The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. She began her work with pediatric psychiatric patients in Rome and revolutionized early childhood education by implementing an approach very different from the standards. Through careful observation, Montessori realized children naturally want to learn and explore their environments. She created educational materials scientifically designed to be hands-on, project oriented, and are still used in Montessori schools today.
Maria Montessori founded her method on one basic principle – “follow the child.” A Montessori classroom is carefully prepared to allow the child to work independently and allow the joy of self-discovery. Teachers are merely guides who introduce materials that children are free to choose from again and again, working and discovering, and ultimately mastering ideas. Lessons are given, but the goal is for children to discover the answers by using auto-didactic or self-correcting materials that are found only in Montessori classrooms.
Children grow academically in the Montessori environment. They discover an ability to complete complex math problems, name the continents, identify geometric shapes, write beautifully and talk about scientific concepts.
However, the most important aspect of our educational mission does not concern academics. Rather, our primary goal is to foster and enhance each child’s natural sense of joy and wonder. We feel that children should delight in childhood, that the school day should include laughter and the buzz of creativity. We want students to love school and the process of learning. Maria Montessori’s idea “that education is not a chore, but a joyous exploration of life’s mysteries” is the most important lesson that we hope to teach our children.
Benefits of a Montessori early childhood education
Imagine your child walking into a classroom set up for exploration. Materials, from the concrete to abstract, are put on shelves in such a way as to engage your child’s curiosity. Each scientifically developed project is an opportunity to learn through hands-on experiences. Independence is holistically instilled as they progress through the curriculum.
At our Columbus Montessori preschool, respect is given to each child and each child is celebrated as an individual. Self-confidence blossoms as they are free to explore and participate in what they learn, based on their own interests. We entice them with inspiring projects, and we respect their choices as they investigate their options.