Frequently Asked Questions
AT WHAT AGE DO CHILDREN BEGIN?
Children begin the Pre-school program as close to 3 years of age as possible. Children are rarely permitted entry into a Montessori Pre-school program after turning 4 years of age.
SHOULD CHILDREN ATTEND EVERY DAY?
Children at most Montessori schools attend for 3 hours every day in order to fully participate in all facets of a wide and rounded school life. They do this to become community members rather than ‘visitors’, and to achieve continuity in their work and that of the class, as well as the greatest opportunity to experience the full range of experiences that a Montessori class offers. As our centre is a Long Day Care centre, the children can be here for up to 9 ½ hours every day, thus we have found that a minimum of 3 days in our Pre-school environment successfully meets these needs.
WHAT IS THE CHILDS LEARNING PROCESS IN THE MONTESSORI ENVIRONMENT?
In the Montessori classroom at any level the child is confronted with an orderly environment, containing a variety of concrete activities that in many cases are self-correcting. These activities progress steadily from simple to complex, and from concrete to abstract.
IS MONTESSORI SUITABLE FOR ALL CHILDREN?
The Montessori Method has been used successfully with children between the ages of 0 to 18 from all social-economic environments and with those in regular classes as well as the gifted, retarded, emotionally disturbed, and the physically handicapped. Due to Montessori’s individual approach, it is particularly suited to state education where children of many backgrounds are grouped together. It is also appropriate for classes in which the pupil/teacher ratio is high because children learn at an early age to work independently.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHILD GOES FROM A MONTESSORI CLASS TO A TRADITIONAL CLASS?
Montessori children adjust well to traditional environments. Obviously, how well a child adjusts would greatly depend on the quality of school he enters. However, a child will be better equipped because of the desire to learn that has been developing throughout their Montessori training.,
Montessori children appear to adjust readily to new classroom situations. Studies have shown that children who have had 2 or more years of Montessori experience “show a high degree of initiative in learning situations with a positive attitude toward learning, independence, and respect for the rights of others to work without interruption”.
Parents also have an influence on their child’s adjustment to the school situation. They should observe the new school and then prepare their child for the changes noticed (e.g. desks, teacher in front of the class, teacher planned schedule, etc.) An explanation that the time has come for a change that includes new and different ways of doing things will suffice. Whatever atmosphere they find at school, they can still come home to a place where his active participation in everything from housekeeping to holiday preparations is provided for. Their school curriculum can now motivate family research projects and excursions.
Even though there may be some adjustments to make in certain areas (such as not being able to choose their own work or to help each other), this is a small disadvantage compared to the tremendous advantages of a Montessori pre-school education.