Here are some common questions that we often hear from parents like you. These questions are about our Montessori school, our teachers, how the Montessori Method works, how it benefits children, and more
THE MONTESSORI CLASSROOM
How many students are typically in a Montessori classroom?
Montessori classrooms are filled with the number of children approved in the state child care licensing regulations and limited to the room’s physical size. Most of our bambino classrooms vary from 20 to 23 students, depending on the particular state ratios, and our junior classroom is from 25 to 28 students.
Why do Montessori classrooms group different age levels together?
Mixed-age classrooms encourage the social cohesion of the group. Younger children look to their older classmates as mentors and role models. Older children are leaders of the school and help the younger children. Within three years, the children get to experience the complete cycle of social living within the group.
Is it true that the children get to do whatever they want?
There is freedom of choice within limits. The teacher prepares herself, the environment, and the children to respect themselves, each other, and the environment by setting clear boundaries and ground rules. Lessons are always given in the Montessori community before free choice occurs. This also goes back to having mixed-age groups where, for example, at the beginning of the school year, the older children are the role models who “show” others how things are done in the classroom. Respect is a key component of the school. The other piece to creating and keeping the peace is facilitating peaceful conflict resolution by helping children dialogue any problems that may arise. This is usually done at the peace table or other designated peace area of the classroom. The teacher must be prepared to handle any situations that arise and to guide the community in a calm, slow, respectful, and peaceful manner at all times. She must protect the children from disruptions, i.e., other children taking their work or bothering one another, as well as from other adults who may want to step in and “help” the child.
Is there technology in the classroom?
The Montessori curriculum has no electronic technology as a part of the educational experience. The developmental period from 0 to 6 years is sensory, and information is gathered through hands-on experiences. The young child’s world is one of sensation and concrete experiences. Maria Montessori designed her method with the philosophy that the hand is the teacher of the young child.
Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?
Montessori is a very specific curriculum with activities in Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, and Cultural Studies. Teachers work with the children on sequential presentations of exercises in all areas. We have a well-designed curriculum that caters to all our children, which teachers follow closely to assess children’s progress.
How can teachers teach so many different ages?
Montessori is an individual learning method. Each child learns at their own pace. Teachers are trained to observe and assess (informally) each child to see where the child is developmental. Based on these observations, an individual lesson is created for each child. Further, as the Montessori classroom is run as a community, older children can be role models. They show younger children how to do what they (the older children) already know—making them part of the teaching process. More youthful children look up to the older ones and want to be like them, which creates a sense of motivation to learn new things. Even those who are the same age all understand at a different level and pace; the Montessori Method allows for this freedom. There is no competition or expectation for children to learn the same things as everyone else their age at the same time. Also, with mixed-age groups, children stay with the same teacher for all three years in Montessori, enabling a close bond to be formed.
How many teachers in the classroom?
Student’s teacher’s ratio varies depending on the number of students in the classroom. Full capacity will require four teachers in Montessori Bambino and three teachers in Montessori Junior.
What special training do Montessori teachers receive?
Montessori teacher training is a specific course, including child development principles, philosophy and psychology of the Montessori Method, and instruction in every Prepared Environment exercise. The time is a one-year training at a Montessori teacher training institution. The term Montessori is not copy-protected, so it is only through the movement of the teacher that quality Montessori programs can be evaluated. MACTE is the accrediting organization monitoring Montessori teacher training institutions. We require diplomas from MACTE-accredited teacher training centers to consider employment as lead teachers in our Primary and Elementary programs.
A WELL-ROUNDED STUDENT
What does the development of the whole child mean?
Rather than focusing on the narrow academic life of young children, traditionally learning colors, letters, numbers, etc., Montessori focuses on the whole child for experiences and development in all human experience areas. A Montessori education results in an independent, curious, respectful, socialized, and educated whole child.
If children are free to choose their work, how do you ensure they receive a well-rounded education?
Montessori teachers, through our Minimum Classroom Standards, are required to keep extensive records on all children’s work introduced, practiced, and mastered in the curriculum. Although the child has the freedom to choose a career, that choice is one within limits. The teacher will subtly step in with suggestions to move the child through the entire curriculum, constantly reviewing the child’s work life
ASSESSING PROGRESS AND STUDENT OUTCOMES
How do Montessori schools report student progress?
There are two formal parent/teacher conferences offered during the school year for a personal discussion of the children’s work. Informal teacher conferences are welcome anytime the parent requests. More frequent weekly notes are sent home in the infant and toddler environments regarding children’s daily activities and care.
How do children transition from the Montessori version of kindergarten to first grade, and will you prepare my child for public school?
Children who complete the three-year cycle in a Montessori primary environment are developmentally ready to transition into the public or other private school setting. Maria Montessori International preschool provides a pre-elementary learning program to prepare children for Interviews and assessments in elementary school. There will be four types of evaluation that they will go through for a year before graduating;
- English Language (Cambridge)
- Vietnamese Language
How does the school communicate with parents?
Most of our schools use email as the main communication with parents: school newsletters, classroom newsletters, teacher notes, and little live app. Our schools offer monthly or quarterly Parent Education opportunities to communicate the method and philosophy with parents.
THE MONTESSORI APPROACH
What is Montessori?
Montessori is a method and philosophy for teaching children, based on the work of pioneering educator Maria Montessori. In our school, we have children from ages 18 months through 6 years old. We offer two programs for these children, one is for toddler “Montessori Bambino” (18 months to 3 years old), and the other is for older children “Montessori Junior” (3 to 6 years old), which does include the “kindergarten” year. Montessori is designed to be an individualized program and is unique for each child. Montessori offers a Prepared Environment that fosters each child’s independence and helps him develop socially and academically. Children are free to explore and discover independently; however, there are very clear boundaries and ground rules that must be adhered to and monitored by the teacher. The teacher is the first and very important part of the Prepared Environment. Montessori classrooms are thought of more as communities than classrooms. They must be cooperative for the method to work.
What is the main benefit of a Montessori education?
Montessori Education is preparation for life. Independence, confidence, and an inquiring mind are the results of this Education, achieved through a sense of order and respect. Montessori is a sensory education, and the children are effortlessly able to classify and categorize their world through the work in the Prepared Environment of the Montessori classroom. The result is sequential in order and moves from concrete sensorial experiences to abstract understanding of the world. Montessori prepares the child to be a socially engaged and respectful member of society through these experiences.
Does Montessori Unlimited offer truly authentic Montessori schools?
An authentic Montessori classroom has a certified Montessori teacher, a full inventory of Montessori material for the ages of the children in the class, and a mixed-age grouping of students. We additionally have a set of minimum classroom standards on which all rooms are evaluated for Montessori authenticity and execution.
Are Montessori schools religious?
Montessori schools are not based on any particular religion or religious practices.
What type of food is offered, and how are meals served?
Our schools offer a prepared lunch each day and morning and afternoon snacks in the classrooms. We try to include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nutritious offerings in all the food served. Vegetarian options are available. Lunch is served buffet style. Snacks are an individual offering in the classroom and accessible to all students.
What are the tuition rates?
Tuition rates vary by school. Please contact your local school for specific tuition rates.
How do I get my child started on the Montessori path?
The Montessori Unlimited admission process begins with a tour and interview. Our administrative director meets with you and may encounter with your child to determine your child’s readiness. We also want to know what you’re seeking in a school experience so that we can personalize your child’s experience from the very beginning.