Parents of children approaching preschool age often begin research by comparing play-based schools and traditional schools. Not all are aware of the child-led approach used in Montessori schools, which caters to the unique needs of each student.
At the Montessori preschool in Agoura, students explore the surrounding world with self-guided activities, receiving help from teachers only when needed. This builds independence and confidence, and encourages students to continue exploring as they grow.
Dr. Maria Montessori founded the Montessori method
In 1896, Maria Montessori was one of only a few women to achieve their medical degree. She focused her studies on psychology, leading her to teach children with learning disabilities. As she observed these children, she noticed they learned best when allowed to follow their curiosity.
Dr. Montessori noted how children learned best through play and interactive learning tools. Instead of requiring students to sit at desks and listen to a teacher lecture, she adopted an active approach. Children were free to set up their own work area and investigate their interests alone, with their classmates, and sometimes with assistance from teachers.
Montessori preschools use prepared environments
The preschool environment is appropriately sized for children, giving them confidence to treat the classroom as their world to explore. They can comfortably sit or sprawl out as they fiddle with toys, piece together puzzles, and develop their fine motor skills. Teachers rotate learning materials every so often, keeping the classroom offerings fresh.
Additionally, classes have flexible schedules, allowing children to move freely between activities. Whereas teachers are the focus of traditional preschools, Montessori teachers observe and limit their assistance to children. This method is carried into Montessori kindergarten, where students can continue to learn at their own pace.
The Montessori method has 5 principles:
- Respect for the child – Children should be treated with the same respect as adults. They are young and new to the world, and adults should help them explore the world rather than dictate it to them.
- The absorbent mind – The best way to learn is by doing.
- Sensitive periods – Children learn different ideas at different stages in their development, and education should be tailored to each stage.
- The prepared environment – Montessori schools have child-sized furniture, stimulating decor, and prepared workstations.
- Auto-education – Montessori education is self-teaching and self correcting. Incorrect answers are obvious, allowing children to correct themselves and build confidence in their self reliance.
These are only a few aspects of the Montessori method that is used throughout the globe. Students have gone on to great success—academically, personally, and professionally—proving time after time that Montessori schools benefit children of all ages and backgrounds.
Visit your local Montessori preschool in Agoura, CA to learn more
The 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 preschool and kindergarten programs in Agoura, CA.