4 Pillars of Montessori Preschool Education
1. Multi-age Classroom
A Montessori classroom is made up of children ranging in ages from 2.9 to 6 years. The children stay in the same classroom through kindergarten. Multi-age grouping affords the opportunity for the more experienced children to mentor their younger classmates. This reinforces their own learning and boosts their confidence and self-esteem. It also develops a sense of community and caring among the children.
Independence is fostered in a Montessori classroom for even the youngest child by the way it is set up. The environment is organized in such a way that the child knows where things are and has everything he needs to complete the tasks on his own. He feels the freedom and confidence to make choices and experiences a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
3. Individualized Learning
While children are by nature curious, each develops at her own rate. In a Montessori environment, materials are hands-on and the teacher is a guide, showing the child the mechanics of an activity and then stepping back to let the child explore for herself. The classroom is rich in materials that encompass language, math, science, cultural studies as well as art and music.
Young children communicate both verbally and non-verbally. Helping children express their thoughts and feelings with a friend, in a group or with an adult is an important part of what happens in a Montessori environment. With a mixed age classroom there are many role models, similar to the dynamics of a family.
Learn More from the Montessori Foundation.