Rather than fighting human nature, Montessori embraces and elevates the child’s natural tendencies, enhancing the child’s innate desire to learn and gain independence. The real-world result is a child who is extremely confident with language, who is mathematically intuitive, and who is much more independent—a child in love with learning. An ever-growing body of powerful brain and educational research supports the techniques used in Montessori classrooms as among the most effective tools in educating children.
Montessori teachers are trained to observe closely, watching for developmental stages, areas of special interest to the child, and particular activities that inspire deep concentration, enthusiasm that results from new discoveries, or challenges that a particular child is experiencing.
Montessori describes the child’s message to the adult: “Help me to do it by myself!” The Montessori classroom, carefully prepared for each age, is designed to do just that. The innovation at the foundation of the Montessori approach is the idea that learning thrives in a prepared environment that entices and inspires children, so that their own natural curiosity drives learning and growth as they develop a powerful internal drive to learn.
In the Montessori classroom, as children ages 2½ – 6+ choose their own tasks, learning comes not from a curriculum, but from the child’s own activity. Lessons are designed to inspire the child to explore and repeat a challenging exercise that engages the hands in connection with the mind.
Montessori children learn to socialize and interact with grace — skills that apply to their lives well beyond the classroom.
Because Montessori classrooms are mixed age groups, children experience natural peer relationships, develop into confident leaders, and practice consideration for others. Younger children look up to and emulate older peers, and older children step up as mentors or role models in the class.
The ultimate goal of a Montessori education is authentic, holistic independence. Montessori children gain the knowledge, confidence, creativity, and social ability that allow them to choose their own goals, whatever they may be, and pursue them over time. These are the qualities of character and mind that add up to a fulfilling adult life.