Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.
Every material in a Montessori classroom supports an aspect of child development, creating a match between the child’s natural interests and the available activities. Children can learn through their own experience and at their own pace. They can respond at any moment to the natural curiosities that exist in all humans and build a solid foundation for life-long learning.
Montessori’s goals for children are often in alignment with a parent’s own goals for their children: that children respect and care for the people and things around them, have fun while they learn, and take responsibility for their actions. The goal of Montessori education is to develop the whole person; someone who is more than the sum of their test scores.
In Montessori classrooms, academic skills are integrated into the natural life of the classroom. Through hands-on play, the most basic foundations of mathematics and literacy are introduced through games, activities, and with special materials that appeal to children. Contrary to many adults’ schooling experiences, children in Montessori schools enjoy math, reading and writing, and enthusiastically look forward to their next lesson. This sets up a love of learning that the child will carry with her throughout life.