The right environment can have a powerful, positive effect on a child’s learning process. Young children greatly benefit intellectually, emotionally and socially from safe, responsive and nurturing learning environments. Montessori schools, by their very nature and approach to teaching, create positive, enriching learning environments, which have proven benefits for your child’s educational success. When you’re contemplating a Montessori education for your child, keep in mind these six elements of a Montessori environment, all of which support and nurture your child’s growth.
Montessori schools should be beautiful, both inside and outside. A peaceful outdoor environment allows children a place to safely and playfully explore nature. The school’s appearance and setting should be uncluttered and well maintained, promoting harmony and tranquility, which will help your child feel grounded and joyful. At Primary Montessori, we have a beautiful new building in North Potomac that features skylights, a screened-in porch area and direct access to outdoor play on our roomy two acres, to benefit your child’s exploration of the wonders of our world.
Inviting, Comfortable Classroom
The sense of beauty and wonder is an important element inside a Montessori classroom. Furniture and play materials are comfortable and inviting, and everything is child-sized and conducive to learning so your child can freely explore and grow, without frustration. Natural materials such as real wood, bamboo, metal, cotton and glass are used, rather than plastics and other synthetics. Classrooms are illuminated by natural sunlight, with easy access to the outdoor learning areas.
Through courteous, cooperative interaction with their peers, children develop empathy and learn to relate positively to others. In a Montessori environment, there are many opportunities to promote a child’s social development, team-working skills and awareness of the needs of others. Multi-age communal classroom settings, cooperative play and work and freedom to interact are all Montessori approaches that help your child develop respectful, confident, healthy relationships.
Freedom and Self-Direction
From a very young age, children have a strong drive to explore their environment and understand how it works. The Montessori approach harnesses this innate desire to learn by creating multiple opportunities for self-directed discovery throughout the day. Your child will be encouraged to move freely about the classroom, choosing and engaging in activities at his or her own pace and preference. There are also options for children to work alone or with others. Within the order of the Montessori classroom, your child develops freedom of choice, while also learning the self-discipline necessary for future success inside and outside of school.
Order and Structure
Clear, positive structure goes hand in hand with freedom in the Montessori classroom. Without a sense of order, children will lack a sense of security and be impeded in their ability to develop the self-discipline necessary to make sense of the world in which they live. Children aged one through three especially benefit from environments that are both encouraging and well organized. In a Montessori classroom, you can expect children to learn how to develop daily routines and care for themselves and their environment, gaining the ability to be structured in both school and their personal lives.
Ultimately, the purpose of any school is to promote education. And Montessori environments are uniquely designed to promote learning in ways that other schools cannot match. All of the above elements of a Montessori environment serve to nurture your child’s entire developmental needs, including intellectual growth. The Montessori curriculum enriches your child through sensory learning, language, mathematics, culture and practical life skills that can be carried into every area of a child’s life.
See Primary Montessori’s Environment in Person
As you plan for your child’s educational success, remember to keep the benefits of a healthy Montessori environment in mind. Your child’s school should include all of the above elements in action, and you may even look for ways to incorporate these traits into your home routines as well.
Remember, too, that you can easily view our Gallery of photos anytime to get a glimpse of how Primary Montessori has created a welcoming, nurturing environment in which your child can learn. We would love to have you visit and see our successful Montessori program for yourself. Contact us today to schedule a tour or speak with us about how Primary Montessori can assist in your child’s positive education experience.