Italian educator and physician Dr. Maria Montessori is renowned for developing the Montessori method, which is based on her studies and observations of early childhood. While each Montessori school varies in the details of their process, they all share the same key qualities, such as offering a learning environment that changes to give children new experiences and teachers who guide instead of lecture.
Your local Montessori preschool in Agoura Hills is one of these authentic Montessori establishments that honors Dr. Montessori’s mission to develop the whole child through self-driven and interactive learning and extracurricular enrichment.
1. A dynamic learning environment
All authentic Montessori schools have Prepared Environments. These are learning spaces that are designed to keep students engaged and intrigue their innate curiosity. In fact, the Prepared Environment is one of the most fundamental aspects of the Montessori method. Though students learn in the same classroom, the ever-changing environment turns the familiar unfamiliar, and leaves students eagerly awaiting the next activity.
When looking for a Montessori preschool for your child, take school tours to see for yourself if the classroom is an organized environment with a variety of activities within reach of small hands. There should be workstations and shelves easily accessible without adult help. When students don’t have the barrier of asking for assistance, they have the freedom to focus on themselves and what they need to satisfy their curiosity.
2. Teachers who guide students as opposed to lecturing
Certified Montessori teachers take a less hands-on approach to teaching than those in traditional settings. They rely on trained observation skills to identify each student’s progress and unique approach to learning. They know when and how to introduce new learning tools and activities, and provide assistance only when necessary. Ultimately, they want students to direct their education and decide where to take their next steps.
3. Personalized and hands-on curriculum
The Montessori curriculum broadly covers educational topics that allow students to learn the way that best suits their interest. When your child attends a Montessori school, their curriculum will be tailored to focus on their individual development. They will make creative choices about what to learn and will be provided the necessary resources. Montessori schools offer age-appropriate lessons each student can explore at their own pace, thus growing at their own pace.
4. Mixed-age classrooms
Dr. Montessori advocated for mixed-age classes ranging from 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 years old. Her reasoning was that each age group has a similar developmental stage, also allowing students to learn from each other and teach each other. She found that students of the same age didn’t always have the same understanding of similar topics, and allowing for a broader range lets younger students model the behavior of their older classmates. Older classmates further master their skills by helping their younger peers.
5. A focus on personal growth
In an authentic Montessori preschool, no age is too young to focus on personal growth. By learning to take initiative and motivate themselves, they develop confidence and responsibility, which subsequently improves their concentration and instills in them a love for learning. After seeing how far they’ve taken themselves on their own with little adult guidance, they’ll have the confidence to continue onward on their journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
Montessori Preschool in Agoura Hills
Montessori School of Agoura was founded in 1979 to inspire lifelong learning in children ages 2 through 6 years old. Our child-led curriculum develops independence and confidence in children from their first class. Contact us to learn more about our Montessori kindergarten program in Agoura Hills.