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How a Prepared Environment Helps Montessori Children Succeed
Lifetime Montessori School Teachers Build Children's Strengths Individually
By: Lifetime Montessori school
"In a Montessori classroom, teachers build each child's social and academic development into a world we've created just for them," Edwards says. "Via classroom tools, small-sized rooms and sensory learning, we create consistency to achieve balance. And that balance is both social and academic."
The Prepared Environment
Maria Montessori wrote 120 years ago that everything a child comes into contact with should bolster independent learning.
In a Montessori classroom, children learn individually and independently by teaching concepts. Studies show that this freedom gives students the ability to learn more about what interests them. This key element separates Montessori from other schools that teach via rote learning.
Materials and tools that are displayed in a Montessori classroom are made of different materials, shapes, and colors. In this way, children learn by touch and feel. Wood, metal and glass are three types of real and child-sized materials used.
Peer age learning and social interaction are other core elements. Montessori encourages age-range learning. In this scenario, younger children learn from older children over the course of two or three years. This tactic allows the youngest to learn quickly while the older child feels satisfaction and empathy.
This key element separates Montessori from other public or parochial schools that teach in rigid age groups.
Since Montessori classroom children are learning at their own speed and learning about what naturally interests them, they become independent thinkers. And, if their math skills are behind another student's but are stronger in geography, the children will cooperatively work together to learn and transfer their strengths one to the other. Peer age learning works.
Montessori children succeed when they are comfortable, confident, feel valued, and know his or her place in the world. "They develop more mental needs—not just basic needs," says Edwards. "Our teachers do everything possible to help each child become aligned with their social and intellectual environments, so they emotionally grow. This allows the child to grow via academic intelligence and emotional intelligence. And these two key elements help grow what Maria Montessori called "the whole child," says Edwards.
Lifetime Montessori School in Santaluz, an inland suburb in San Diego County, teaches 200 students aged 18 months to nine years. Programs include toddler, primary thru K, and elementary Grades 1-6 for children living in the Carmel Valley, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Sur, and 4S Ranch.