Why Canadian Parents send their kids to Montessori School
Conventional, institutionalized education places children in large groups where concepts are taught by a teacher. Each child has their own desk, and the teacher is at the head of the classroom where instruction is dispensed. The children learn their concepts largely by rote; meaning, they memorize the what’s of a concept without necessarily understanding the how’s.
Montessori Education’s internationally renowned approach focuses on creating an environment where the child discovers concepts of their own volition. It is more a holistic approach, taking all of a child’s needs into consideration, and shaping their education accordingly.
Your child is guided to learn at their own pace with self-correcting materials. The teacher’s role is unobtrusive; he or she becomes a guide, and a resource when the child needs them, moving quietly throughout the classroom so as not to disrupt the concentration.
Children learn largely through their own sense of self-development. They are treated as individuals who differ from adults, and who differ from each other. Their innate joy for discovery is a natural one, and Montessori learning enables them to become active, intuitive individuals.
You will be amazed at the individual mastery each child achieves, in all subjects, because they have been enabled to discover for themselves, in a guided environment. They learn at a quicker rate than in traditional methods, but more importantly they discover how a concept applies in a practical sense. What they learn is not just conceptual, but an application to their everyday lives.
BMS is offering Excellence in Montessori Education for Toddler, Preschool (daycare age), Kindergarten and Elementary aged students through Grade 6.
What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education or daycare?
A BMS Montessori education supports the individual personality and learning style of each child, from 18 months (daycare age) through Grade 6. It promotes the total development of your child and of the adult he becomes. The focus is learning how to learn, rather than what to learn.
In a Montessori classroom children are free to move about the classroom choosing their work appropriate for their current stage of development. They are able to work at their own pace allowing the faster learners to move ahead and slower learners to take more time to gain a complete understanding of the topic. They are not required to sit and listen to a teacher talk to them as a group, but are engaged in individual or group activities of their own, with materials that have been introduced to them 1:1 by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do.
Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.
Montessori classrooms don’t look like regular classrooms. Where are the rows of desks? Where does the teacher stand?
The different arrangement of a Montessori classroom mirrors the Montessori methods differences from traditional education. Rather than putting the teacher at the focal point of the class, with children dependent on her for information and activity, the classroom shows a literally child-centered approach. Children work at tables or on floor mats where they can spread out their materials, and the teacher circulates about the room, giving lessons or resolving issues as they arise.
How Does Montessori Work?
In a Montessori environment, children learn by exploring and manipulating specially designed materials. Each material teaches one concept or skill at a time, and lays a foundation from which students can comprehend increasingly abstract ideas.
Children work with materials at their own pace, repeating an exercise until it is mastered. The teacher may gently guide the process, but her goal is to inspire rather than instruct. The teacher relies on his or her observations of the children to determine which new activities and materials may be introduced to an individual child or to a small or large group.
Throughout the classroom, beautifully prepared, inviting curriculum areas contain a sequential array of lessons to be learned. As students work through the sequence, they build and expand on materials and lessons already mastered. And all the while they are developing qualities with which they’ll approach every future challenge: autonomy, creative thinking, and satisfaction in a job well done.
Why does Montessori have multi age classrooms?
The multi-age grouping in each class provides a family-like setting where learning can take place naturally. More experienced children share what they have learned while reinforcing their own knowledge and skills. The multi-age community interaction is intrinsic to Montessori. This encourages rich language experiences, and opportunities for the development of empathy and social learning.
How is Creativity Encouraged?
Creativity thrives in an atmosphere of acceptance and trust. Montessorians recognize that children, from toddlers to teenagers, learn and express themselves in a very individual way. Making choices, taking risks, self-correction of mistakes, openness to different perspectives, and the growth of self-confidence all encourage creativity to flourish.
Music, art, storytelling, movement, and drama are part of every Montessori programme, as well as an emphasis on the sensory aspect of experience; and the opportunity for both verbal and nonverbal modes of learning
Excerpted from the “Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators”
What is Authentic Montessori?
Since Montessori is a word in the public domain, it is possible for any individual or institution to claim to be Montessori. An authentic Montessori classroom must have the following basic characteristics at all levels:
- A classroom atmosphere which encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development.
- A schedule which allows large blocks of time to problem-solve, to see connections in knowledge and to create new ideas.
- A diverse set of Montessori materials, activities, and experiences which are designed to foster physical, intellectual, creative, social, and personal independence.
- A partnership established with the family. The family is considered an integral part of the individual’s total development.
- Teachers educated in the Montessori philosophy and the methodology for the age level they are teaching, who have the ability and dedication to put the key concepts into practice.
- A multi-aged, multi-graded heterogeneous grouping of students.
BMS meets and exceeds all of these characteristics. Please book a tour and get a feeling for the school environment first-hand!
Excerpted from the “Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators”
What special training do Montessori teachers have?
Beyond Montessori School has a very dedicated, nurturing and high quality faculty. They are properly qualified to teach the age, grade or program they are teaching. All our Montessori faculty, Toddler to Grade 6, has been trained in Montessori Training Centres and are certified to teach in a Montessori classroom. All Faculty, working with our students in or out of class, is required to have a vulnerable sector criminal reference check and first-aid certification.
Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?
Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools, and offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar—such as math, science, history, geography, and language—but they are presented through an integrated approach that brings separate strands of the curriculum together.
While studying a map of Africa, for example, students may explore the art, history, and inventions of several African nations. This may lead them to examine ancient Egypt, including hieroglyphs and their place in the history of writing. The study of the pyramids, of course, is a natural bridge to geometry.
This approach to curriculum shows the interrelatedness of all things. It also allows students to become thoroughly immersed in a topic—and to give their curiosity full rein.
Excerpted from the American Montessori Society
To Awaken and Nurture the Human Spirit
Montessori consciously designs social communities and educational experiences that cultivate the child’s sense of independence, self-respect, love of peace, passion for self-chosen work done well, and ability to respect and celebrate the individual spirit within people of all ages and the value of all life.
Stewardship for the Earth: We seek to instill in our students, parents, and staff not only a reverence for the earth, its waters, and all living things, but also a sense of stewardship for the environment based on a conviction of our individual responsibility for the beauty of the land and the health of our ecosystems.
Universal Values: Montessori deliberately teaches children not only appropriate patterns of polite behavior, but seeks to instill basic universal values within the core of the child’s personality. These values include self-respect, acceptance of the uniqueness and dignity of each person we meet, kindness, peacefulness, compassion, empathy, honor, individual responsibility, and courage to speak from our hearts.
Global Understanding: All Montessori schools are, to a large degree, international schools. They not only tend to attract a diverse student body representing many ethnic backgrounds, religions, and international backgrounds, but they actively celebrate their diversity. The curriculum is international in its heritage and focus, and consciously seeks to promote a global perspective.
Social Responsibility: Montessori’s spiritual perspective leads Montessori schools to consciously organize programs of community service ranging from daily contributions to others within the class or school setting, to community outreach programs that allow children and adults to make a difference in the lives of others. The fundamental idea is one of stewardship.
Excerpted from “The International Montessori Council”
Teaching Conflict Resolution / Peace Curriculum
At BMS conflict resolution is referred to as our Peace Curriculum. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that a child’s early experiences were of paramount importance in facilitating the peace process. She called it “the science of peace”: a pragmatic, concrete way to teach peaceful resolutions.
AT BMS, even our youngest students are taught how to resolve conflict themselves, peacefully. They learn and become aware of the choices available to them for peaceful solutions and they are supported and guided in these choices. In addition, many of the Montessori classroom materials teach the importance of nurturing and caring about life.
When Your Child Transitions from a Montessori School
Montessori children are usually adaptive. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they’ve been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, these children are problem-solvers who can make choices and manage their time well.
They have also been encouraged to exchange ideas and to discuss their work freely with others, and good communication skills ease the way in new settings.
Research has shown that the best predictor of future success is a strong sense of self-esteem. Montessori programs, based on self-directed, non-competitive activities, help children develop good self-images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism.
Excerpted from the “Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators”
Is Montessori good for all children?
Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multi age grouping allows each child to find one’s own pace without feeling “ahead” or “behind” in relation to peers. **As a small private school, it must be noted that we do not have EA’s available to assist within the classroom; a child that requires consistent one-on-one interaction due to a developmental diagnosis, would not receive the classroom accommodations that would allow the child to flourish within our care. Children requiring educational assistance cannot be considered for enrolment at this time.
Are Montessori children successful later in life?
Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Montessori Materials and their potential for your child
Are Montessori schools religious?
No. Montessori educates children without reference to religious denomination. As a result, our classrooms are extremely diverse, with representation from all peoples, cultures and religions.
Isn't Montessori just a preschool?
Montessori schools may be best known for their programs with young children (daycare and kindergarten age), but the underlying educational method describes programs for students up through high school. At BMS, we offer a Core-French Montessori Elementary Program through Grade 6.