What Parents Can Look For In The Child Attending The Montessori School
Look for the presence, absence and growth of your child in the following areas:
a. spontaneous or has to be invited
b. able to make decisions by themselves
a. attention span-begins to lengthen
b. care in detail
c. sequence and orderliness
a. handling of material
b. muscle coordination
c. hand and eye coordination
a. stays at work till end
a. can work well alone
b. need teachers help at times
a. puts materials back
b. helps keep environment in good order
a. presentation (1st period)
b. practice (2nd period)
c. knowledge (3rd period)
a. respect, cooperation, helpfulness
All of these contributions come to your child from a Montessori environment. The teachers make a prepared environment from a carefully planned curriculum. This environment (classroom), has many areas of interest available: practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, science, geography, social studies, computers, art, large motor activity, Spanish, sign language, etc.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy. In 1907 she was placed in charge of the Casa dei Bambini school. By 1925, more than 1,000 Montessori schools had opened in the United States. By 1940 the Montessori movement had faded, but it was revived in the 1960s. During World War II, Montessori developed Education for Peace in India, and earned two Nobel Peace Prize nominations. She died May 6, 1952, in Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands.
Montessori's success with developmentally disabled children spurred her desire to test her teaching methods on "normal" children. In 1907 the Italian government afforded her that opportunity. Montessori was placed in charge of 60 students from the slums, ranging in age from 1 to 6. The school, called Casa dei Bambini (or Children's House), enabled Montessori to create the "prepared learning" environment she believed was conducive to sense learning and creative exploration. Teachers were encouraged to stand back and "follow the child"—that is, to let children's natural interests take the lead. Over time, Montessori tweaked her methods through trial and error. Her writings further served to spread her ideology throughout Europe and the United States.
By 1925 more than 1,000 of her schools had opened in America. Gradually Montessori schools fell out of favor; by 1940 the movement had faded and only a few schools remained. Once World War II began, Montessori was forced to flee to India, where she developed a program called Education for Peace. Her work with the program earned her two Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
She discovered that certain simple materials aroused in young children an interest and attention not previously thought possible. These materials included beads arranged in graduated-number units for pre mathematics instruction: small slabs of wood designed to train the eye in left-to-right reading movements; and graduated series of cylinders for small-muscle training. Children between three and six years old would work spontaneously with these materials, indifferent to distraction, from a quarter of an hour to an hour. At the end of such a period, they would not seem tired, as after an enforced effort, but appeared refreshed and calm. Undisciplined children became settled through such voluntary work. The materials used were designed specifically to encourage individual rather than cooperative effort. Group activity occurred in connection with shared housekeeping chores.