Frequently asked questions and answers about Montessori
Yes. In order for our program to function at its best, all enrolled children must be fully toilet trained.
We offer music class. There is no additional fee for these classes.
Yes. We try to go on 1-2 field trips per year. We aim to go on field trips in line with our current theme. However, due to the age of our children, we do require parent drivers for our field trips to accomplish our goal.
Children choose how they want to work throughout the day. They have opportunities to be together as a whole class group, time to work in small groups or partner groups and also the opportunity to choose to work individually.
Generally, children graduating from the our 3 year program not only exceed the prescribed learning outcomes but also develop strong concentration skills, refined work habits, are self-motivated and reflect a true love for learning. These skills will serve them well as lifelong learners.
Children in our classrooms are confident, self-directed learners. They are independent, careful, thoughtful, curious, creative and joyful. Students are constantly learning through inquiry which means that they are asking the big questions and searching out the answers. Montessori classrooms do not focus on reward or punishment as a means of motivation. Rather, they nurture a love of meaningful learning activities and inner focus and discipline. The outcome is positive regardless of result as it inspires self-correction and self-confidence.
A focus on child-led exploration, vs. adult-set group activities. Typical daycare centers have adult-set schedules in which children are shuffled into a new activity every 20-40 minutes: circle time, followed by art, followed by outside play etc. Typically, the whole group is required to move together from activity to activity, whether they’re engaged in the current activity or not. Instruction happens in a group setting, at a group pace, even if some children move more slowly or more quickly. In contrast, the Montessori toddler program supports a child’s budding independence and his self-discovery. Children have the luxury of time to choose their own activities, and to fully explore them at their own pace. Most instruction is one-on-one: teachers give short 5-minute presentations to individual children, after which they are given an opportunity to continue practicing until they’re satisfied, with their own progress for that day.
A calm, orderly environment, vs. a messy, noisy place. Many daycare settings have a high noise level, and some seem proud to announce how messy they are! While there is a time for messes (we love for children to play in the mud, to finger paint, or explore foam), in general, the Montessori environment is surprisingly calm and orderly. Since our goal is to enable children to learn to focus, to engage joyfully in a chosen activity, we need to provide them with an environment where they can do so without constant interruption and distraction! Learning to consider others as they themselves are considered, contributing to the learning atmosphere.
A deliberate, educational program, vs. all-day play. We agree that free play is important to children, and encourage parents to provide imaginative play activities at home. At the same time, we know that in the right environment, children are eager to learn through play, exploration and practice. Children in a Montessori program are surrounded by exciting opportunities to develop their skills: they practice opening and closing containers; they learn to button shirts; they identify objects by touch, sort things by color, transfer items with spoons, learn to pour water, put together puzzles, learn to cut with scissors, sew with laces, string beads, and so much more! The activities we offer in the Montessori class provide a welcome change from what children typically find at home. This self-stimulation correction and inspiration is in contrast to many daycare settings, where shelves and boxes are full of the same things your child already has at home—Duplo legos, blocks, wooden trains, cars, dolls, dress-up cloths, noisy plastic toys, and the like.
A focus on developing inner discipline, vs. obedience training. In Montessori, the goal is to help children acquire self-discipline: we want children to understand the right course of behavior, and to be internally motivated to behave well. Our teachers don’t expect immediate obedience from the very young children, nor do they offer rewards (praise, stickers etc.) for good behavior, and punishment (time outs, for example) for bad behavior. Instead, we believe that children naturally want to do and be good, and that by setting up the right environment, and modeling kind, respectful behavior, we can guide your child to develop inner discipline. When a child does misbehave, we emphasize positive alternatives. We have mixed aged classrooms, older returning students are able to model healthy behavior; younger children benefit from the example of their older peers, and older children benefit from the opportunity to mentor and guide their younger peers. They are helped and guided to better behavior without embarrassment or punishment because they forget or didn’t know better.