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The Improvements Montessori School Made in My Child’s Life

As a mother, few things are more important to me than my child’s education. When researching the best schools, I discovered a local Montessori school. I loved the individualized approach and child-centered classroom, but I had no idea the full extent that Montessori education would have on my child. Now, after seeing such great improvements, I’d recommend this method of education to anyone.

Here are some of the many benefits my child gained from Montessori School:

 

Enhanced Social Skills

When my child entered Montessori school at age 8, he was a bit of a loner. He had a difficult time playing with other kids, usually preferring to go off on his own. After a short time in Montessori school, my son blossomed. He now has a lot of new friends, and even interacts more within our family.

Improved Behavior / Self-Discipline

My son was always a good kid, but it was hard at times to get him to do what me and his father asked. Now, he doesn’t need to be told to do simple things, like clean up his messes or get dressed for school in the morning. He does it all himself. I see this, “can do” attitude and independence that he never had before.

More Creativity

Art and music were always my child’s strong points, but in traditional school these things are not always encouraged. In Montessori school, my son is given real tools for growing all of his talents, especially his creativity – not only in art in music, but in many other ways like writing and self-expression. I love seeing my son’s natural curiosity encouraged. It’s really helped fuel a natural love of learning.

Love of Learning

School work was a chore before Montessori school. They teach kids in a natural way that caters to their inner child. My son has thrived in the child-centered educational setting of his Montessori school, and now he actually wants to go to school every single day!

Greater Self-Confidence

With his new “I can do it” attitude, friends, and excitement about school and his future, my son’s self-esteem has sky rocketed! I love seeing him approach life with positivity and motivation to succeed. Before, he was timid, felt unsure of whether he could do well in school, and didn’t seem to feel confident at all. Montessori school was so great for his confidence.

If your child struggles in school or socially, or if you simply want the best education possible, then Montessori school is the way to go. My son and I love it, and I’m sure your child will too! My only regret is not stating him in Montessori school sooner.

February 13th, 2017

Posted In: About Montessori Education

Hands-On Learning the Montessori Way

Hands-On Learning the Montessori Way
In a traditional classroom setting, children sit at their desks, listen to the teacher, and receive instructions. Montessori students are encouraged to learn with a much more hands-on approach. Instead of sitting and learning with paper and pencil assignments, children have free reign over a classroom with a variety of educational activities at their disposal. Working with their hands gives children a solid understanding of the learning materials, and information is absorbed more effectively.

Hands-On Learning in the Classroom

Children tend to learn better when they are completing tasks on their own rather than receiving constant instruction. When kids learn using their hands, the lesson is effortlessly committed to memory instead of relying on verbal or written repetition. The Montessori hands-on experience can be applied by using:

  • Sensory materials. Learning materials with a variety of textures and colors help children make a connection between their hands and their brain. For example, letters cut out of sand paper give a physical feeling to learning the alphabet.
  • Moveable activities. Instead of sitting at a desk, children move around the classroom and choose from a variety of activities. They can take their activity to a table, chair, or floor mat to explore their materials.
  • Enticing assignments. Hands-on learning keeps children interested and focused on the lesson at hand. A movable alphabet that they can touch and feel is more entertaining than a simple worksheet. Similarly, learning to count by manipulating rods and beads is more interesting than being told how to count to ten over and over.

Practical Life Skills Through Hands-On Learning

Children learn most from what they see; they learn better by copying the actions of others rather than being told what to do. Your child will learn much more by working alongside an adult than being given instructions from afar. A few ways to apply this concept are:

  • Cleanup time. Children love to do simple chores like sweeping, wiping tables, and cleaning up messes side by side with a parent or teacher. This way, children can use their hands in a productive way, gaining a sense of accomplishment.
  • Snack time. Preparing small snacks or pouring drinks for themselves establishes confidence and encourages independence. Simple tasks like these also promote hand strength and enhance motor skills.

January 30th, 2017

Posted In: Montessori

Tags: ,

Do Montessori Kids do Homework?

Do Montessori Kids do Homework

Montessori students are not typically assigned homework. Montessori educators do not believe in dictating the work of their students at home, instead reserving that time for family, relaxation, and the child’s own interests. There are many benefits of a no homework policy, as well as alternatives that allow children to continue learning while home.

The Benefits of Homework-Free Time

Children spend all day learning with the help of their peers and teacher. The last thing they should be worried about when they get home is hours of school work to complete. A no homework policy makes education more fulfilling rather than stressful. Some key points to consider are:

  • Kids require wind down time. If children can come home and relax, they are more likely to return to school refreshed and ready to challenge themselves. Homework can often cause burn out, affecting the child’s ability to enjoy life inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Family bonding time is crucial to development. Lack of homework creates more time for families to spend together. This enhances social skills, confidence, and behavior.
  • Children need time to pursue their own interests. Some of the time left over after school should be spent on hobbies or extracurricular activities such as music or dance. You can get an understanding of your child’s interests by watching them and asking questions.

Alternative Homework Activities

Kids have a natural desire to learn, absorbing information everywhere they go and from everything they do. Although they may not be completing traditional assignments, there are still many things they can learn at home.

  • Household chores as homework. Education goes far beyond reading, writing, and math. Children must also learn how to care for themselves. Allowing your child to help around the house promotes social skills and independence.
  • Making math out of household activities. Pairing socks and cutting food items into equal pieces are a good example of this concept. Your child can also help with shopping and making change.
  • Read together frequently. Reading to your child often helps to hone their language skills. If your child is of reading age, take turns reading books to each other each night.

Montessori schools generally avoid homework for the benefit your child, but that doesn’t mean your child’s education will come to a stop at the end of each school day. You can teach your child a variety of things by spending time together. This quality time may not be available if your child is busy with homework.

January 25th, 2017

Posted In: Montessori, Montessori Educators

Tags: , ,

How to Build Early Writing Skills

When is the best time to start teaching your child to write? You might be surprised to know that Montessori students begin learning to write as early as age two! Starting early has many benefits, and in fact, many Montessori children can read before entering kindergarten. The Montessori method works by taking advantage of early development, a magical time when children are most receptive to learning language skills. From their first coos to writing their first “A,” children are building lasting skills that will help them grow.

Writing Starts with Story Time

Storytime is a fun way for teachers and parents to bond with their children while also encouraging academic development. From infancy forward, reading with your child will build an early interest in learning to read and write, and it will enhance your child’s language skills.

Honing Fine Motor Skills

Montessori students are given a variety of activities to strengthen their fine motor skills. Washing dishes, assembling pegged puzzles, and using scissors are just a few. Activities using the hands and fingers will make it easier to use a pencil in the future.

Developing Upper Body Skills

Proper posture and arm strength are very important when a child is learning to write. For example, children should be able to sit up straight for a period of time while being able to use arms properly. Easily switching from hand to hand and reaching around their back indicates that the child has strong arm muscle control, and they might be ready to start writing.

Tracing Lines

Tracing lines teaches children how to hold a pencil while learning basic letter formations. Students simply trace straight lines and gradually begin tracing squiggly lines and shapes. Tracing squiggly lines teaches the child control of the pencil which makes writing letters easier.

Learning Letters and Phonetic Sounds

Identifying letters and the sounds they make are the next steps. As children learn their letters, he or she should learn to associate that letter with the sound it makes. This will make the information more concrete and easier to remember while setting the stage for early reading skills.

December 27th, 2016

Posted In: Uncategorized

What to Expect in a Montessori Classroom

Montessori classrooms are calm, happy places where the needs of each child are met depending on their developmental stage. The Montessori classroom environment not only prepares a child educationally, but for every stage of life.

An Unconventional Approach

A usual Montessori classroom does not resemble a traditional classroom. You will not see the standard rows of desks with a teacher at the front. In fact, there are no “desks” at all. There are tables and furniture that fit the size of your child. There are also mats on the floor for your child to complete their work. Shelves sort materials and divide the classroom by subject. Everything is within reach of the students, enhancing the hands-on experience.

Pristinely Organized Rooms

Rather than having a separate classroom for each subject, Montessori classrooms organize all subjects into one room. All materials are sorted into well thought out stations that allow the child to gain the most knowledge possible from each subject. This also allows the student to move from station to station freely. He or she can absorb knowledge as they go, honing their skills and enhancing development. Montessori classroom stations generally include math, science, language arts, and life skills.

Teachers as Nurturers

In a traditional classroom, what the teacher says is law, and teachers are generally seen as an authoritarian by students. Teachers do not hold the usual position in the front of the room. Montessori educators move around with the students, giving guidance and instruction as she goes. Students are given the space to learn at their own pace while their independence and self esteem are nurtured.

The “I Did it Myself!” Attitude

Independence is key in a Montessori classroom. The independent approach to learning is unconventional but extremely effective. This is where all the attributes listed above come into play. Instead of each student being lectured and completing a designated task, you will find most students working independently. The setting, teachers, and organization are all geared toward the encouragement of independence.

The non-traditional setting of a Montessori classroom is what makes it work so well. We choose individuality over uniformity. We choose guidance over lecture. Most of all, we choose lifelong skills rather than memorizing information. The Montessori classroom is designed to give your child best educational experience possible.

October 7th, 2016

Posted In: About MKU

Montessori School – Helping Kids Help Themselves

If you’re a parent or caretaker, you’ve probably asked yourself, when should my child be able to do this for himself? One of the core concepts and benefits of Montessori education is learning greater independence, which sets a foundation for success throughout life. Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori method of education states:

 

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
 

When do children become independent?

You might be surprised to know that learning independence starts very early in life, even during infancy. A Montessori educator watches for subtle cues that a child (or a baby) is trying to do something for themselves, and encourages while offering help only when absolutely necessary. When a child tries to do something herself, it’s easy to fall into the habit of taking over and doing the task for them – it’s faster and often less stressful for parent and child. The downside is when too many things are done for the child, they lose confidence and are slower to develop independence and necessary skills.

How do children learn independence?

The Montessori learning environment is created to promote self-discipline and independence. This is achieved by offering tools that will help the child do for themselves, such as child-centered tables, chairs, eating utensils, and more. Children are also allowed to do little things for throughout the day, like prepare snacks, put on jackets, and clean up messes. Education is done in the same way. When children are given the freedom to act and learn within a structured environment, especially one geared towards the way children learn naturally, independence is nurtured. Adult intervention is needed at times, but will gradually decrease as the child develops new skills.

Why is learning independence so important?

Growing independent children is an important part of development for many reasons. Learning that “I can do this” builds confidence and encourages the child to try and learn new things – even when faced with challenges. Learning how to overcome obstacles through persistence and problem solving are important skills throughout life. Montessori education sets habits for positive attitude, work habits, and sense of personal responsibility that will help children discover, learn, and succeed.

September 30th, 2016

Posted In: About MKU

How My Child Changed After Attending Montessori School

Before Montessori school, I can admit that my child was a bit “clingy.” It was easy to fall into a pattern of doing things for him… It seemed easier that way. However, each night I worried that my child would struggle to learn how to do things by himself. Surely, there was a way to teach him to become independent. That is when I researched Montessori schools in my area and we decided going that route was a great option for our family. It was the absolute best decision that we could have made – for all of us! Even during the first week, my once timid child became more aware and confident of the things he was capable of.

Daily Routines

When my son began attending Montessori school, he instantly became involved in his own care. He helped me pack his lunch each night after dinner, got a pair of pajamas and his bath supplies, and even helped me lay out his clothes for the following day. Rather than just letting me complete these tasks alone, he became a part of his own care – and now, rarely needs guidance when getting his things together for the day.

Creativity

Before Montessori school, my son enjoyed crafts, but only in order to produce an end result. He could care less about what he was doing or how he did it, he just wanted to see what it looked like after the work was done. Now, I find him enjoying the process rather than the finished product. Instead of picking certain colors when painting, I find him mixing colors together to produce what he wants and enjoying the activity as a whole. He has become more hands-on in all that he does, and his eagerness to learn grows every day.

Each day I watch my son grow in his education. He is developing into an intelligent, self-sufficient human being, and I owe all of that to his Montessori education. There is nothing in the world that brings me more joy than seeing the smile on my child’s face when he accomplishes something on his own or comes up with a new way of completing a task. Montessori school has helped him gain a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn that will continue to grow with him for years to come.

August 4th, 2016

Posted In: Uncategorized

Practicing Montessori Values at Home

So, you decided to put your child in Montessori school… That is great news! Montessori school is a wonderful way to help your child learn to be an independent learner. When they are in the classroom, they will quickly learn to be problem solvers and gain a sense of self-esteem that is beneficial to their growth. Though you are thrilled by all of the things they will accomplish at school, sometimes it is hard to determine how to carry out those same behaviors at home. Don’t worry, it is a learning experience for both parents and children alike, and it is very easy to accomplish.

Let Your Child Be Independent

It is so easy to do things for your children. It would be an understatement to say that life at home is chaotic when you have a family to care for. Pouring that cup of juice, gathering supplies for bath time and picking up toys yourself might be easier (and quicker), but in order to assure your child is benefitting fully from a Montessori education, it is important to let them be just as involved as you are. Let your child get the juice from the fridge, gather their bath supplies for the evening and put their toys away at the end of the night. They will feel confident and you will witness, first hand, just how independent they are learning to be!

Get Creative during Play Time

Instead of buying a bottle of pre-mixed bubbles at the store, let your child be a scientist for the day. Give them the soap, water and let them make their own bubbles for an afternoon of fun! This will show them that they are capable of creating things and have fun in the process. Let your child be fully involved in any craft or game that you take part in!

Montessori school is an excellent way to let your child evolve to their full potential. Though they are continuously learning during school hours, putting their knowledge to the test at home is just as important. Always be open to letting your child be independent, ask their teachers for advice, or seek out ideas from other parents about how you can help your child continue to grow. Letting your child be independent is key when carrying out Montessori values at home.

July 1st, 2016

Posted In: TIps

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