Montessori is a method of teaching that differs from regular classroom instruction in fundamental ways. While the Montessori Method of teaching has come under fire in some cases, it may be helpful for children that are having trouble learning through standard means. If your child is having trouble in a standard classroom, it may be worthwhile to check into Montessori schools in the area. Montessori schools are most commonly available for children ages 3-6, but this may vary depending on the school and the area.
Principles of Montessori
Montessori operates from a standpoint that children need freedom within limits to learn. Instead of lecturing to children in order to teach them, children are allowed to explore and experience within the classroom setting. This allows children to learn through sensory perceptions, rather than rote instruction. Children are respected as being different from adults and different from one another. This removes the expectations that can limit or exclude children in other learning environments.
Montessori classrooms are most commonly available for children of pre-school or kindergarten age. A standard Montessori classroom would house about 20 to 30 children of mixed age groups, with one teacher and one assistant. Classrooms are generally outfitted with tables that children can sit at in small clusters. Materials are stored on shelves around the room that children can reach. Materials are age-appropriate and are usually presented by the teacher and then selected by the children. Lessons include teaching children how to pour liquids, how to perform basic math equations, and learning about music and art.
Elementary Montessori Classrooms
Elementary Montessori schools are rarer and may vary significantly from one another. Lessons are generally presented to small groups of children, with more teachers available for help and support. Children choose lessons more freely than in standard schools, but have access to material that can help them learn about math, science, arts, language, geography, and many other lessons. It is extremely common for lessons to be taught outside of the classroom.