What is The Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method is an educational method and philosophy that recognizes children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn.
The name originates from Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female medical doctor. Born in 1870, Dr. Montessori studied the behavior and development and children to create a new environment for learning. Dr. Montessori perceived that the years between birth and six years are those with the greatest potential for learning. For this sensitive period in a child’s life, Dr. Montessori designed the “prepared environment where the child, set free from undue adult intervention, can live its life according to the laws of its development.”
In 1907, she founded the first Montessori school in Rome, Casa dei Bambini, or “Children’s House.” Since this time, her methods have been celebrated and continued in the world of early childhood education.
Today, certified Montessori directresss and special Montessori teaching materials incorporate this curiosity into a modern learning experience.
Ages vs. Stages
Unlike some daycare centers that separate children by age, Montessori classrooms are separated by developmental stages. North American Montessori Child Care schools teach children from 6 weeks to 6 years, but whether a child belongs in an infant room, a transition room, a toddler room or a pre-school room is determined by what skills they have accomplished.
- Infant Rooms: The youngest, most dependent children are put into infant rooms. They are as young as 6 weeks old and up to about 8 months.
- Toddler Rooms: Children in the toddler room range from 8 months to about 36 months. Children who are crawling or rolling deserve lots of floor time and are separated from older walking/running children to avoid any collision accidents. The older toddlers are considered those who have dropped their morning nap, are not using bottles, and are eating table foods.
Every child develops at a different rate, so it is important to ensure they master certain skills in a safe, encouraging environment.
The Five Areas of Montessori Education
The Montessori Method’s prepared environment includes the following five areas:
- Practical Life
Each of these areas builds on logical and creative tasks and experiences to allow your child to grow in a well-rounded variety of ways. The Montessori directress, the Montessori equipment and the prepared environment all stimulate and encourage children to learn. Children learn by associating an abstract concept with a concrete sensorial experience rather than purely by memorization. By incorporating learning on every cognitive level, the Montessori method stimulates your child’s healthy early development.
Learn more about the five areas of our Montessori curriculum here.
Various cognitive, developmental, and life skills can be taught through direct hands-on experiences. The Montessori Method outlines that the best way to encourage learning is through prepared environments or a place where objects, floor plans and activities are designed specifically to inspire and support a child’s learning process. The prepared environment of the Montessori classroom is supplied with didactic (self-teaching) materials that can be manipulated by the children. The materials are designed to foster independence, develop a healthy self-concept, encourage thinking and give an appreciation of nature and the world.
Montessori Method of Teaching
While it may seem like just semantics, North American Montessori takes the role of directress seriously. Unlike the stereotypical teacher role, who stands in front of a class and dictates what they should be learning through a three-step process:
- The directress shows the child the skill they should learn.
- The directress oversees the child as they attempt to perform the skill.
- The child practices and masters the skill on their own.
This process encourages the child’s unique joy for learning and improves their self-confidence.
Is Montessori Daycare Center For You? Schedule A Tour
Call one of North American Montessori’s child care centers today to schedule a tour, enroll a child in our schools, or simply to learn more about the benefits of choosing a child care center as the new caregiver for your child.
For tuition prices please call our schools
The Centre at Conway in Chesterfield
Casa Dia Montessori of Mehlville
Casa Dia Montessori of Crestwood
Learn more about our enrollment process.