There is so much information when it comes to searching for the best Montessori school for your kid. The main point that you need to consider is traits of an authentic Montessori school.
It is difficult to define what constitutes an authentic Montessori program. The term “Montessori” is not protected by copyright. That means- anyone can open a “Montessori” school without implementing an authentic program.
A true Montessori program includes highly trained teachers, specialized learning materials, and a carefully planned curriculum that will assist your child in the following areas:
- Develop cooperative social skills.
- Improve self-control.
- Learn to be self-sufficient.
- Create an analytical mindset.
- Most importantly, cultivate a lifelong joy, love, and excitement for learning.
Do you want these things to happen to your child? If this is the case, you should look for an authentic Montessori program.
As mentioned above, it is difficult to find the best Montessori school for your child because of countless options. But no worries! Check out the traits of an authentic Montessori school. Consider these traits to make the right decision.
#1 Teacher Training
Teachers in good Montessori schools have received training from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) or the American Montessori Society (AMS). To verify the teachers’ training, request to see their graduate diplomas.
#2 Teacher Tenure
Find out how long each teacher and assistant has been with the school.
#3 Length of Class Time
Each morning, authentic Montessori programs have a three-hour uninterrupted work period. During this three-hour session, your child will receive lessons from their teacher and will never be interrupted to participate in all-class exercises rather than self-chosen activities.
#4 Individualized Curriculum
A true Montessori program promotes your child’s individual development. It is not the same as a one-size-fits-all curriculum, which assumes that all children are ready to do the same thing at the same time because they are a certain age. In an authentic Montessori classroom, the curriculum adapts to your child rather than your child adapting to the curriculum.
#5 Peaceful and Calm Classrooms
A good Montessori classroom is quiet and peaceful. Many children will be deeply focused as they select an activity and work with it for an extended period. Other children move in the classroom as they choose an activity and sit down to work, but their movement is slow and deliberate.
#6 A Beautiful Classroom Environment
Montessori classrooms are meticulously prepared, with materials organized by subject on long, low shelves. The materials will be clean, lovely, and appealing to the child. There will be many materials made of wood, glass, and natural fibers. Plastic is rarely, if ever, seen.
Authentic Montessori classrooms have materials that promote independence, such as;
- Dull knives for slicing apples.
- Miniature graters for shredding cheese.
- Ingredients such as flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and water for making and baking bread.
- Glass vases and fresh flowers for flower arranging, and
- Polish and small applicators for shining brass, silver, wood, and mirrors.
There will be no textbooks, only handcrafted reading materials. You will see incredible mathematics materials. These materials concretize concepts to aid understanding in learning rather than mindless memorization.
#7 Classrooms with Multi-Age Groups
Children in authentic Montessori classrooms are divided into three-year age groups. This means that one-third of the children in a class will be three, one-third will be four, and one-third will be five and about to turn six. The best Montessori school will ALWAYS include kindergarten in this age grouping, with three and four-year-old children, and will never separate kindergarten children into a separate class.
What’s the reason? Older kindergarten-age children model the respectful behaviors and advanced work that younger children will eventually encounter. Younger children certainly benefit from this mentoring. But older children, regardless of personality, are allowed to lead.
In a Nutshell:
Power comes from knowledge. Now that you’ve learned the seven characteristics of a true, authentic Montessori education, be proactive and ask direct questions when looking for schools for your child.
The bottom line is that if you want your child to benefit from the amazing benefits of Montessori, you must be a discerning parent! So, do not think much and begin your search for the best Montessori school.