Academic Advantage of a Montessori Education
The Montessori method offers students an introduction to academics at their own, flexible pace.
Introducing children into concepts like math and reading in this way, allows them to own more of their education. When students have individualized pacing for learning, they are free to explore unique aspects of learning materials, logic concepts, and problem-solving.
At Montessori schools, students learn concepts through hands-on, self-directed discovery. One example of this idea is the Numbers and Counters activity. Students place the numbers 1-10 in order on a work mat. Then, students place the correct amount of “counter” dots underneath the number and say the number’s name out loud. This activity helps children to understand what numbers look like, counting order, and what amounts the numbers signify.
Teachers work alongside students, coaching them along the way, as opposed to traditional teaching methods where the teacher would be instructing in front of the student. Students learn the concepts as they discover them on their own, rather than passively receiving a transfer of knowledge. This student-teacher relationship allows for creativity in problem-solving.
Reading and Writing
Montessori graduates know how to read and write before going into kindergarten. Kindergarten Teachers instruct their students on reading and writing, but only within the strict framework of traditional methods. Students who require more time learning these necessary skills are left behind by this system.
Through activities that encourage a gradual introduction to letters, sounds, writing, word building, and reading, Montessori students learn and remember each concept better. For example, in the sandboard activity, students learn the shape of letters by tracing them with their fingers on textured boards. Students are shown to trace the letters in the same way they are written to prepare them for writing. Students learn the sound of the letter as well. Students are introduced to letter names later, though. For better retention, students only learn the letter sounds at this point.
Research studies have shown that often, young students in traditional education settings don’t understand most of what they are instructed. This can result in stifled creativity and uncooperative students that are bored and restless. At Montessori schools, the Montessori method cultivates abilities such as cooperation, creativity, and self-discipline naturally.