FAQs

I have seen only Montessori preschools. Are there Montessori schools for older children as well?

Dr. Montessori first developed her educational approach while working with a preschool population. She gradually extended her approach to children and youth of all ages. Today, some Montessori schools provide all levels of learning, from infant & toddler though the secondary (high school) level. Others offer only certain levels.

The benefits of Montessori—the emphasis on independent learning, for example, and the warm, supportive community—continue to be important at each stage of development as children grow into lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world.  Feel free to ask

How many students are typically in a Montessori class?

Unlike some private schools, which strive for very small classes, Montessori values the lessons of community when the size of the class is somewhat larger.

Montessori classes for children above the infant & toddler level might include 20–30 students whose ages span 3 years. All members of the community benefit from this set-up. Older students are proud to act as role models; younger ones feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Classes for infants & toddlers are smaller, with typically 10–15 children.  Feel free to ask

How can children learn if they’re free to do whatever they want?

Dr. Montessori observed that children are more motivated to learn when working on something of their own choosing. A Montessori student may choose his focus of learning on any given day, but his decision is limited by the materials and activities—in each area of the curriculum—that his teacher has prepared and presented to him.

Beginning at the elementary level, students typically set learning goals and create personal work plans under their teacher’s guidance.  Feel free to ask

Why are Montessori schools all work and no play?

Dr. Montessori realized that children’s play is their work—their effort to master their own bodies and environment—and out of respect she used the term “work” to describe all their classroom activities. Montessori students work hard, but they don’t experience it as drudgery; rather, it’s an expression of their natural curiosity and desire to learn.  Feel free to ask

If children work at their own pace, don’t they fall behind?

Although students are free to work at their own pace, they’re not doing it alone. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance his learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps him master the challenge at hand—and protects him from moving on before he’s ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”  Feel free to ask

Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?

Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools, and offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar—such as math, science, history, geography, and language—but they are presented through an integrated approach that brings separate strands of the curriculum together.

While studying a map of Africa, for example, students may explore the art, history, and inventions of several African nations. This may lead them to examine ancient Egypt, including hieroglyphs and their place in the history of writing. The study of the pyramids, of course, is a natural bridge to geometry.

This approach to curriculum shows the interrelatedness of all things. It also allows students to become thoroughly immersed in a topic—and to give their curiosity full rein.  Feel free to ask

Is it true that Montessori students have the same teacher for all subjects rather than work with “specialists” in different curricular areas?

Montessori teachers are educated as “generalists,” qualified to teach all sections of the curriculum. But many schools choose to also employ specialists in certain subjects, including art, music, foreign language, physical education, and science.  Feel free to ask

Why don’t Montessori teachers give grades?

Grades, like other external rewards, have little lasting effect on a child’s efforts or achievements. The Montessori approach nurtures the motivation that comes from within, kindling the child’s natural desire to learn.

A self-motivated learner also learns to be self-sufficient, without needing reinforcement from outside. In the classroom, of course, the teacher is always available to provide students with guidance and support.

Although most Montessori teachers don’t assign grades, they closely observe each student’s progress and readiness to advance to new lessons. Most schools hold family conferences a few times a year so parents may see their child’s work and hear the teacher’s assessment—and perhaps even their child’s self-assessment.  Feel free to ask

Do Montessori students take standardized tests?

Public Montessori schools are mandated to administer the same standardized tests as other public schools.

Some private Montessori schools also administer standardized exams, particularly if they will be required by schools into which their students may transition. Other schools choose not to administer these tests.  Feel free to ask

Can Montessori accommodate gifted children? What about children with other special learning needs?

An advantage of the Montessori approach—including multi-age classrooms with students of varying abilities and interests—is that it allows each child to work at her own pace. Students whose strengths and interests propel them to higher levels of learning can find intellectual challenge without being separated from their peers. The same is true for students who may need extra guidance and support: each can progress through the curriculum at his own comfortable pace, without feeling pressure to \”catch up.\”

We might note that from a Montessori perspective, every child is considered gifted, each in her own way. For every child has his own unique strengths—it is all a matter of degree.  Feel free to ask

Are Montessori schools expensive?

Private Montessori schools are independently owned and operated, and each sets its own business practices, including the cost of tuition. Typically, tuition fees vary from region to region and from school to school.
Some private schools offer scholarships for families in need of assistance, and many offer reduced tuition when parents enroll more than one child.

FWS is an affordable Montessori School focused on serving the community at large.  Feel free to ask

How well do Montessori students do compared to students in non-Montessori schools?

There is a small but growing body of well-designed research comparing Montessori students to those in traditional schools. These suggest that in academic subjects, Montessori students perform as well as or better than their non-Montessori peers.

In one study, for example, children who had attended Montessori schools at the preschool and elementary levels earned higher scores in high school on standardized math and science tests. Another study found that the essays of 12-year-old Montessori students were more creative and used more complex sentence structures than those produced by the non-Montessori group.

The research also shows Montessori students to have greater social and behavioral skills. They demonstrate a greater sense of fairness and justice, for example, and are more likely to choose positive responses for dealing with social dilemmas.

By less stringent measures, too, Montessori students seem to do quite well. Most Montessori schools report that their students are typically accepted into the high schools and colleges of their choice. And many successful grads cite their years at Montessori when reflecting on important influences in their life.  Feel free to ask

What is the International Montessori Society?

Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the International Montessori Society (IMS) is a non-profit educational corporation led by founder and director, Lee Havis. Since its founding in 1979, IMS has sought to provide a network of support and resources for learning and developing the spiritual science of observing children to bring about their true nature as discovered by Dr. Montessori in 1907

In the 1960’s, Lee Havis became active in the field of Montessori teaching, first as a teacher, and then later in the development of AMS teacher education. Due to conflicts with AMS, however, he led an effort to form a separate less “political” type of Montessori organization, which in 1976, came to be known as “National Center for Montessori Education\” (NCME). By 1979, NCME was providing training through some 26 affiliated programs in the United States. The NCME training model was essentially the AMS “culture” philosophy type, however, similar in form and operation to the St. Nicholas Montessori College.

In 1979, Havis discovered a new understanding of Montessori teaching, which was a way of being committed to laws of nature, rather than the conventional commitment to either personality or culture. Since he found that this approach consistently brought about the child’s true nature, he described this as “true natural” Montessori teaching to distinguish it from the “culture” and “personality” types.

Based on this distinctive Montessori philosophy, Havis established the \”International Montessori Society\” (IMS) to direct and guide activities and support its practice through training teachers, recognizing schools, and building up an international support network as described and presented at this website: http://imsmontessori.org

After 1979, NCME soon re-formed itself under new ownership, and conducted various training activities until the early 2000’s, which its training centers gradually became affiliated with AMS. Besides NCME, many other groups, centers, and organizations formed and evolved as a dynamic aspect of the Montessori community.

Visit their website on www.imsmontessori.org to know more  Feel free to ask

What does an IMS acreediation mean?

An IMS accrediation for our school means that the purpose of the school is consistent with Montessori teaching as a scientific way of being committed to laws of nature with children. The aim of this approach is to support the children’s normal development as Dr. Maria Montessori first discovered and reported this as the child’s true nature in 1907. The school implements this true natural Montessori teaching by allowing children to develop and learn naturally through their free self-directed activity.

Further more, The teaching staff meets training and health requirements of applicable state laws and other government regulation pertaining to the type of schools described in these criteria.

The teaching staff is committed to following true natural Montessori teaching in all their interactions with children.

Each classroom is supervised by a teacher skilled in true natural Montessori teaching for the age level of the children being supervised.  Feel free to ask

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