Authentic Montessori Education
We advocate all Montessori classrooms strive to include these characteristics:
- Mix of ages of children: 3 to 6 year olds together, 6 to 9 year olds together
- Two or three well-trained adults in each classroom of 25 to 35 children
- Sustained, uninterrupted work period of three hours (for an established class)
- Fully-equipped Montessori environment with complete Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, and Cultural Subjects areas
- Parent education and commitment to the Montessori approach to learning
- Children enter the primary class between the age of 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 and never later than age 4 (age may be adjusted for developmental delays)
- Children typically spend three years in one class and not less than two years
- The entire class attends school five days a week
- By age 5, children spend time in the Montessori environment morning and afternoon
While we acknowledge the importance and extraordinary value of all these learning influences, they are not what defines a Montessori education. A Montessori environment nurtures learners, empowers learners, and respects learners and their emerging creativity. This is accomplished through these practices:
- Trained Montessori mentors model respect, empathy, and graceful appropriate actions.
- The complete, beautiful, learner-suited environment delivers the world to the learner.
- The mentor first protects the learner and refrains from actions that could do harm.
- Mentors observe and study so they know the learner and they exert influence wisely.
- They take responsibility for the prepared learning environment with love.
- Mentors direct the learners’ attention with respect and confidence, only as needed.
- Montessori mentors nurture the learner with restraint and never abandon or intrude.
- They provide self-teaching materials that foster complete cycles of work.
- Learning activities are driven by learners’ interests and choices.
We believe that implementing these principles will lead educators to incorporate the characteristics of an ideal Montessori environment listed earlier. While we consider those characteristics incredibly important, they are not essential for learners to gain the benefits of a Montessori education. The principles are essential. If they are applied in any educational setting (including homes), to any degree, learners benefit. We believe that as educators apply these principles, and see the value to the children around them, they will seek to create a more and more authentic Montessori environment in order to give their students the greatest possible benefit. We have designed our program to support adults in any situation to help their children or students.
Ready to start providing this new kind of education? Our Home Study Programs will give you all you need to start.