What is Montessori?

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By Anne Christensen Pollitzer

The ideas behind Montessori Schooling were developed over 100 years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian medical doctor. She believed that you must watch the child, learn from his or her own interests and abilities and use this knowledge to devise materials and exercises that would enable him to advance his own intelligence and talent.  Children love to learn and their own excitement over their accomplishments will propel them forward in developing educational skills.

At Montessori, you will observe three and four year olds practicing skills, like zipping and snapping with dressing frames.  They will be laying out counting rods and number labels and arranging letters in words as they advance at their own pace.  By the time they are six years old, they will work with numbers in the thousands, adding and subtracting.  Also as a part of their curriculum, students will learn the parts of plants and animals, use puzzle maps of the continents, read in phonetic readers, and more.

Five year olds have a full day kindergarten program in Montessori school, with afternoon classwork in science and social studies.  They also begin foreign language and music training.

All Montessori classrooms have mixed age groups so that children learn from each other without grades.  The decor contains living plants and animals, as well as lovely art works at the child’s eye level.  The classroom atmosphere is quiet and orderly.  Children work independently and in small groups with the teacher.  The popular impression of a Montessori class is the popular 3-5 year old group, the primary class, at work.

Some famous people like Prince Harry and Prince William, Steve Jobs, and others began their educations in such classes.  If you “google” famous people who attended Montessori Schools you will find testimonials to the long-range effect that this form of education has had on its graduates.

E.C. Montessori and Grade School is located at 15 Celadon Drive on Sam’s Point Road. For more information, call (843) 525-1141 or visit www.ecmontessori.com.