The Montessori Method
Montessori Schools are Unique in Comparison to Traditional Daycare or Child Care Services.
While there are a number of distinctions between Montessori schools and traditional daycare or child care centers, the following are a few of the more prominent ones:
Mixed-age classrooms: In many daycare or childcare centers children are segregated by age. However, in a Montessori classroom children experience a realistic model of how we live and work as a diverse community. Younger children learn by watching the older ones work. The older ones, in turn, model for and offer assistance to the younger ones. This dynamic creates a positive, collaborative environment where children’s confidence and self-esteem is nurtured.
Three Year Cycle: Unlike most childcare settings, Montessori children remain in the same classroom, ideally with the same teacher and assistant, for the full three year cycle which culminates with their Kindergarten year. Each child feels what it is like to be the youngest, middle, and finally oldest in the group. New children enroll each fall and graduates move on each spring, offering a natural flow to the classroom community.
Facilitating Independence: “Help me to do it by myself” is the desire of young children. In contrast to many other daycare settings, children in a Montessori environment are given the tools, time and opportunity to carry out everyday tasks. Learning to care for themselves, their friends and their classroom happens very naturally. When we show children how to do something instead of it simply doing it for them, we honor the capable people that they are.
Child-centered Learning: Instead of the “whole group” activities that are typical of traditional daycares, Montessori children are given lessons by the teacher on a primarily individual basis. Each child is moving ahead at his or her own pace; neither being held back or pushed ahead because of the needs of another child. By the time they reach the conclusion of their Kindergarten year, children have been offered a well-rounded academic and social experience.
The best way to understand, and then decide on, the best program for your child is to schedule a classroom observation, meet the staff and ask questions. We are confident that after doing so, the choice to enroll your child at Vancouver Montessori School will be clear.