Learning is a lifelong process, and it can take various forms. Montessori education is one of the alternative methods for teaching children, but it has been around for nearly a century.
The history of Montessori education began in Italy in the early 1900s. A woman named Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, educator and scientist studied pedagogy and experimental psychology. She started creating new tools and manipulatives for teaching children how to learn numbers and letters, which led her to develop her own method of education. She opened the doors on January 6, 1907, and named the facility Casa Dei Bambini, Italian for “Children’s House.” Even though many people doubted the students’ academic potential, Dr. Montessori was determined to make the Casa a good place for them to learn.
The main idea behind Montessori education is that children learn best when they are actively engaged, so she created an environment where children would be able to work on their own at their own pace instead of being told what they should do next. This meant that each child would have their own individualized curriculum based on their interests and abilities. The institution’s success immediately became renowned throughout Italy. Dr. Montessori opened the second Casa Dei Bambini in San Lorenzo on April 7, 1907. She opened her third Casa in Milan on October 18, 1907.
The start of school is an exciting time for children: they get to meet new friends, explore new places, and learn about new things! But, it can also be stressful because you want them to succeed in all areas at once—learning social skills while improving their academic skills!
One popular question many parents ask is:
“At what age should children begin Montessori school?”
This question has many answers, and finding the right one for your child can be challenging. We know that some people are concerned about starting their children in a program too early, while others worry that they will be bored by the program if they wait too long.
The truth is, every child is wired differently so that is taken into consideration upon starting school. Some children begin at infancy, while some begin at toddlers or even primary. You’ll want to consider whether or not your child is ready for school before making any decisions about when to begin Montessori school. Start your child at a Montessori school when they’re ready! Discuss this with the Director, when you take your tours, to find out about the level that would be most appropriate for your child.
As a parent, you want to make sure that the time you spend with your child is as enjoyable and as interactive as possible. Remember: it’s important not only for your child’s success but also for yours as a parent—you will have less time to focus on other areas of your life if they’re struggling in school. This means that it’s really up to you and your family to decide when the best time is for your child to start Montessori school, but here are some guidelines:
At 0–1 years old, the child is still developing his or her motor skills. Nido classrooms are equipped to help a non-mobile infant become mobile. They have a freedom of movement to explore activities by creeping, rolling, crawling, and eventually walking. Nido students will sleep independently in their own crib at various times throughout the day so weaning your child off of co-sleeping will be a helpful skill, as well as baby-led weaning for food intake (self-feeding skills).
At 1-2 years old, the child can move independently while gaining core strength and stability in physical development. They will learn some simple dressing skills like taking on and off their shoes/coat, etc. They will use open tumblers for drinking and not sippy cups or bottles. They will explore a variety of lessons and learn the responsibility of putting away a lesson when finished.
At 2-3 years old, your child should have developed enough motor skills to be able to do many of the activities offered at a Montessori school without needing any extra help or support from adults or other children in the class. They are being prepared to join a Primary level so they gain a tremendous amount of order, concentration, coordination, and independence. Typically toilet learning in training underwear takes place at this level, as well.
At 3-5 years old, your child should be wearing underwear and independent in the bathroom. This age group is more communicative and thrives on being a “big boy” or “big girl” who can “do it by myself”. There is a freedom of movement and freedom of choice involved whereas the curriculum is customized to meet the individual needs of every child.
We at Casa Dei Bambini Montessori School understand that during the formative years from birth to age six are critical to the development of their future years. In using his/her senses, everything your child sees, hears, feels, tastes, touches, and processes during these formative years will lay the foundation for the rest of his/her life.
As a parent, you want to be able to provide your child with whatever they need; you want to be able to assist them in the growth of their abilities and guarantee that they are studying what is significant. On the other hand, you want them to enjoy themselves as much as possible, so learning through play is a reasonable option. We call the items in a Montessori classroom “lessons” and not “toys” for a reason. They are designed with a specific purpose in mind and the children are taught to utilize them with the utmost care and respect.
No matter what your motivation may be, we have some good news for you: our program begins for children ages 8 weeks to 14 months; we call this class the Nido/Infant Class. During this important time in your child’s life, he or she will be mastering their milestones in their own time by being exposed to routines, rituals, and learning materials available in the classroom. The ratio is 1:4.
The Toddler Classroom serves children ages 15 months to 35 months and we offer three- and five-day programs, part time or full time. The students in this class do a variety of activities that help them learn including other skills such as table manners, how to use the toilet, and how to be independent and responsible. In addition to this, we get them ready for the transition to primary school by teaching them fundamental lessons in Language, Mathematics, Sensory Perception, Practical Life, Geography, Science, as well as Art and Music. The ratio is 1:8.
The children in the Primary Classrooms range in age from three to six years. We have a 5 day program for either part time or full time students. Our Primary Classrooms are fully equipped to utilize materials and engage in curriculum designed in 5 core areas: Practical Life/Art, Sensorial, Math, Cultural/Science/Geography, and Language. The ratio is 1:10.
While children can begin Montessori as early as infancy, their ability to learn varies from child to child, and some children need more time than others. The best way to make an educated decision is to visit our school and talk with our Director, administration, and staff members. We also encourage you to reach out to any friends or family members who have children who are currently enrolled in a Montessori program. You’ll be able to learn about their experiences as well as gain insight into how these programs can benefit your future child too! As parents, we know that getting your child started on a Montessori education can be a little overwhelming. You may have had the same question. We hope this blog has been helpful and informative.