Friday, December 27, 2013

Montessori for Kindergarten


Choosing an education for your young child is a daunting task and education is a very personal family choice.  Each family must do what they can for their children, to set them up for success in life.  Many folks are asking me; why keep kids in Montessori when our suburban town has terrific public (free!) Kindergarten?  Let me list our reasons:


Whole Child There's more to Montessori School than academics.  The Montessori Method of Education is a Holistic Method.  There's a lot of grace and courtesy being learned.  Every single day, for every possible event/social situation.  Many schools have a peace curriculum that would put any anti-bully campaign to rest.  Teaching children to work with different types of learners, cultures, and ages in a loving environment is training for life.  Kindness, conflict resolution, and personal reflection are experienced at Montessori School.  Kindergarten students learn to be leaders in keeping the peace.  (Here, Sarah is role-playing sharing Stone Soup with her friend)



    Consistency.  The children are together from ages 3-6  for 3 years, same teachers ideally.  A bond is formed there between peers and with teachers that is so close to family it is truly unique.  You REALLY know a child and their family in three years.  Friendships really stick when formed in this environment.  (Imagine how lucky my twins are to be together for the last few years!)

Concrete to Abstract.  All that work done in the preschool years of Montessori with concrete materials now transitions into abstraction. This year prepares for the next stage of learning.  (worksheets, homework, testing, etc) They know WHY they carry the one, from holding that exchange to the next denomination in their hands.  When it's done on paper, it's understood forward and backwards.  (Iris is adding 4 digit numbers by physically holding the quantities, then recording the equation)


    Leadership.  They are now the big kids, after watching the older children for two years- they are now role models.  Where ever a child goes next, they'll be one of the younger students at school, this is their year to be top dog.  Volumes could be spoken here just on this one tenant.  ("Let's take care of our playground, everyone!")




    Montessori is a 3 year class.  Leaving before it's done, is like leaving before it's- well....done.  The children are working towards high level work for two years before the Kindergarten year.  They look forward to those challenges, and accept them with enthusiasm and tremendous pride.  Since we know children take their school work as a way to build their sense of self, we (our family) must allow them to have this 3rd year for Kindergarten.  (During a handwriting lesson)




Individualized Learning.   The child is where she is academically, socially, and emotionally. The teachers work with them to their highest potential in all areas.   Right now is not learning for a test, there'll be time for that later in life. (Sarah wants to read and write.  Here she is with the movable alphabet.)




Intrinsic Motivation.  They do multiplication, learn to read young, help their peers with challenges, and work as peacemakers.  Why?  Because it's within them.  Not because they are handed rewards or punishments.  Children WANT to learn, to explore, to know.  Amazing, huh? (Trinomial Cube)



Freedom within Limits.  They can choose their activities.  Self-guidance, self-regulation, self-control, self-motivation are all things that come from going about their days with choices within ground rules.  There's plenty of opportunities for movement throughout the day, as Montessori Kindergartners are not expected to remain seated at all times. (Extensions with the Pink Tower and Brown Stair)



    Coordination, Concentration, Control, Order.  Montessori Kindergartners continue use of the Practical Life Materials, where they experience mastery with fine motor control.  They also learn how to concentrate on a task among other children talking and working.  Everything has its place at school, the children put their own materials away, every time- just as it was when they chose it.  (Sarah is using a scooping activity)

1 comment:

Montessori At Home! said...

Beautiful post, Jessie! Very nice summary, well presented, really enjoyed it. I think parents will, also.