If there’s one thing that parents know firsthand, it’s that young children enjoy discovering how the world works. Give a child time and permission to learn, and they will gladly explore their environment.
Our authentic, Montessori-certified teachers know and value this—which is why our classes embrace our students’ joyful pursuit of discovery. Your child will benefit from Montessori’s strong foundation of time-tested principles that create successful, curious, joyful learners.
7 Time-Tested Principles for Early Childhood Learning
The Montessori approach to education is a thoughtful, supportive way to build on the instinctive love of learning that young children have. Here are the principles that this education is founded on, which will help your son or daughter grow into a passionate, skillful adult who loves to learn.
1. Early Childhood Is a Special Time for Learning
One of the most essential concepts driving an authentic Montessori education is that children from birth through age 6 are in a powerful phase of discovery. Maria Montessori called this stage of our lives the period of the “absorbent mind’—because at this age, young children are like sponges, picking up on everything.
In genuine Montessori classrooms (like ours!), students are encouraged to move, explore, and investigate what interests them. This taps into their curiosity about life and keeps them excited to come to school.
2. Children Benefit from Freedom of Choice
To tap into the period of the absorbent mind as well as children’s natural desire to explore their world, Montessori classrooms give students time for self-directed learning. Students can decide what to work on, for as long as they are inspired to do so. Teachers provide balance by offering options, while honoring the child’s ability to choose.
Instead of rushing students into knowledge before they’re ready, or requiring them to wait for classmates to catch up, your son or daughter can pursue learning at their own pace—so they can build a strong foundation for future learning as they grow.
3. A Sense of Order Is Key to Learning
While Montessori classes invite freedom of choice and movement, this doesn’t lead to an atmosphere of chaos. Children thrive when their environment is calm, clean, orderly and consistent. Everything in our classrooms has a specific purpose and place. Discovery stations are set up intentionally. Students clean up their materials as soon as they’re finished with them.
This orderly, reliable environment gives children a secure, soothing place in which to pursue their interests, gain inner discipline, and develop a sense of confidence.
4. Learning Is About the Whole Child
The idea that early learning is all about reading, writing, and arithmetic is something you may come across in traditional schools. But life and childhood are about so much more than that—which is why Montessori classrooms embrace the whole child.
Your son or daughter will, of course, develop the building blocks for the 3Rs. At the same time, they enjoy a holistic learning experience that teaches them how to collaborate, care for their environment, appreciate nature, and more.
5. Peers Can Mentor and Learn from Each Other
So many of us have experienced the traditional classroom in which teachers direct the learning. As a result, it can initially be a challenge to envision anything different. But watch children for a while, and you’ll see that they enjoy sharing knowledge with each other. They’ll happily teach and learn from each other.
The Montessori approach embraces this natural collaboration with multi-age classes in which older children can mentor younger ones, and students can practice teamwork—so all can learn and grow together.
6. Learning Is Best When It’s Made Concrete
Rather than studying ideas in isolation, Montessori classrooms are grounded in concrete, contextualized learning activities. Your son and daughter will be able to test concepts like adding and subtracting with beautiful physical study materials.
Instead of rote memorization led by a teacher, students explore for themselves, test theories, and develop the foundation for critical thinking that is so essential to higher learning and success in later life.
7. Children Can Find Motivation from Within
The best way to ensure that children gain knowledge is to help them appreciate learning for the sake of learning. Studies show that when students know they’ll be rewarded with gold stars and other external motivators, they rush through their learning activity and don’t retain what they studied. They’re too focused on the prize—not the learning.
That’s why authentic Montessori classes embrace the concept that learning is its own reward. Students gain the ability to stick to an activity when it’s hard, and realize that “failure” is just one step on their journey to success. They become more resilient and persistent.
Happy Parents, Successful Students
Happy parents and successful students are our goal—and that’s what motivates our team of skilled, caring Montessori teachers daily. When preschoolers and kindergarten-aged students attend our Montessori classrooms, they enter an academic world that fosters their success in learning and life.
Wondering what the Montessori approach looks like to our students and their families? See what our delighted parents have to say about Primary Montessori Day School and the difference our classes have made for their sons and daughters.