Monday, September 26, 2022

Why is The Value of Play Essential in an Authentic Montessori Daycare?

Play is vital for early childhood development in daycare. More than simply keeping children occupied, playtime is also an excellent time for teaching children a variety of developmental skills. From fine and gross motor skills to language and writing, Montessori activities keep children engaged and interested in learning and doing.

Hands-On Learning

The Montessori daycare is a play-based learning environment. Working with specially designed educational toys makes it easier for children to learn new skills and reach vital developmental goals in physical, social, and intellectual areas. Some activities provide practical experience as well, such as learning to use classroom tools like pencils or crayons. In fact, Montessori daycares are involved in the complete development of small children, and the activities they are engaged with were carefully selected to develop the total range of developmental skills.

Learning Social Interaction

When children play together, they are also developing critical social skills that will help them interact with others. For example, playing with a particular toy is also an opportunity to practice taking turns and sharing resources. By playing together, children learn the basics of diplomacy, the value of teamwork, and the importance of perseverance. The thing to keep in mind is that the game is being presented as an educational tool that inspires, excites, and motivates children.

Natural Order of Development

In the process of developing the Montessori Method, Maria Montessori how children interacted in a natural, unstructured setting. What she saw was that children learn by doing things with their hands as they go about their childhood games. She also observed that children naturally group into mixed age groups and that younger children are able to absorb new information by observing and playing with kids a little older than themselves. These observations became crucial points that were incorporated into the Montessori Method.

Daycare children learn by playing with toys and activities that are fun and engaging. They never consider that the activities they are having a good time with were chosen for their educational value. And the practice of hands-on education doesn't end with daycare or preschool. Children of all ages will be using hands-on education as their primary method of learning for as long as they remain in a Montessori environment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

3 Ways that Montessori Kindergarten Parents can Support Disciplinary Strategies

When children attend a Montessori private kindergarten, discipline is handled differently than in traditional school systems. Teachers do not criticize children in front of the class, for example, and Montessori utilizes intrinsic motivation instead of external or physical motivation. The thing is, this type of discipline only works when it is supported by the parents after the school day is done.

  1. Present a United Front

It is very important that your Montessori kindergarten children see your relationship with the school as a team effort. Any time that you pit yourself against the teachers in defense of your children, you are showing them that they can use one side as leverage against the other. Communicate regularly and accept what the staff tells you even when it may not coincide with your child's side of the story. Remember that the school's purpose is the development and education of children and they have nothing to gain from plotting against your children, no matter how it seems to the child.

  1. Consistency Counts

Be consistent between school and home. It benefits children to know that the consequences of actions will be the same whether they act out at school or at home. If a teacher observes a change in your child's behavior she will bring it to your attention and discuss ways to solve any issues that arise. Together, you can uncover the root causes of disruptions and address them rationally and without resorting to actions that use fear to coerce desired responses.

  1. Avoid Punishments and Rewards

Montessori works best when children are intrinsically motivated-- when the child wants to behave or perform in appropriate ways because they know and understand that the behavior is the best way to act or react. Traditional punishment and reward systems depend on fear, pain, and threats to be effective, whereas an internally motivated child wants to perform correctly for the benefit of the act itself. The first tenet of the Montessori Method is that children should be treated with respect and hitting someone to address their behavior is never a respectful response.

Children look up to adults and have closer bonds with their parents than they will have with anyone else for many years. Because of that, what they see and hear from their parents will be a large part of how they learn to interact with others. For Montessori-style disciplinary strategies to be effective they must be shared by parents and school staff alike.

Why is Montessori Preschool Important for Early Development?

Preschool is the most important period for children to gain the many personal tools needed for later education and eventually interacting in the community. This includes fine and gross motor skills, social etiquette, academic lessons, and learning to perform practical tasks such as measuring, pouring, and cutting.

Mixed Age Groups

The 3-year age group used in a Montessori preschool conforms to a natural order observed by Maria Montessori when watching a group of children. It allows children to spend more or less time learning specific lessons without "falling behind," and it helps children develop interactive skills and self-esteem by cycling through being the oldest-- thus more experienced-- children in the room.

Hands-On Activities

Authentic Montessori activities are designed to be apparently useful, self-correcting, and appealing. This is true of classroom activities such as the Pink Tower as well as nature and natural activities. Each activity is meant to be interesting so that children will take notice, engaging so that children want to use it repeatedly, and self-correcting so the child will know if the task was performed correctly without requiring affirmation from someone else.

Interactive Skills

Montessori children often work together to accomplish tasks, and the Montessori Method makes developing language and social skills one of the highest priorities for early education. Social etiquette is practiced constantly and consistently so that children absorb the rules of social behavior as they grow and without singling out courtesy and grace as a task rather than the natural means of interaction.

Nature in Education

Nature and our relationship with it is a primary tool of Montessori education. From playground games to learning about plants and frogs, children are encouraged to become immersed in learning about the world they live in. Getting outdoors was considered a vital part of early development, and Maria Montessori incorporated nature-based activities into the Montessori Method.

Learning Leadership

Montessori encourages and promotes self-esteem, critical thinking, and social interaction. As a result, children who attend Montessori schools develop the basic skills necessary for leadership activities concurrently with other education goals. And because of Montessori's mixed-age classes, all of the children spend a portion of their education among the oldest children in the class, instilling leadership skills as a natural progression of events.

Montessori promotes a more holistic style of teaching that instructs children on multiple levels and addresses all of the developmental milestones of early education. Children learn to read and write as they gain the skills needed to add and subtract, along with the critical thinking and social responsibility vital to peaceful interactions with other children and adults. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

5 Examples of Differences Between Montessori and Traditional Public Schools

Preschool children tend to perform well in a Montessori environment. As an alternative to traditional schools, Montessori stands apart from other educational strategies because the Montessori Method is designed around children, focusing on helping each child develop in a natural manner using special activities and a completely different teaching style.

  1. Children First

Traditionally, all of the children in a class are expected to always be on the same page, working on the same projects, and using the same materials. By contrast, Montessori preschool students work individually. This is only one example of how Montessori puts individual development first, but the classroom itself is another example, with everything designed to be more comfortable and appealing to the children in the room.

  1. Observation and Guidance

Montessori teachers are called guides because guidance, not instruction, is their primary function. Student guides do not spend the day lecturing to the class as a group. Their approach is to observe the progress of individuals and gently guide them toward new activities or goals that help each child at a personal level.

  1. Hands-On Activity

Independent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of learning through doing, but Montessori students have always used a play-based educational system. Maria Montessori recognized that children are learning when they are at play and designed activities around the idea that children will learn more readily when the task at hand is also enjoyable and engaging.

  1. Mixed Age Groups

Children in the Montessori preschool are learning different skills at different speeds. In a traditional classroom where all of the kids are within months of the same age, this method would be problematic but in a class with a 3-year age spread every child has ample opportunity to learn at a pace that suits them instead of struggling to stay in step with other students.

  1. Practical Experience

There isn't much room for learning to perform practical tasks in a traditional public school environment. Montessori teaches children to perform these tasks as a fundamental part of the educational process, including routine chores and lessons about culture, language, and math, and as a tool for developing important social skills. The end result is a child who not only learns academically, physically, and socially but gains practical experience in real-world tasks as they do so.

Montessori is vastly different from traditional educational approaches. It allows more freedom of choice but demands more focus on learning. It is self-guided and self-correcting, and Montessori is more fully involved in helping the child develop along several developmental paths in unison.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Do Mixed Age Groups in Montessori Schools Benefit the Children?

Over a century ago, Maria Montessori observed that children develop more effectively when they are members of a mixed age group. Through further research, she realized that mixed age groups in Montessori daycare correspond to learning phases, beginning with the absorbent mind period that spans from birth to 6 years and can readily be divided into 2 distinct groups split at around age 3. 

A Natural Order

Montessori's mixed-age groups were inspired by the natural order of things. In an unstructured environment, this grouping happens by default, based on things like interacting with siblings to the age distribution that occurs within a community of children. Even more importantly, mixed ages have an impact on a variety of developmental goals, critical thinking skills, and social interactions.

Learning Paces Vary

Children do not absorb the same information or reach the same mental or physical development milestones at the same time. By mixing the ages of the children in a classroom, each child can develop individually while allowing all of the kids to achieve the same milestones before moving on to the next mixed-age group. And since some children develop more quickly, they have the abilities and experience to help guide the development of those who follow.

Building Future Leaders

When older children are encouraged to identify and assist others, they are building strong emotional skills such as empathy and practicing leadership skills such as diplomacy. Montessori is renowned for producing adult children who have done extremely well in leadership positions, and this is related-- at least in part-- to having begun learning to be leaders at an early age.

Bolstering Self Esteem

Immersion in a mixed-age group helps children develop vital social skills, but to do that they must also have a healthy sense of self-confidence. The self-esteem to help others and the willingness to ask for help when it is needed are both based on developmental skills that are available through social interactions in a mixed-age classroom. This effect is part of Montessori's method as well and corresponds to the observation that children need to feel good about themselves before they can feel good about learning, or even interacting appropriately with others.


Not only does mixing the age of students benefit them, but the idea itself is also one of the founding principles that Montessori relies on to work so well. Just as children need to develop practical experience with tools and utensils, they also perform at their best when they have practical experience with social interactions that involve people of different ages than their own.

Monday, June 27, 2022

3 Developmental Music and Movement Activities I Can Do With My Preschool Child

Preschool children have a lot to gain from activities that involve music and movement. Songs and music teach language, and songs that provide movement incentives help develop skills needed for other activities. Putting their right foot in and pulling their right foot out bolsters coordination, teaches children the difference between right and left, builds vocabulary, and encourages the development of fine and gross motor skills.

  1. Be a Role Model

When your Montessori preschool children see you singing along to the radio or dancing about the room, they want to imitate what you do. To that end, the single biggest thing you can contribute in early child development is to be a great role model, showing your children the kind of activities you want them to mimic. Sing to your child, hold his hands and dance with him, and encourage him when he begins to be-bop around the room himself.

  1. Sing-Alongs

Singing along to children's songs helps preschool children develop a stronger vocabulary, helps them learn valuable lessons about themselves and the world, and more. Set aside a little time each day to sing along to some songs, take note of the ones your child enjoys the most, and encourage him to sing along when a favorite tune comes on the radio. Because whether you are singing Itsy-Bitsy Spider or a top-10 pop song you are helping your child learn to speak more fluently and providing other important developmental skills in language, fine motor skills, and more.

  1. Dance With Me

Clapping their hands, stomping their feet, and swaying to and fro in time to music helps children develop vital fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are necessary for gripping and manipulating small objects, and gross motor skills are used for running, jumping, climbing, and more. Dancing with your child is a valuable activity that goes far beyond the actual music and movements taking place.

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands, and encourage your preschooler to sing along, move along, and participate. Praise his style and ability, because your praise builds his self-esteem, and children who feel good about their abilities are more willing to use them. For small children, everything they do is an educational activity and the more ways you are able to encourage his participation, the faster and easier early childhood development will be.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

3 Helpful Tips for Following Montessori's Theory On Sleep

Montessori daycare children are especially susceptible to learning and behavior issues related to improper sleep schedules. They can become irritable, have trouble concentrating, or become classroom disruption, and in severe instances, the child may have trouble staying awake during periods of activity. Children need to get enough rest, and these tips will give you some insight into how that can be accomplished.
  1. Self-Regulate

Maria Montessori's observations regarding sleep underscored that children's sleep cycles are commonly adjusted for the benefit of adults. This sometimes results in children not getting enough rest, being forced to sleep when they aren't tired, and more. The end result is often a child who is restless, disruptive, or unable to concentrate on tasks. Her recommendation was that children should be allowed to self-regulate their sleep, including having a bed they can enter or exit at will.

      2. Know Your Child

Just as Maria Montessori developed the Montessori Method through careful observation, parents can become more attuned to the patterns of their children by watching them without interference. When your child is tired, she will sleep if permitted to do so, and she will continue her activities when she awakens. You will see patterns developing that help you adjust her sleep schedules to match her natural rest patterns.

      3. Do Not Use Sleep As A Punishment

Forcing Montessori daycare children to go to bed when they aren't tired disrupts their ordinary sleep schedule. Because she understood the importance of a well-rested child, Montessori was very clear that sleep should never be used as a punishment. Using timeouts to address behavior problems isn't an issue, but combining time in bed with the timeout can lead to additional errant behavior rather than solving existing ones.

Parents have busy schedules, but they need to take care not to allow those schedules to interfere with the natural development of their children. Watch and listen to your daycare child. You will quickly learn how her natural rhythms work, and that will allow you to set up a sleep routine that works as well for her as for you.