People often ask how a Montessori school is different from a traditional nursery school or a common child care center. The differences can best be understood by observing for a morning at the school for Dr. Montessori's approach to learning is based on years of patient observation of children. You will find that the most striking differences are revealed in the children themselves as they work on tasks spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy. It becomes obvious to the observer that the children are learning by doing which enables them to reach higher levels of scholastic attainment and personal fulfillment.
Dr. Maria Montessori developed a formula for early childhood education based on the nature of the children. Montessori materials progress developmentally from concrete expressions of concepts to more abstract representations. When you observe, take a look, at the beautifully prepared shelves. The materials there represent a three year curriculum of work. For this reason, Montessori classrooms have three age groups working together. This multi-aged-grouping enhances the development of community life.
Another striking difference in the Montessori environment is seen in the higher level of inner discipline originating within the children and not imposed from without. Because of this, you will see a large measure of liberty (not license) given to the children by teachers who have a profound respect for each unique personality. The Montessori teacher nurtures in the children gratitude and concern for others, independence, self-discipline and creativity. At every turn each classroom "presents endless opportunities among the children for mutual help, which if joyfully given and gratefully received"' A most important difference at Keystone is the expectation for active parenting -which is encouraged by involving both parents in a partnership with the professional Montessorians at the school. Parent education is an important part of this partnership. This factor makes Keystone Montessori School a unique alternative for parents who are willing to participate in a dynamic community of people dedicated to the development of the human spirit.
1 Points of the Montessori Method. Montessori Learning Environments.