Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Is Montessori the Right Daycare Environment to Help Your Child Develop?

All parents want their children to be part of a daycare environment that helps their children develop appropriately. For many, the whole-child approach of Montessori is the ideal type of daycare, including parents of children with learning challenges such as autism. The reason for the success of Montessori is multi-faceted, and the traits mentioned here are only a brief glance, not the entire list.

Ordered Environment

In Montessori, daycare children find themselves in an ordered room that has been tailored specifically for the use of kids. Tables, chairs, and furniture are child-sized, and workstations are always kept in their designated location. The prepared environment of a Montessori daycare is carefully laid out to provide children with the incentive to become engaged, and that helps their development.

Freedom of Movement

Montessori does not confine children to a generic desk all day. Instead, children are able to move freely between workstations as they engage in learning different things. In some cases, children are quietly alone,  and other times they work together in teams or as a group. And while there are class activities where everyone participates together, most of the day is tailored toward freedom of choice and movement.

Play-Based Learning

Hands-on, play-based learning is perhaps the best-known premise of Montessori schools. What is important in this is that Montessori activities are not idle toys, but carefully selected activities that provide different types of instruction under the guise of children playing with something they enjoy. As they play, kids learn about a wide range of topics, including language, reading and writing, and mathematics.

Whole-Child Development

Traditional schools are focused almost entirely on the academic side of education with a little physical activity thrown in for a small portion of the day. By contrast, Montessori is all-0in on early development. Everything from developing vital motor skills to learning how to do math or building a vocabulary is part of the Montessori Method. Montessori even helps children develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and imparts the importance of teamwork and taking an active role in one's environment.

For more than a century, the Montessori Method has been gaining awareness and popularity, almost entirely because of what it has to offer early childhood development. For parents, Montessori is a way to help their child develop fully, including social, physical, and academic skills. Montessori may not appeal to every parent, but it has a wealth of benefits to offer most of them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

5 Exciting Summer Activities That Appeal to Preschool Children

One way to think of the minds of preschool children is to compare them to a blank easel that wants to be filled with information. The world around them is huge, but their experience is very limited, and there are new things to be known around every corner and under every rock. Here are 5 STEM-related activity ideas that will occupy preschool children and keep them engaged in the learning process.

  1. Language and Culture

No matter where you look, preschool kids will find an opportunity to learn new vocabulary and discover new things about this diverse world. Kids love to find out where their favorite food, fruit, or musical instrument originated and discovering how much our lives are influenced by other cultures helps them understand the importance of diversity in our world.

  1. Science

Every day is a great day for science, and science is surprisingly easy to do. Shine a bright light through a clear glass of water and see how light bends and divides into the colors of the spectrum. Play with magnets or catalog the birds living in your yard. Teaching children the foundations of science helps them gain a better understanding of the world and teaches relationships between cause and effect.

  1. Technology

Life in the 21st Century is going to be all about technology and children who learn to effectively use technology in preschool will be better prepared for the future. One Montessori-style app for kids is CodeSpark. It's an interactive and adaptive app that teaches the basics of coding in the process of playing exciting games. This app is an excellent example of how children can use technology that feeds their minds instead of hampering their progress.

  1. Engineering

Use building blocks to design towers and buildings. Lego-style blocks are especially great because they not only impart good engineering concepts, but different styles of math are inherent in their design. This type of building block teaches multiplication, division, fractions, and more in the course of playing.

  1. Math

Math is going to be part of everything your child does, without exception. Math is needed to learn how to shop, to learn how to measure or pour, even to learn how to know when it is time to feed the family pet. The easiest way to learn about math in an engaging manner is by talking about it every time you use it. This teaches children that math is an important tool, encouraging children to apply math to other activities.

STEM education is important and continuing the learning process over the summer break helps children retain the information they have learned and keeps them engaged in the learning process. Combining the two into enjoyable games and activities turns boring summer days into adventures of discovery. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

6 Ways Montessori Elementary School Excels Over Traditional Schools

An authentic Montessori elementary school is quite a bit different than traditional public schools. Where traditional schools rely on memorization and a generic lecture-based teaching system, Montessori schools use hands-on tools to reinforce the retention of information and a self-paced teaching system that encourages children to want to learn.

  1. Self-Paced Learning

Montessori school students are not forced to be on the same page at the same time as the rest of the class. Instead, children work independently at their own projects, learning at a pace that fits them rather than trying to keep up-- or losing interest by not being allowed to move forward. Montessori promotes an interest in learning that is central to Montessori theory.

  1. Intrinsic Motivation

Montessori is designed around the observation of children, offering them encouragement and guidance only as they require it. This helps build self-esteem, leading to children who take a more active role in their own goals. Children who feel good about themselves are more likely to help others, another key component of Montessori.

  1. Developmental Age Groups

Montessori uses a 3-year age group, with new children entering the class each year and others "graduating" out of it. The age grouping corresponds to developmental stages observed by Maria Montessori, but they also allow all children to be among both the youngest and the oldest students in the class.

  1. Guided Instruction

Montessori teachers are called guides, and that is their primary function in a Montessori classroom. Children learn to select their own activities and strive for their own developmental goals as the guides observe their progress and offer gentle guidance to help them stay focused and engaged. 

  1. Whole-Child Development

The Montessori Method is a whole-child developmental approach. Children learn by doing things instead of sitting idly at generic desks and learning from identical textbooks. They develop fine motor skills needed for manipulating objects and gross motor skills that improve running, jumping, and climbing abilities. They develop strong social skills that include diplomacy, empathy, and social etiquette. Children who spend their developmental years in a Montessori environment make great leaders, take part in their communities, and have respect for the environment and their fellow human beings.

  1. Discipline and Motivation

Montessori children learn to regulate themselves and develop an internal motivation that gives them the incentive to try new things and tackle new skills without the need for external rewards or punishments. The idea is that children who feel good about themselves and their environment will motivate themselves to learn and apply their learning to real-world applications.

Beginning with an assignment to educate children who were considered by experts of the time to be unteachable, Maria Montessori recognized that hands-on learning provided concrete examples and more closely resembled how children behaved in unstructured environments. The difference is that every aspect of the Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment.