The Montessori Unlimited philosophy is a leading idea in education, but how does it work in practice? Here are some of the basics:
Instead of dividing children by grade, Montessori Unlimited classes place children in age groups - ages 2-3, 3-6 and 6-12. Multi-age classrooms help children develop social skills, challenge them to learn and encourage children to work together, with each others’ best interests in mind.
Our directors and directresses use extensive observation to guide and help children learn and develop at their own pace. A respect for your child’s dignity and ability is a critical element of all we do.
While “the basics” are taught, teachers also encourage children to explore other styles of learning and expression, from musical and bodily-kinesthetic, to spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal and intuitive. There are no “grades,” but teachers observe, keep records and plan individual projects that ensure that your child is engaged and learning at his or her best pace.
As well as encouraging children to find answers, our instructors are trained to ask questions rather than provide answers. Discovering answers for themselves helps children develop self-esteem and self-confidence.
In Montessori Unlimited schools, the environment plays an important role. When adults first walk into a Montessori classroom, they are often astonished — both by the level of activity, and by how tidy and quiet it is. Besides allowing children to self-direct their activities, we encourage self-discipline.
Given the wide variety of subjects that are being learned by children at any given time, work centers are arranged by subject. For those children under age 6, there are one or two uninterrupted work periods, each lasting three hours.
Research shows that children who receive a Montessori education are well prepared academically, socially and emotionally. They also score well on standardized tests. But the real test of whether or not the system is working lies in the accomplishment and behavior of the children, their happiness, maturity, kindness, love of learning and level of work.