Montessori education teaches children how to learn. It instills in them a life-long love of learning, which prepares them to successfully go in any direction their skills and interest may take them.
Children learn at their own rate. They are neither held back nor pushed forward according to the learning rates of others. Children are very different from one another in their learning styles and skill sets. It is unrealistic to expect that they will learn everything at the same rate as another. Children are allowed to work on something until they master it and are presented new concepts when they are ready for them.
Children learn how to focus and concentrate. In a Montessori school this is considered a foundational skill for all learning. A Montessori day is structured so that a child’s focus is never interrupted by having to move on to the next lesson before finishing the current one.
Children become self-directed learners. One aim of Montessori education is to nurture the inner motivation of children while allowing the opportunity for exploration of their own interests. The environment is carefully prepared to to ensure the child has the freedom to learn. Children learn to think for themselves through careful direction and the prepared environment.
Children achieve independence. Children of all ages learn to take care of themselves and their environment. Independence is important because it is directly related to high self esteem, competence and cooperation. The environment and the Montessori teacher allow for childrens’ innate drive toward independence.
Children experience order versus chaos and thus learn that the world is logical. The Montessori environment provides the sense of security and comfort children need to learn and become self-directed. The prepared environment introduces shared values, the value of cooperation, the rewards of respect for others and the environment, and the importance of grace and courtesy in life.
All children are treated with respect and dignity. In Montessori we recognize that the child is always working on the adult he is going to become. Children deserve and need to be treated wit the same respect we expect from adults. It is through mistakes that we find proper solutions. Criticism and negativity are not effective. Through focus on process and concentration on the rights of others children learn to self regulate and work persistently toward positive outcomes.
Montessori education takes a multi-disciplinary approach. If children have a particular area of interest, that interest can be explored throughout the curiculum. Learning language skills, math, art, history, etc. can all be achieved through areas of interest. In fact, when skills are presented within the context of areas of interest, those skills are more likely to be internalized.