7 tips to identify the right Montessori School
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when as a parent we trying to identify the right school for our precious little child. First of all, there are different methods of education to choose from. Even after we finalize on the pattern of the education which we think is right for our child, finding the right school is a big uphill task for all the parents. This article focusses on the key tips that one needs to remember while identifying the right Montessori school for their child.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Dr. Maria Montessori never trademarked or patented her Montessori methodology. So around the world, a lot of schools are mushrooming and calling themselves the Montessori schools. That doesn’t mean they are true Montessori schools which follow Dr. Maria Montessori philosophy to the core.
Some schools use Montessori materials to teach the kindergarten classes and call themselves as the Montessori schools. Some schools are based on the play learning principles at a high level but wouldn’t mind terming themselves as Montessori schools. So it becomes all the more important to identify the right Montessori school for your child.
How to Identify the right Montessori school?
Please keep this list handy while visiting the school, so that you can quickly understand whether it’s a true Montessori school or not.
1. Safe and Warm Environment for kids: A warm and child-friendly fitted with child-sized furniture into which the kids are welcomed by the friendly staff.
2. Child-sized accessories: We get to see only the miniature-sized tools and accessories in the classroom. This allows the child to handle all of them on their own, independently.
3. Absence of traditional blackboard: The traditional blackboard and the textbooks would be absent from the Montessori classroom
4. Engaging teachers: We get to see the teachers who engage with either a small group of children or an individual child so that they can give their presentations with full concentration. We wouldn’t see them lecturing the entire class at any point in time.
5. Multi-Aged students: The students belong to different age groups in a typical Montessori classroom. One can observe that the older children playing the role models inadvertently, which in turn builds the leadership qualities in them. Children learn from each other in this kind of set-up.
6. Uninterrupted work time: A true Montessori school provides a 3-hour uninterrupted work period for all the children every day. This is the time when the children tend to learn/practice on the topic of their chosen interest for the day. He/she would be either receiving presentations from the teacher (adult) or would be practicing the concepts he has learned the earlier day.
7. Individualized curriculum: A true Montessori school will not have the one size fits all curriculum. In a true Montessori environment the curriculum would be driven by the child based on his/her interests. This method brings out the individual uniqueness in every child and wouldn’t be robbing them of their joy for learning.
Ask Questions and Questions:
Choosing the right Montessori school for your child will enable him to embark on the beautiful journey called education. This journey would provide him the required solid foundation. So it doesn’t hurt us to ask and ask a lot of questions to the school authorities to ascertain that the school really is a true Montessori school.
In a true Montessori environment, the teacher(adult) plays a very crucial role. The teacher should be well equipped to deal with the mixed-age classes and should seem to be happy and contented to work along with the kids. Only then, the school can run the way, Dr. Maria Montessori has envisioned.
It pays to do little quick homework about the school, its classrooms. Having a quick interaction with the teachers and assistants in the classroom would help you in choosing the right Montessori school. And that school would be in fact will be another safe haven for your child apart from his own home.
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Dear Reader, this is the third part of the eight-part Montessori Method and its philosophy Series and please stay tuned for further updates on the same topic. You would get to read about How to Establish the Montessori Environment at home in the next part.