The greatest sign of success for a teacher. . .is to be able to say, " The children are now working as if I did not exist."
(Includes music class by professional music instructor)
Q. Where did Montessori come from?
A. Montessori (pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children's learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a "prepared environment" in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Now, nearly a century after Maria Montessori's first casa dei bambini ("children's house") in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.
Q. What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?
A. Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori, unlike traditional education settings, combine ages. Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multiage grouping allows each child to find his or her own pace without feeling "ahead" or "behind" in relation to peers.
Q. What ages does Montessori serve?
A. Here at Bambino City Montessori Academy, programs are for ages 6 weeks to 6 years of age. However, in the near future, Bambino City Montessori Academy plans to implement an elementary class of 1st through 3rd grade.
Q. Are Montessori children successful later in life?
A. Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations.
Q. I recently observed a Montessori classroom for a day. I was very, very impressed, but I have three questions:
1. There does not seem to be an opportunity for pretend play.
2. The materials don't seem to allow children to be creative.
3. Children don't seem to be interacting with one another very much.
Any help you give me would be appreciated. Thank you very much, BD
A. Dear BD, I can give you three very complete answers to your perceptive questions:
(1) When Dr. Montessori opened the first Children's House it was full of pretend play things. The children never played with them as long as they were allowed to do real things - i.e. cooking instead of pretending to cook. It is still true.
(2) The materials teach specific things and then the creativity is incredible. Like learning how to handle a good violin and then playing music. It is not considered "creative" to use a violin as a hammer, or a bridge while playing with blocks. We consider it "creative" to learn how to use the violin properly and then create music. The same goes for the materials in a Montessori classroom.
(3) There is as much interaction as the children desire, but the tasks are so satisfying that, for these few hours a day, children want to master the challenges offered by them. Then they become happier and kinder—true socialization. Also, since concentration is protected above all, as all "work" is respected, children learn early on not to interrupt someone who is concentrating.
Q. How much does Montessori cost?
A. Because all Montessori schools are operated independently of one another, tuitions vary. We found that the average cost per child in the surrounding area of Fort Worth, Texas are listed below:
Ages 12 months - 3yrs --Montessori Class-- 9:00 - 3:00-- $841.00/ month
Ages 3-6-Montessori Class-- 9:00- 3:00 -- $941.00 /month
Notice: Average cost does NOT include Before Care or After Care
Bambino City Montessori Academy, LLC Tuition:
Ages 18 months- 5 $140/week Includes Before Care (7:00-8:00)
After Care (3:00 to 5:30)
and a music class with recital by professional music instructor
Infant Care (6 weeks to 17 months)--$150.00/week
Q. What is the best way to choose a Montessori school for my child?
A. Ask what kind of training the teachers have. Visit the school, observe the classroom in action, and later ask the teacher or principal to explain the theory behind the activities you saw. Most of all, talk to your child's prospective teacher about his or her philosophy of child development and education to see if it is compatible with your own.
Q. Are Montessori schools religious?
A. Some are, but most are not. Some Montessori schools, just like other schools, operate under the auspices of a church, synagogue, or diocese, but most are independent of any religious affiliation. Bambino City Montessori Academy is not affiliated with any religious organization, however, the founders of Bambino City Montessori Academy are devout Christians.