Why Montessori?

Montessori is not a trend.  

So often in education, educators jump from one trend to the next – always searching for the next best thing.  Thousands of dollars are spent on a new reading or math program that are abandoned a few years later for something better that has been newly introduced to the industry.  The Montessori Method bucks this trend.  At Stone Ridge Montessori, we use a time-tested philosophy and tools that have been around for over a century.  Montessori educators don’t move from trend to trend because we don’t need to. Montessori education proves to be effective regardless of whether it is in a private or public setting, what country it is taught in, or the socio-economic status of the students. The philosophy that Dr. Maria Montessori developed so long ago still works today.

 

Montessori fosters independence and a natural love for learning.

Everything about a Montessori classroom fosters independence.  Our Montessori classrooms are simply and beautifully designed to inspire curiosity, promote hands-on learning experiences, and build self-confidence! After all, the preschool years set the foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Our beautiful environments feature comfortable spaces to learn, collaborate and grow. Students at Stone Ridge Montessori are empowered to play and learn at their own pace, guided by their own interests.

We consider the Montessori classroom to be “the third teacher.” Materials and projects are easy to reach, allowing children to explore independently. Everything our students interact with is designed to develop their interests and spark new discoveries.

Enter a classroom and see a three-year-old sweeping the floor with a child-sized broom or folding washcloths that are the right size for their hands, or perhaps carefully filling glasses with water from a child sized pitcher.  See the pride these children exhibit on being able to “do it themselves” without asking for help from an adult.

Materials are created to be self-correcting. Students can identify a mistake in their thinking without having an adult point it out to them.  Montessori materials bring about the inquisitive nature of the child and allows them to develop problem-solving skills as they think of new ways to do things.  The Montessori Method teaches students how to discover without giving them step-by-step directions. Students in a Montessori classroom have the power to ask for help when they need it as opposed to an adult telling them when they need help.

Students begin to realize that they have the intelligence and ability to do things for themselves, which is not only empowering to the child, but also helps develop their self-confidence.

Montessori educates the whole child.

Montessori takes the child’s education outside of the classroom.  It affects how they interact with others and the environment around them.  Students learn to care for and to respect themselves, their environment, and others around them.  They learn to be an active participant in their learning.

Montessori prepares the child for everyday life; giving them practical life skills, which gives them purpose and the ability to be contributing members of their family, classroom, and community.  Montessori sees the child not as a miniature person who needs help, but rather as an able-bodied and capable person.

 

Montessori is highly individualized to each student.

Students in the Montessori program are allowed to explore activities and concepts at their own pace.  This naturally encourages children to try more challenging areas which accelerates their learning experience.  Learning occurs at a comfortable pace for each student rather than inflicting the same rate on every child in the classroom.  Students don’t have to wait for other students to catch up or feel like a failure for not understanding a concept.

Everything in the classroom is within reach of the child, and furniture is sized for children to sit comfortably.  In addition, older children in the class work with the younger ones, so mentoring comes as much from peers as it does from the adult teachers in the classroom.  Montessori believes that developing leadership skills starts early.

 

Montessori is focused on hands-on learning.

One of the greatest benefits of the Montessori Method is the focus on hands-on learning.  Montessori emphasizes concrete learning versus the abstract.  Children work on activities that teach language, math, culture and practical life lessons.  Montessori allows children to understand the how and the why with materials.  For example, students can actually see a division problem occur as they divide each place value.  Montessori allows them to practice it over and over with the materials until it makes sense to them.

Learning in Montessori is actually fun!  When a child can learn botany by actually examining leaf examples or dissect a flower to see its parts, learning becomes engaging and fun.  Learning doesn’t come just from lectures or listening.  Learning comes from doing and experiencing the world around them. Learning becomes real and relevant rather than abstract.