Montessori preschool is a different sort of educational system designed to assist children in many areas of early development. The underlying preschool philosophy is that children are born without knowledge of the world but hungry to absorb as much information as they can. Enrolling your child as early as daycare or preschool produces the best results, for the following reasons.
The Absorbent Mind Maria Montessori explained that the minds of preschool children can be likened to a sponge. They begin empty of content but will readily soak up knowledge through play-based activities that provide information in a broad spectrum of developmental areas. The Absorbent mind phase begins at birth and continues throughout the first 6 years of life, making those early years the most important period for childhood development.
Montessori's Developmental ApproachThe Montessori Method is dedicated to whole-child development, and the process begins as early as possible. During the critical early years, Montessori challenges children physically, mentally, emotionally, and academically. Through hands-on activities, children learn valuable practical skills while improving their fine and gross motor skills, learning to interact with other people-- children and adults alike-- and constructing the foundations of academic learning that include language, math, science, reading, and more.
Self-Paced LearningA big difference between Montessori and traditional public education is that Montessori uses self-paced techniques that allow children to advance as they achieve specific goals instead of all children being forced to learn the same subjects as a single group. These techniques have shown excellent results for children with many different abilities, including gifted kids, autistic children, those with learning challenges, and everything in between.
Mixed Age GroupingsBecause children learn at different paces, traditional classroom groupings are ineffective. Instead of every child being within a few months of the same age, Montessori classes encompass a 3-year age span. This makes it easier for children to learn faster or slower without being removed from their peers. Furthermore, when every child spends time among the youngest and the oldest in the class, they have the opportunity to fill different social roles as well. This never happens in traditional settings where the same children are either the oldest or youngest throughout their education.
Montessori excels at early development, beginning in daycare and progressing through preschool. kindergarten, and beyond. The earlier they get involved in the Montessori Method, the easier it will be to learn and develop everything from motor skills to things like science and writing. The absorbent mind is capable of taking in a lot of information, but the sponge-like years go by quickly.
The prepared environment of an Authentic Montessori preschool stands apart for a variety of reasons. It revolves around the children rather than being built to an adult scale, and visitors are often surprised at the amount of quiet activity and orderly progression in the room. To better illustrate why Montessori stands apart, let's take a look at a few of the key components of a Montessori prepared environment, and how that environment achieves its goals.
The Children's House
The original school designed by Maria Montessori was known as the Casa Dei Bambini, which translates into "The Children's House." The classroom was designed around the perspective of the children, with child-sized furniture, decoration placed at a child's eye level, and other facets that reinforced the idea that this was placed expressly for children.
Freedom of Movement
In the prepared environment, children have the freedom to move about, choose which workstation to use, and spend as much or as little time working with workstations as they choose. No other form of early education puts as much emphasis on a child's freedom of movement, but that shouldn't be surprising since no other options are as child-centered as the Montessori Method.
A Place For Everything
Montessori preschool is a surprisingly ordered environment. Everything has a specific location, and children are taught to put things back where they came from when they are no longer in use. Workstations are always located in the same place in the room so that children can go straight to a project without having to locate it in a different place each time.
Social etiquette and interaction are major facets of the Montessori Method. Children learn the concepts of grace and courtesy early and are encouraged to use them regularly throughout the day. Because Montessori is a whole-child developmental program, social graces take an equal role in physical and academic projects. Even more to the point, social skills are included as part of the daily curricula without ever being singled out for themselves.
Schools are for learning, and authentic Montessori preschools encourage learning a wide variety of subject matter during the course of carefully selected play-based activities. Math, language, reading, and writing are often combined into a single workstation so that instead of children moving from one subject to another they are able to absorb information about various subjects without leaving the room or even using different workstations.
Montessori preschool is a completely different environment from traditional public schools. There are no textbooks, the teachers do not spend their days giving class lectures, and children go about individualized work plans seemingly without intervention from adults. The idea is that children are simply little people, and deserve the same freedoms and respect as anyone else.
Learning to be thankful helps daycare children develop critical thinking skills, and shows them how thankfulness and gratitude make everyone feel a little better about themselves and others. Learning about gratitude is an everyday trait of Montessori schools, but it is also important that parents help children practice gratitude at home so that they understand it is not reserved for the classroom but is instead a fact of everyday life.
Keep a journal or wall collage where your daycare children can create mementos of things they are grateful for. Every day has something that fits the bill, even if it is something as simple as a sunny day or having a favorite food for dinner. As the list of things they sincerely appreciate begins to grow, children will become more involved in tallying the high points of each day and showing their gratefulness in new and beneficial ways.
2. What We Have Vs What We Want
It is important for children to learn that they can't always get things exactly the way they want them to be, and every instance is an opportunity to focus on what they have instead of pining for what they want. Stuck inside on a rainy day? At least there are some great activities to get involved with. The outdoor party got rained out? At least there was ice cream and cake when everyone scrambled inside. There is an upside to every event and children should learn to see those good things more often than to focus on the bad.
3. Role Modeling Grateful Behaviors
Parents are the best role models their children will have, without comparison. When children see their role models exhibiting grateful behavior they learn that gratefulness is an important way to show appreciation. Keep in mind that your behavior should be consistent, because children may be learning, but they are always watching, and if they see your gratefulness as a pretentious act they will begin to doubt its usefulness.
4. Appreciation and Self-Esteem
When we learn to value what we have, it makes us feel better about ourselves. As simple as it is to say "thank you," doing so conveys goodwill to both parties, and encourages young children to use gratitude appropriately in their interactions with others.
Talk to the teachers at your child's daycare. Ask them how they teach gratitude and then mimic those ideas at home. Montessori education, especially modeling important social skills, does not end with the school day. Parents are strongly encouraged to practice the Montessori Method at home as well, including core concepts like grace and courtesy.
Your Montessori kindergarten is certified in the Montessori Method, an educational system that uses play-based learning, among other traits. The underlying concept is that children absorb and retain information easier when it is acquired through hands-on experience. Learning to perform different types of math uses the same rationale, and these examples are typical approaches to teaching math through activity.
The United States dollar is a perfect tool for learning fractions-- and percentages as well-- in Montessori private kindergarten. The word "quarter" is a self-defined fraction, But every coin can be used the same way and uses hundredths, twentieths, tenths, quarters, and halves. Since every coin is a fraction of the whole dollar, children can progress directly to mixed fractions as a matter of course. Even beyond the classroom, every child needs to be able to count money as a part of everyday life.
2. Food For Thought
Practical life skills teach or reinforce real-world skills, including learning to follow regular routines, setting the dinner table, and helping in the yard or kitchen. Helping cook a meal teaches children the fractions used to prepare meals by measuring and pouring, cutting fruit or vegetables into fractional portions, and more.
3. Number Bond
This engaging game teaches fractions by using a progression of double-sided counters, starting with two and adding more the child becomes more adept. This activity offers a visual representation of each fraction, improving learning speed and long-term retention. For example, if there are 7 counters in the shaker, then the denominator will be " seven. Giving children the ability to touch a fraction develops important critical thinking skills, hones fine motor skills, and illustrates the relationship between objects and fractions.
4. Learning With Legos
Lego-style blocks are a hands-on buffet of math education. Starting as infants, children use them to learn sorting, progressing through counting, addition and subtraction, and on to multiplication, division, and the use of fractions. You can even substitute lego colors in place of the token used in Number Bond, leading to activities such as determining what fraction of different types of blocks are used in objects the child has built from them.
In private Montessori kindergarten, children learn using activities-- often referred to as workstations-- that focus on a specific academic skill while teaching other important information in conjunction with the primary lesson. Because math permeates everything we do, the Montessori Method teaches math in the same manner-- by making it part of many other activities.
Reading is an important skill that should be developed early and reinforced often in private kindergarten. To that end, these 4 books encourage children to read while delivering important messages and academic lessons in an entertaining and non-intrusive way.
1. National Geographic Kids Readers: Jump Pup By Susan B. Neuman
This book is excellent for kindergarten kids who are learning to read. It uses kid-friendly reading techniques that make words easier to read, and creates a lively puppy adventure children can get engaged in. Put this one at the top of your child's reading list, and set aside some time to enjoy it with her.
2. One Family By George Shannon
Possibly the most academically slanted of our picks, this book is all about counting, but it is also about diversity and inclusion. With entertaining illustrations and easy-to-read text, the book looks at the many types of families and how they care for one another. counting is an important skill, and this book delivers counting practice with an engaging storyline.
3. You are Enough By Margaret O'Hair
This book is all about diversity and how everyone is unique. It shows that sometimes, the thing that is different is the most important part. Understanding how differences in people, places, and things are what makes the world such a wondrous and exciting adventure. Self-esteem and inclusion are important developmental traits and this book makes their magic come to life.
4. What Does It Mean to Be Kind By Rana DiOrio
A chain reaction is set in motion when one girl decides to take a chance and be nice to the new kid. It doesn't take long until the whole town has gotten involved, and kindness begins to spread. This book takes a look at empathy, the importance of grace and courtesy, and more. It is well-illustrated and engages children while encouraging positive social interaction.
With a few online searches, you will find dozens of great books to keep your children interested in turning the pages. Think about the things she finds interesting and try to provide her with books that include those subjects. When the books she is presented with cover topics she wants to find out about, she is far more likely to spend more time reading and experience better retention of the words she reads.
Your child's Montessori private kindergarten does not use rewards, punishments, and extrinsic motivation techniques to get and keep the children engaged. Instead, they use methods intended to promote internal motivation, developing children who do things and accept responsibilities because they want to rather than baiting them with prizes or fear of punishment.
What Is Intrinsic Motivation?
In simple terms, intrinsic motivation is an action or activity that is undertaken without outside influence. Intrinsic motivation encourages behavior that makes people feel good about themselves, giving them a personal incentive to accomplish a task or perform an action.
Process Over Production
Children become more intrinsically motivated when their efforts bear results. Even when an activity doesn't work out exactly as planned, children are encouraged to try again by acknowledging the effort they have already put forth. In small children, instilling the will to try surmounts expecting ideal results.
Routines and Schedules
Having set schedules and periodic routines establish an underlying order to a child's life, and following routines often becomes an exciting activity that children look forward to. This promotes intrinsic motivation, helps them develop independence, and aids the development of self-esteem.
Inclusion, Trust, and Achievement
Giving children the opportunity to feel included in family activities, being trusted to accomplish tasks on their own, and the feeling of achievement after a task is complete all work together to motivate private kindergarten children to want to accomplish goals.
Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose
Routines and tasks that children can do alone make them feel better about their own abilities. Mastering those tasks so that they become second nature provides an incentive to keep trying and fuels an inherent goal to be like other members of the family or group. Children develop self-motivation by doing things and marking accomplishments.
Montessori private kindergarten uses a whole-child approach to education that includes learning to be more independent and self-motivated. The idea is that fostering a child's interest in learning and doing things for themselves promotes the same behavior, fully engaging children in their own interests and education. This system works best when Montessori-inspired techniques are incorporated into the home.
Music and movement activities are an important part of the Montessori private kindergarten environment. From academic lessons to exploring foreign cultures, music and movement combine to impart knowledge, build muscle tone, and help children develop a healthy sense of self-esteem. To illustrate the importance of music and movement, let's take a look at 3 types of music-oriented activities and the benefits they provide.
1. The Beat of Different Drums
Putting together her own unique set of drums and learning how different materials and shapes create different sounds is one way that kindergarten children are engaged in music and movement. This fosters critical thinking skills and helps children learn basic aspects of music theory such as cadence and rhythm. From pans and bowls to xylophones, there is a world of percussion for children to explore.
2. Sing-A-Long Activities
Singing songs as a group helps children learn the words to popular songs, teaches them about foreign languages and cultures and offers a wealth of parable-style teaching opportunities that encourage great behavior and demonstrate the possibilities of critical thinking. And all of that is in addition to basic musical skills like staying in tune, keeping time to the music, and participating in a social environment.
3. Dance, Dance, Dance
Dancing helps preschool children develop in multiple ways. Not only does it help develop both fine and gross motor skills, but it also encourages thinking critically and creatively, imparts cultural knowledge, and increases vocabulary and language skills. Music and dance have roots in the earliest human cultures and have been used for instruction and communication in every civilization of the world.
Keeping children engaged and interested is at the core of Montessori-style play-based education. Music and movement activities appeal to the young minds in many ways, and that makes music an essential tool for the Montessori classroom. Beginning with rattles and discovery bottles in infancy, children use music-oriented activities throughout their developmental years.
Your Montessori private kindergarten is focused on the development of the entire child, and that offers a variety of positive influences for children to better themselves and become more conscientious members of the classroom, family, and community. These 4 examples showcase the multiple ways that Montessori encourages childhood development.
1. Developing Self-Esteem
Private kindergarten continues the development of social skills that children have been learning since daycare. Because children who feel secure about their abilities have more freedom to apply themselves, self-esteem is a vital part of the Montessori Method. As a positive influence, self-esteem builds strong character and a willingness to take part in group events and activities.
2. Applied Critical Thinking
Early in the Montessori process, children learn to make decisions and accept consequences, and private kindergarten continues the process. Developing problem-solving skills helps children learn to be more productive and associative. Critical thinking is a crucial part of language, math, and science activities, and includes everything from practical life activities to authentic Montessori materials.
3. Citizenship in Action
Citizenship develops out of self-esteem and critical thinking. It includes social etiquette, diplomacy, and the ability to handle situations responsibly and tactfully resolving situations. As children get older and take part in the larger community, they will be more prepared to be active members of the family and community.
4. Learning By Doing
Hands-on activities encourage retention and promote self-reliance. Maria Montessori recognized that children learn better and remember the information longer when they are able to immerse themselves in the activity. As a consequence, children learn to perform better and gain the confidence to apply themselves in different ways
Children who attend Montessori private kindergarten are encouraged to develop mentally, physically, and socially. This results in well-rounded children who are capable of applying themselves to many situations and confident in their ability to interact in a peaceful and responsible way
Private kindergarten kids are growing into a new developmental phase. Their bodies need a little less sleep-- usually giving up the midday nap-- than they needed during the preschool years. By around the age of 6, children’s sleep requirements. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children will require between 9 and 12 of sleep per day. To illustrate how this is important, let’s look at 4 ways strong sleep routines benefit Montessori kindergarten students.
1. Sleep and Learning
Private kindergarten kids have a very limited knowledge of the world they live in and work diligently to fill the gaps during their early years. Children who have regular sleep routines-- which actually include things like morning hygiene along with consistent bedtimes-- are more involved in learning, more willing to participate, and more eager to explore new things.
2. Rest and Behavior
Every Montessori kindergarten parent knows that children who don’t get enough sleep have more difficulty controlling their emotional behavior. This can manifest as crankiness, rebellious outbursts, or simply an inability to stay awake. By getting the suggested amount of sleep each night, children start every day in top condition, ready to interact with others in a responsible and engaging way.
3. Sleep and Stamina
As you probably know from personal experience, it is hard to keep going when you start the day without enough rest. For children, the effects can be more severe, preventing them from being able to run, jump, climb, or dance during various activities. Even worse, not being able to exert themselves sufficiently prevents children from developing their fine and gross motor skills, and that could lead to other educational challenges.
4. Sleep and Memory
During sleep, the human brain process information and stores it in long-term memory for later retrieval. When the sleep routine is inconsistent or does not provide enough sleep, this important process can be interrupted or stalled. Improper sleep routines can affect memory, requiring children to relearn the same information before it is properly retained, preventing the child from advancing as well as they could.
Your child’s sleep routine will affect every aspect of their development. From how fast they grow to how well they learn to write or even remember what the class did yesterday, sleep is a critical part of her education. As parents and educators, it is important to observe when more sleep may be appropriate and make the opportunity for rest available to them.
Your Montessori Preschool in Agoura Hills uses a set of developmental criteria to identify when children are prepared for the kindergarten environment. Maria Montessori understood that children developed at different paces. These 4 clues are examples of how you can tell your child is ready to graduate into kindergarten.
Montessori Preschool in Agoura Hills will help children prepare for kindergarten by teaching them how to control aggressive behaviors. This type of emotional control is a developmental milestone, and precedes a child’s ability to empathize with others. Among other things, this skill includes being able to follow instructions and control impulsive actions or outbursts.
Identity and Interaction
If your child is able to say and spell her name, it is a sign that she is ready for Montessori Preschool in Agoura Hills. And because empathy follows identify, she should also be able to share and take turns when playing with other children. By the time they move from preschool to kindergarten, children should be well on their way to developing the critical social skills necessary for their own identity and interaction.
Academic skills are not as important going into Montessori Preschool in Agoura Hills as an ability and willingness to communicate. Children who are ready for kindergarten are able to ask for assistance, for example, and show a willingness to learn alone or in groups. Additionally, children need to be able to listen attentively when asked to do so, and communicate in sentences of at least 5 or 6 words.
Potty training is one of several physical skills children need to learn before they move up from Montessori Preschool in Agoura Hills. Essentially, children should have mastered fine motor skills necessary for grasping and manipulating objects as well as gross motor skills used in activities like running, climbing, jumping, and lifting.
Montessori Preschool in Agoura Hills uses the Montessori Method to help children develop skills they will need throughout their lives. These skills include vital physical, emotional, and academic abilities that will help them adjust to and engage in the kindergarten experience.