4 Things To Consider Before Choosing A Montessori School
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Learn about Montessori
If you are looking to enroll your child in a Montessori school, there are a few key things you should consider. Looking closely at the school’s programs will show you how much they adhere to what the Montessori method is meant to be. Although these schools share a common philosophy, you should understand why the Montessori name is not trademarked. No legal regulations exist regarding which schools or daycare programs must conform to the ideas that define the Montessori approach. The following are several things you should look for if you want to make sure your child receives a proper Montessori education.
Montessori schools often choose to join a professional organization, such as the American Montessori Society (AMS). The AMS membership level of the school reflects how many classes are led by teachers that hold credentials from an accredited program. If a school is a full-member, this means the lead teacher in every class holds such credentials.
In the United States, Montessori schools that serve children below kindergarten age are typically licensed by local or state agencies. Although these licenses do not address the Montessori education itself, they assure that basic health, safety, and teacher training standards are met.
A Montessori classroom should be clean, organized, and inviting. You should see soft colors and organized, simple spaces, which are important factors in promoting a calm and focused environment for children. Instead of desk space, you should see spaces designed for group activity and areas where a child can settle in alone. Look for learning materials in these different spaces. The materials are typically beautifully crafted tools made to be explored and handled by children. The materials should be displayed in a neat fashion on tables or shelves.
Montessori classrooms typically consist of students whose ages span three years apart. Older children serve as role models for the younger children. Each student should be supported as a part of a caring, close community. All of the students are encouraged to be self-directed and independent. Children are usually free to move around the room, speak with each other, and choose independent or group activities to complete.
The teachers at a Montessori academy should be keen observers and guides. Instructors should know each child’s interests and learning style. Students should see their teacher as a resource to help them move through the curriculum as they learn new skills and concepts.
Teachers are never the center of attention in a Montessori classroom. Many times, you will see a teacher sitting on the floor demonstrating a small group lesson or taking notes of each student’s progress. A teacher trained in the Montessori method brings essential skills to their classroom. If the school you are looking into is not a member of AMS, ask if any of the teachers have credentials from a Montessori training program.
If you are not sure about the credentials at a Montessori school, be sure to ask someone during your tour. The staff at each school should be willing to help you with your questions and show you exactly how their academy can enhance your child’s education.
Amarillo Montessori Academy in Amarillo, Texas If you are going to tour a Montessori school for your child, keep the above factors in mind and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Contact Amarillo Montessori Academy today and schedule a tour to see how we can help your child grow with our unique educational methods. You can call us at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to set up an appointment and learn more about our Admissions Process. You can also visit us in person at 3806 S Bowie in Amarillo, Texas to see how a Montessori education can benefit your child.
How Are Practical Life Exercises Used In A Montessori Classroom?
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Pre-school at a Montessori academy
Montessori classrooms are filled with interesting ways for a child to explore their world. Practical life exercises are just one of the tools used to help children gain control of their movements and adapt to their surroundings. Children use these exercises to learn how to do everyday living activities in a purposeful way. The following will help to better explain just what practical life exercises entail.
Purpose of practical life exercises
Dr. Maria Montessori, creator of the Montessori method, developed the idea of practical life exercises. These exercises allow children to perform activities of daily life and help them adapt to a changing environment and society. The ultimate goal of practical life exercises is to help children gain control of their movements and gain independence. This educational practice also aids in the growth and development of the child’s concentration and intellect.
Practical life exercise groups
Practical life exercises are placed into four different categories: preliminary applications, applied applications, control of movement, and grace and courtesy. During preliminary exercises, the child will learn basic movements such as folding, pouring, and carrying. During applied exercises, the child learns about care and maintenance. These exercises may include basic hygiene and self-care routines, like the act of washing hands. Activities may also include care of the environment, like sweeping outdoors. Grace and courtesy exercises usually deal with manners and interacting with others. Control of movement exercises help a child learn things about their movements. This aspect of practical life exercises helps children refine their coordination through activities such as walking in a straight line.
Characteristics of practical life exercises
The activities associated with practical life exercises are designed to resemble everyday tasks. All materials used in these activities are familiar, breakable, functional, and real. The objects are related to the child’s culture and time. The materials are also designed to be attractive. Dr. Montessori believed a child should be offered materials that are pleasing to the eyes, so that they may be prepared to enter into a more subtle world.
The materials used in a Montessori classroom come from natural sources such as metal, ceramic, glass, wood, and natural fibers. These objects are usually attractive in color or shape. The child is enticed by the exterior beauty of an object, but will become more interested in the utility it performs. Montessori classrooms are filled with new and exciting learning materials for your child to explore. If you would like to learn more about providing your child with a unique education, contact Amarillo Montessori Academy today. Call us at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to set up an appointment and to learn more about the Admissions Process. You can also visit us in person at 3806 S Bowie in Amarillo, Texas to see how a Montessori education can benefit your child.
The Differences Between Montessori And Private Preschool Education
Monday, February 13th, 2017
Parents thinking about sending their child to preschool should consider the advantages of a Montessori school instead. This type of schooling is a popular choice among many parents due to the various advantages their children can experience. Montessori schools are a distinct alternative to preschools, with their own education style, philosophy, and methods. The following will help you better understand just how a Montessori school differs from private preschools.
Education at private preschools
Private preschools serve to prepare children for kindergarten. Parents who send their children to a preschool often want them to have a jump-start on their education. Sending a child to preschool is supposed to give them a taste of what school will be like once they enter kindergarten. Unfortunately, many preschools are focused simply on day care rather than early education.
Parents paying for their child to attend a private preschool should make sure their child will spend time learning. Young children benefit from hands-on learning, like practicing counting with blocks or painting to develop fine motor skills. Montessori school’s utilize these types of learning methods and more, which is what helps them to better prepare your child.
Education at Montessori schools
Parents can choose to send their children to a Montessori school for preschool, but this method of education also includes elementary, middle, and high school. Unlike public and private school, a Montessori academy has a child-centered learning environment. In other environments, the teacher is the center of the classroom. Montessori teachers do not lecture but assist students in finding their potential through active learning experiences in an uninterrupted learning environment.
Montessori schools offer student-directed learning instead of learning based on a curriculum. Teaching methods focus on a hands-on approach to learning. The Montessori classroom aims to develop all aspects of a child’s psyche, including emotional and intellectual aspects.
Choosing Amarillo Montessori Academy
Amarillo Montessori Academy in Amarillo, Texas has a mission to show your child how to be more confident and academically prepared. Your child can become part of an environment that will allow them to become a lifelong learner and problem solver. Call us today at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to see how your child can receive a unique and successful education. You can also visit us at 3806 S. Bowie Street in Amarillo to see for yourself how this approach to education can benefit your child and learn more about our admissions process
How Learning Materials Are Used In A Montessori Classroom
Monday, February 13th, 2017
Montessori teaching materials
A Montessori academy classroom holds many unique, hands-on learning materials. If you were to visit a Montessori classroom, you may see a toddler pouring water from a small pitcher into another. You may also see a child using 3-dimensional letters to learn the alphabet. Throughout a Montessori classroom, children use various materials to develop motor skills and learn basic knowledge. Learning materials should interest children, provide active learning opportunities, and offer exploration experiences. Learning materials should interest children
The learning materials in a Montessori classroom are typically made of smooth, polished wood. Some objects are made of wicker, enameled metal, or fabric. Many classrooms also have items from outside, like seashells or rocks. Some of the materials may be fragile. Montessori teachers believe children learn from making mistakes. If a child does break something in the classroom, they will learn a lesson about being careful. Children in a Montessori classroom know to take care of their learning materials all by themselves.
Materials should be designed for active learning
Maria Montessori, the creator of the Montessori education approach, believed that moving and learning are linked together. A child should have opportunities built into the learning process that require them to look, listen, smell, touch, taste, and move. The learning materials in a Montessori classroom are designed to support children by creating active learning experiences.
Inviting discovery through procedure and learning
Lessons in the Montessori classroom consist of procedures for each set of materials. An instructor may give a lesson to one child or a small group of children. Often times, a child will learn a lesson by watching others, or they may learn through exploring certain items freely. A lesson for a young child may be silent and only a few moments long. The child may be required to lay their work on a mat or table in an orderly fashion. Lessons such as these help children develop organizational skills and work habits. The lessons never give the child the answers, but allow them to problem solve on their own or with assistance from the teacher.
Amarillo Montessori Academy
Montessori classrooms are filled with new and exciting learning materials for your child to explore. If you would like to learn more about a providing your child with a unique education, contact Amarillo Montessori Academy today. Call us at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to set up an appointment and to learn more about the Admissions Process. You can also visit us in person at 3806 S Bowie in Amarillo, Texas to see how a Montessori education
Why Art Is Important For Childhood Development
Monday, December 5th, 2016
Painting at a Montessori Academy
Most school curricula in the United States is heavily centered on core subjects like math and reading. In many schools, art has been pushed aside as an unnecessary luxury, but this trend can be detrimental to the creative development of small children. Creating and appreciating the visual aesthetics of art is an important building block of education for the next generation. In a Montessori academy, the arts are used to build the creative development of every child. The following will discuss the important role of the arts in childhood development and their place in a Montessori classroom.
Art increases fine motor skills
The motions involved in the process of making art, such as scribbling with a crayon or using a paintbrush, help develop fine motor skills in children. According to the National Institutes of Health, children should be achieving developmental milestones such as drawing a circle and using safety scissors by age 3. Montessori classrooms emphasize the use of drawing and safety scissors to develop the dexterity that children need for writing.
Language development is enhanced by art
The process of making and talking about art provides young children with the opportunity to learn words for actions, shapes, and colors. Art is used as a platform in Montessori classrooms that allow children to learn many new things. Simple actions such as crumpling up a piece of paper and referring to it as a “ball” can enhance memory and language development.
Art strengthens visual learning
Sculpting, drawing, painting, and threading beads can develop visual-spatial skills in small children. In today’s world, these skills are more important than ever. Many children know how to operate smartphones and tablets, which means they are taking in a lot of visual information before they can even read.
Children are learning much more from graphic sources than they did in the past. These children must know more about their world than just what they learn through numbers and text. Educating children in the arts will show them how to criticize, interpret, and use visual information in everyday life. Its importance in childhood development is why art is one of the many sensory practices used in Montessori classrooms.
Amarillo Montessori Academy
Art is an important part of any Montessori education plan. Amarillo Montessori Academy in Amarillo, Texas has a mission to show your child how to be more confident and academically prepared. Your child can become part of an environment that will allow them to become a lifelong learner and problem solver. Call us today at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to see how your child can receive a unique and successful education. You can also visit us at 3806 S. Bowie Street in Amarillo to see for yourself how this approach to education can benefit your child and learn more about our admissions process.
Preparing Your Child For A Montessori Preschool
Monday, December 5th, 2016
Pre-school at a Montessori academy
When it comes time to prepare your child for preschool at a Montessori academy, there will be many factors that need to be addressed. Starting preschool is not just a transition for your child. You will also be experiencing changes. Montessori academies want preschool to be an exciting time for you and your child. Preparing for school plays an important role in easing your child’s nerves and promoting a good attitude. The following tips can help both you and your child prepare for preschool at a Montessori academy.
Experience social events away from home
Children need to learn how to spend time away from their parents. Your child will need to learn this important lesson so they can feel comfortable and safe with other trusted adults. It is especially important for your child to know that social events away from home can be fun and enjoyable.
Arrange play dates or short summer classes for your child and try increasing the time they are away from you gradually. Explain each time that you will be gone for awhile but that you will return. Returning on time is important so your child learns to trust that when they are separated from you, you will come back as promised.
Visit the Montessori academy in person
Familiarize your child with the school and surrounding area prior to their first day. Drive by the Montessori school and point out features of the area. A week before preschool starts, call and ask to visit inside and perhaps speak with your child’s teacher. While you are there, be sure and check out areas such as the library, lobby, and playground if these are available.
Discuss how Montessori academies work
Have occasional conversations with your child about what to expect in their Montessori classroom. Talk about the fun activities and work they will experience during their time at school. Remember to keep the conversations light, brief, and consistent so your child can begin to feel comfortable about going to preschool.
Use brief and positive goodbyes
On the first day of Montessori preschool, make your goodbye brief but positive. Parents often fall into a pattern of giving one hug after another, which turns into a lengthy goodbye. This creates separation anxiety for both you and your child, and leaves your child with confusion and stress as they begin their day. You want to convey confidence to your child when you say goodbye. Showing your child that separating is easy for you will make it easier for them.
Know the importance of sleep and a healthy breakfast
Ensuring your child gets enough sleep and a healthy breakfast is one of the most important ways to prepare them for preschool at a Montessori academy. A child with adequate sleep will wake on their own, so establish a bedtime routine and remain consistent with it. Follow a good night’s sleep with a healthy, energizing breakfast.
The above tools will give your child what they need to start their education at a Montessori academy. Contact Amarillo Montessori Academy today and schedule a tour to see how we can help your child grow with our unique educational methods. You can call us at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to set up an appointment. You can visit us in person at 3806 S Bowie in Amarillo, Texas to see how a Montessori education can benefit your child and learn more about our admissions process.
How A Montessori Academy Uses The Senses For Development
Monday, October 10th, 2016
Montessori teaching materials
All children begin to learn about the world and their surroundings by using their five senses. Touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell all work to stimulate the cognitive development of a child. It is extremely important to give each child the opportunity to use their senses as they interact with and explore their environment. Many educational materials used in a Montessori classroom help each child develop these sensory and cognitive skills on their own.
Sensory education in a Montessori classroom
As a child develops their five senses, their ability to learn other skills will grow. Sensory experiences also raise a child’s curiosity. Stimulating the five senses will send signals to a child’s brain and strengthen the pathways for learning. Sensory education in a Montessori classroom aids children in the process of understanding new information.
A Montessori classroom contains eleven sensory materials that are used for developing and training the senses, each with its own characteristics. These characteristics include control of error, isolation of a single quality, active involvement, and attractiveness. For example, control of error means the materials are made so that children can see when they have made a mistake. Active involvement means the material used encourages an active learning role, rather than a passive process like simply watching.
The purpose of sensory materials in education
Sensory materials serve to train a child’s senses to focus on a particular subject. The materials also sharpen a child’s power to observe and visually discriminate as a tool to ready them for the next level of education. The materials strengthen thought processes by helping children classify, distinguish, and organize. Many of these benefits prepare children for reading and writing.
Cognitive skills developed using sensory education
A child’s cognitive development refers to thinking skills such as memory, reasoning, intelligence, and the ability to problem solve. Cognitive ability allows children to process collected information from the senses. Most cognitive skills are learned, which means they can be improved with a Montessori education. Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget categorized several stages of cognitive development. The first stage, sensorimotor, occurs during a child’s first two years of life. During this stage, infants and toddlers use their senses to discover and explore their world. The cognitive development of a child increases as they take in information discovered through their senses. A child becomes aware of their immediate environment in the beginning, but soon progresses to developing memory. This is why children in the sensorimotor stage of learning should be encouraged to use their senses to explore their environment. This education method is the cornerstone of all Montessori classrooms.
Amarillo Montessori Academy in Amarillo, Texas helps children use their senses to become more confident and academically prepared. Call us today at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to see how your child can receive a unique and successful education. You can also visit us at 3806 S. Bowie Street in Amarillo to see for yourself how our academy can benefit your child and to learn more about the admissions process.
The Montessori Approach To Healing Separation Anxiety
Monday, October 10th, 2016
Mother hugging child before dropping them off at a Montessori academy
It is normal for preschool students to have a sense of separation anxiety during their first few days of school. This form of anxiety often comes from not knowing what to expect or after a disruption at home. When one of the above situations occur and a child reaches school in distress, it can be upsetting for everyone involved. However, there are methods that can help children heal from their anxiety. Read on to learn more about how separation anxiety is handled in a Montessori Academy and how both teachers and parents can help.
What parents can do to alleviate separation anxiety
As the parent of a student, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive about dropping them off on the first day of school. It may not be easy, but it is important to make the goodbye positive and quick. Give your child a hug, tell them you love them, and give them assurance you will be back later. After you have done these steps, walk away.
Consider sending items from home to comfort your child when they are upset or missing you. Comfort items can be a favorite stuffed animal or photos of you and other members of the family. Your child can take these items out when they are feeling upset to feel like a part of their home is with them. What Montessori teachers can do to help with separation anxiety
A child in distress affects teachers, their parents, and the other children in the classroom. Teachers will need to address a child with separation anxiety by nurturing them and supporting their parents. The other children may become upset observing a child in distress, so the teacher will try to calm everyone as gently and quickly as possible.
When a Montessori teacher is at the door and ready to greet children with a smile it greatly reduces a child’s separation anxiety. Seeing a smiling and friendly face can make school seem less scary and help reduce anxiety about going.
Separation anxiety not only affects children, as many parents will also have a difficult time saying goodbye. Montessori teachers will be reassuring, patient, and understanding of these feelings. They can also help parents in setting up routines for saying goodbye and picking up their child to make this new transition easier.
When a child is experiencing separation anxiety in the classroom, the teacher should try to keep them close. During group activities, teachers can have the child sit next to them. Often, the child will lose interest in staying so close and will wander off to join the other children, effectively overcoming their anxiety.
Separation anxiety in children can be quite challenging at times. The best thing for children, parents, and teachers is to establish routines and be consistent. At Amarillo Montessori Academy, our instructors understand anxiety and can help you and your child feel safe and comfortable. Call us at (806) 353-3817 or Contact Us by email to see how our educational environment can benefit your child. You can also visit us at 3806 S. Bowie Street in Amarillo to see for yourself how our approach to education can benefit your child or to ask about admissions.
4 Common Questions About Montessori Schools
Monday, July 18th, 2016
Many people often have questions about the environment at a Montessori school. Many do not understand the background, methods, and benefits of a Montessori education for their children. The following will answer four of the most commonly asked questions about a Montessori education. Who created the Montessori school environment?
Maria Montessori created the Montessori education principle in 1907 while in a low-income district of Rome. Her philosophy gained the interest of educators across the world. In the following decades, schools using the Montessori philosophy opened throughout every continent except Antarctica.
The Montessori approach to education is centered on the student. Maria found that children joyfully taught themselves when given the right materials and freedom to follow what interested them. Her belief, which is now the goal of each Montessori school, was to enable a child’s natural interest in learning and allow it to guide them. In this way, the Montessori education will promote your child’s concentration and sense of order.
What sets the Montessori education method above others?
The essence of this type of education is felt immediately upon entering a Montessori class. The classes hold a calm, inviting environment with soft light and colors. Materials are set out that your child can investigate, giving them the independence to make their own choices. Everything has a place, so the room has a sense of harmony and order, which has been shown to give children both comfort and inspiration.
There are no rows of desks in a Montessori school, so the children are given the freedom to work on a table, mat, or on the floor. You will not see posters of cartoons or syndicated symbols. The Montessori classroom is devoted to peace and reflection and will instead use pictures from the local museum or framed artwork created by the students.
What types of activities are done within a Montessori school?
Montessori educators believe in the hands-on approach to education. Your child will be allowed to work with specially designed materials to manipulate and investigate at their own pace until they have mastered the intended lesson. The materials are designed to gain a child’s interest and encourage the child to handle them. Items are displayed in open, easy to reach shelves and arranged in the order the curriculum will follow.
What other advantages does a Montessori education offer?
Your child, the environment, and the teacher form a learning triangle. Each are important links and a vital part of the whole picture. Teachers prepare the classroom environment with materials intended to encourage your child to want to learn. The teacher will guide and challenge your child to interact, which will enable their education to grow.
Montessori classrooms typically have students of different ages working together. Older students enjoy taking the younger ones under their wing, helping them with activities and demonstrating what they have already mastered. The younger students look up to the older ones as big brothers or sisters and have the chance to see what is ahead for them.
Montessori schools are places for harmony and respect. Everyone addresses each other kindly and without raised voices. Students are taught to work together and take turns caring for pets or plants if these are included in the classroom. The children are taught how to live in a community, learn independently, and think creatively and constructively. The lessons your child learns from the Montessori education approach will stay with them as they grow and enter the world.
Amarillo Montessori Academy in Amarillo, Texas has a mission to show your child how to be more confident and academically prepared. Your child can become part of an environment that will allow them to become a lifelong learner and problem solver. Call us today at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us by email to see how your child can receive a unique and successful education. You can also visit us at 3806 S. Bowie Street in Amarillo to see for yourself how this approach to education can benefit your child and to learn more about the admissions process.
The Benefits Of A Montessori Education
Friday, June 10th, 2016
By entering a Montessori education facility, your child will experience a learning environment where reaching their full potential is the primary goal. Montessori schools implement an education plan that is an aid to life, not just testing or a means to an end. The Montessori learning environment is created to nurture your child’s creativity, innovation, and individuality. Lessons are generated through a natural development, not through a structured curriculum.
Benefits of the Montessori environment
In the Montessori environment, your child is valued as an individual. Instructors realize children learn at different paces and in different ways, so they are prepared to meet all learning styles. Your child will advance through the lessons as he or she is ready, guided by a teacher and an individual education plan. Children are motivated and enthusiastic to learn under the Montessori principles of using movement to enhance their education. Learning is done through “hands-on” lessons, rather than by sitting at a table or desk. As they learn among children of mixed age groups, kids are encouraged to observe and relate to their differences.
The Montessori classroom
In a Montessori classroom, there is a designated area for children to work through materials and daily routines that support their ability to self educate. This allows your child to think about what they are learning and develop order in their world. Your child learns about coordination, concentration, and independence in “practical life” exercises. These exercises help your child to gain control of his or her movements, gain independence, and adapt to society. A Montessori education will aid the growth and development of your child’s intellect and concentration. Practical life exercises show your child how to develop an orderly way of thinking. They will become better socialized and are encouraged to solve their own conflicts. Your child will also become fluent in reading, understanding mathematical concepts, and gain a deeper and more confident sense of self.
Montessori education begins early
Your child can enter the Montessori education community as early as six weeks of age and remain with them through their fifth-grade year. These facilities have multi-age classrooms that typically span three years and re-create a family structure for younger students. Older students enjoy the role of mentors to share and teach younger kids about respect, how to be kind, and how to resolve conflicts peacefully. Montessori believes every child should enjoy freedom with limits.
When your child works within the limits set by their teachers, they are given the freedom of deciding what their focus of learning will be. This allows them to choose items of interest, as instructors understand a child’s curiosity and interest with the world around them. By being allowed to choose specific areas of focus, your child will have a more enjoyable educational experience.
Your child’s teacher will provide an environment with the necessary tools for them to have the freedom to pursue answers to their own questions. Teachers in a Montessori school are guides who lead children through their education and development. Instructors will observe as your child interacts and progresses through lessons and know when they are ready for new information and experiences to expand their knowledge. Children given the freedom to progress in their own education, at their own pace, gain confidence in themselves, which encourages their natural curiosity to learn.
When your child is given the freedom and support to make connections and investigate their own environment, they will become more confident and enthusiastic. A Montessori education allows your child the ability to think rationally, work cooperatively with others, and act with healthy curiosity.
Amarillo Montessori Academy
Amarillo Montessori Academy in Amarillo, Texas has a mission to show your child how to be more confident and academically prepared. Your child can become part of an environment that will allow them to become a lifelong learner and problem solver. Call us today at (806) 353-3871 or Contact Us via email to see how you can arrange for your child to receive a unique and successful education. You can also visit us at 3806 S. Bowie Street in Amarillo to see for yourself how this approach to education can benefit your child before filling out the application.