional methods of education that grew so much in the second half of the century. 

Montessori education is about developing children into lifelong learners by encouraging them to explore, experiment, and discover at their own pace, inside a safe environment and guided by experienced educators.   My wife and I enrolled our own children in a Montessori preschool when they were one year old, and it was an excellent decision, and enriched their lives and turbocharged their education.  The thing we saw immediately in our own children was that they not only loved going to school each day, even as toddlers, but they loved learning.   We saw them bring their passion for learning home with them, along with a confidence and independence that they learned in their Montessori classroom. 

In our experience, children who come out of quality Montessori preschools are well prepared for elementary school.   Mariner Montessori incorporates age-appropriate activities that engage the young mind, and build, over the elementary years, into a strong foundation for the rest of their education and lives. 

For example, Montessori is well known for developing independence as children are encouraged to discover and explore solutions on their own.  This forms an excellent basis for group work, when a great teacher guides children to work with each other to explore not just their own solution but possible solutions by others in their group. 

At Mariner, the Montessori method is woven into a strong STEAM curriculum with complementary extracurricular activities that help develop resilience, creativity, and problem solving ability, and a passion for learning.  For more on the terms “STEM” and “STEAM”, read about our Preschool STEAM curriculum.

Preschool versus Daycare

Many parents of young children have full time jobs, and need a safe and nurturing place for their children to remain during the day.  While safety is the most important factor, more and more parents are realizing that children as young as six months old will benefit from an environment enriched by a qualified teacher specializing in early childhood education.  In other words, more parents today are looking for more than daycare – they want preschool – also known as “early childhood education.”

Montessori Classroom

An effective early childhood classroom looks a bit different than an elementary school classroom – and different from daycare.   In an early childhood classroom, teachers incorporate learning into the play and socialization activities that take place.   

One of the most effective methods of teacher-guided “play” is known as Montessori education, and is especially popular at the preschool level.  In Montessori classrooms, teachers show young children how to work with toys known as “manipulatives”.  The Montessori methodology is more fully described here.

Montessori manipulatives

The fact is that children are capable of much more than most adults realize.  Language acquisition is just one area where extremely young children benefit greatly from an environment rich in conversation.  Children also learn valuable socialization skills when exposed to other children at very young ages.  This is especially true when the environment is created and guided by an experienced teacher.   Children can also acquire a significant head start in other skills such as experimentation, analysis, reasoning, logic, and of course literacy, numeracy, and familiarity with colors, shapes, animals, and other things that are a part of our world.

 Children who have been enrolled in quality preschools are more prepared for elementary school.  Whether you are interested in a competitive private elementary school for your child, one of the most sought-after Magnet schools, or even your neighborhood public school, a good Montessori preschool experience is a great choice. And a choice your child will thoroughly enjoy!