By Chelsea Scott – The Learning Sanctuary
Have you ever wondered about what your child is really learning in childcare? Did you know that some childcare centres are focussed on early education and actually have learning philosophies inspired by theorists?
I write today to share with you the benefits of the Montessori philosophy that I am so passionate about.
A lot of people are mis-informed about what Montessori learning is all about and quite often assume it’s for smart kids. In actual fact, a Montessori classroom is tailored to each individual child. That’s what’s is so great about it – because every child is different!
Children learn at their own pace and learning opportunities are extended and supported by educators when required.
Here are 5 reasons why your child will benefit from Montessori learning:
1. Promotes Independence
Within the Montessori environment children are able to engage in the environment without adult direction.
When you walk into a Montessori centre you will see individual trays on the shelves with activities which allow children to work independently based on their interests and needs.
2. Prepares children for school and lifelong skills
There are five key learning areas in Montessori curriculum; Literacy, Numeracy, Practical life, Sensorial and Culture.
These areas support children to engage and learn through traditional Montessori materials such as the ‘Pink Tower’.
To a child this material looks like building blocks; however the hidden lesson behind this experience includes learning about fine motor skills, dimensions, size, order and counting.
3. Mixed age groups
I have two older brothers and I learnt a lot from them when I was growing up. They taught me to tie my shoe laces, tell the time and lots of other cool things along the way. We offer this in a Montessori service.
Maria Montessori believed children learn best when they are in mixed age groups. We often notice the older children showing their younger peers how to use the activities and materials.
It gives children the opportunity to take control and be proud of their own environment as well as interact with their peers.
4. Three-hour work cycle
Have you ever been mid-way through an activity and someone asks you to stop right away and do something else? I personally find this frustrating as an adult; imagine how a child may feel.
In Montessori the children have three hours of work cycle time where they can move through the classroom and learn/engage in the prepared environment. We find that during this time children are most alert and are able to have important one on one time with educators.
5. A calm and engaging work environment
Imagine walking into a childcare centre that is calm and quiet, this is often the case with Montessori.
Children are so interested in their prepared environment and engaged in their work, that the noise level is so quiet at times that you could hear a pin drop. Pretty amazing right?
There are so many things that we as adults can do to help our future generations develop and grow into clever, passionate, articulate, well-adjusted adults. The Montessori philosophy helps the children do this, by allowing them to discover the world for themselves in a safe and stimulating environment.
By Chelsea Scott
Centre Manager and passionate educator at The Learning Sanctuary Montessori – Thebarton.
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