FAQ’s: Montessori Methodology

Aren’t Montessori children free to do whatever they want in the classroom? How do you ensure each one gets a fully rounded education?

Montessori children are free to choose within limits, and have only as much freedom as they can handle with appropriate responsibility. The classroom teachers ensure that children do not interfere with each other, and that each child is progressing at her appropriate pace in all subjects. Through observation and record keeping teachers are aware of the areas where each child has received lessons and require new lessons. The teacher, as guide, helps children make choices that will ensure that they are spending appropriate time in each subject area.

Montessori classrooms look so different…. Where are the students’ desks? Where do teachers stand?

The teacher facilitates learning for each individual child.  Each classroom employs a child-centered approach where the child directs his or her daily activities with the guidance and support of the teacher. Children work at tables or on the carpet where they can spread out their materials, and the teacher circulates about the room, giving lessons or resolving issues as they arise.

Are Montessori schools able to prepare students for Kindergarten as adequately as a “traditional” preschool?

Yes, absolutely. However, our approach may look different than what you would see at a traditional preschool. At Beach Gathering Montessori Preschool we encourage deep learning of the concepts behind Kindergarten readiness skills rather than rote practice of abstract techniques. We also take into consideration the individual strengths and needs of each student, allowing teachers to keep children challenged at all levels and in all subject areas, rather than expecting every student to be challenged by the same work.

How do you assess a Montessori student’s progression of learned concepts?

Parents of children at Beach Gathering Montessori Preschool will receive weekly email updates regarding basic curriculum and themes.  They will also have the opportunity to meet with teachers to learn more about their individual child’s classroom work, what they have mastered, goals they are working toward, as well as areas of strength and those in need of reinforcement.

Since Montessori classrooms emphasize non-competitiveness, how are students adequately prepared for real-life competition later on?

Montessori classrooms emphasize competition with oneself: self-monitoring, self-correction, and a variety of other executive skills aimed at continuous improvement. By engaging in this type of learning, students learn to self-regulate, take risks, become comfortable with their strengths and learn how to address their weaknesses.

How does Religious Education and Godly Play fit into a Montessori Curriculum?

Montessori philosophy emphasizes educating the “whole” child, which includes cognitive, physical, social emotional and spiritual development.  Montessori believed that society, the family and teachers should introduce religious concepts in a living model. The conditions for development of religious disposition go hand in hand with normal psychological development.

Why are Montessori Classroom multi-aged?

Multi-age grouping gives many advantages to learning, including the following:

  • Children can progress through the curriculum at their own pace, guided by an individualized learning plan.
  • The classroom serves all students well because it is enriched with materials for the age-range, up to the level of challenging the interests of the most advanced students. Advanced students are always challenged and can “skip ahead.” It is acceptable and expected that students will excel in one area but may struggle with basic concepts in another.
  • The three year curriculum gives each student space to grow at various levels while meeting end-criteria before moving forward.
  • Younger students are constantly stimulated by the interesting work of older students.
  • Older students serve as tutors and role-models, providing leadership experiences.
  • Older students grow from helping younger students and reinforce their own knowledge by teaching others. They also learn to empathize with the needs of children who are younger than themselves, building important social and character skills.
  • By staying in a classroom for a three year period, children develop a strong sense of community and stability.
  • Being in the same classroom year after year allows a teacher to truly learn each individual child’s learning abilities, style, and developmental level to better be able to set the learning agenda as well as build on strengths and work on weaknesses.


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