Q&A

What is Montessori? 
Montessori is a project driven curriculum designed to motivate children to become self-directed learners.

How does Montessori differ from non-Montessori childcare? 
In a Montessori classroom the children are the facilitators of their education, the teacher a guide.

What are the benefits my child will achieve in a Montessori classroom? 
Typically, children in Montessori classrooms achieve educational goals more quickly and autonomously than traditional preschools.  They are self-motivated learners.

Is Villa Montessori Preschool different than other Montessori schools? 
We do offer an authentic Montessori curriculum and materials, however we are different in that we also integrate Reggio inspired Art and Science themes to enhance the Montessori curriculum.

What is Reggio Inspired? 
Reggio Inspired curriculums are derived from the Reggio Emilia philosophy founded by Loris Malaguzzi.  Similar to Montessori, Reggio believes that the child should be free to choose his/her educational path based on interests.  Materials and supplies are always on hand to explore and imagine, expanding knowledge through creativity.

Why do you combine age groups? 
We combine age groups in our Primary classrooms for several reasons.  The first, younger children naturally look up to older children and therefore are more inclined to learn from them.  They are less shy with older children than they are with adults and more apt to imitate appropriate behavior.  The older children then become natural leaders in the classroom.  Helping to facilitate the younger child’s learning by becoming good role models.  Having mixed groups also aids in becoming goal oriented.  When a younger child sees a work he/she is interested in, they have also watched the progression needed to be able to understand and handle the work.

My child is not yet toilet trained. 
Transitioning is a wonderful time.  Seeing younger children still in diapers helps your child to want to potty train, thus becoming the “big boy/girl.”  We help with toilet training in our Pre-Primary class.

Who writes your curriculum?
The curriculum in a Montessori environment is in all the hands on projects the children are exposed to.  The teacher acts as a guide, introducing the materials, as the child is ready.  The materials are displayed in order of difficulty and subjects are grouped together.  The teacher uses the Montessori Compass software to keep track and plan for your child’s successful journey.

How are the teacher’s trained? 
Montessori Lead teachers have a rigorous certification they must go through to understand all the methodology and materials they present.  It is typically a year or two in addition to their college degrees.

How do you achieve the growth and development vs Day Care?
The Montessori curriculum is designed to follow your child’s development individually.  He/she is introduced to projects as they master previous skills.  The projects are self-correcting and offer internal confidence building.  Once mastered, the next project is presented.  This leads to a natural talent for goal setting and achieving.  There are no “rote memory” activities, once a child has mastered a concept, they truly have learned it.  There are no “work sheets” either, students are taught to create for themselves a written activity that will help them to learn a particular concept.  Learning in a hands-on, project oriented environment develops far superior critical thinking skills at an early age.

I have been told that there is no structure and too much free play in Montessori. 
It may seem like they are playing, in fact, they may think they are always playing, however the fact is the Montessori Materials are scientifically designed as tools to develop skills/attributes needed for higher education.  For example:  the pink tower may just look like a stack of pink blocks.  In reality, each block is 1cm cubed larger than the next.  By manipulating the blocks in sequence, the child’s Stereognostic senses kick in and they begin to “absorb” higher thinking math skills such as geometry, patterning and sequencing.

How well will my child transition into 1st grade? 
Many Montessori children transition into 1st grade well above their class.  Since they have been trained to be self –motivated learners, they typically display more enthusiasm for learning than the average child…a teacher’s dream!

I don’t think my child would fit into your classroom…he/ she is just too active! 
Let us meet your child and have him/her join the class for an hour to see how they will adjust.  It takes a good 6 weeks to acclimate to a new environment, and most children do well with Montessori because they are free to move about the classroom.  In fact, movement within the classroom is encouraged; it helps a child to choose work from various subjects more easily.

Will I receive a daily record for my toddler’s activities? 
Our teachers and assistants will record your toddler’s activities each day using  Montessori Compass. This will not only record their daily habits, we also create a personal online album for your child, capturing special moments so you don’t miss a thing!