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Montessori: why and how?

by Shannon Falkenstein

Our foundation is Montessori: mixed ages, child-led, grace & courtesy, practical life and always, ALWAYS guiding each child to be as independent and competent as he or she possibly can.

Never help a child with a task at which she feels she can succeed. - Dr. Maria Montessori

One way that we demonstrate our committment to Montessori and to independence is through our use of Montessori materials. What does this mean? Montessori materials are high quality, usually made of wood, concrete materials that children can manipulate with their hands and bodies to have a concrete, multi-sensorial and logical experience of whatever concept they are learning.

So, instead of learning that 2 + 2 = 4 by writing it on paper, early Montessori learners learn what 4 is by holding 4 small sticks or counting 4 small beads or by comparing a stick with 4 lengths to other sticks of 1, 2, 3 or 5 lengths.

This concrete, hands-on learning is superior to abstract, paper-based learning because it is recorded in the neuro-muscular memory, which is maintained throughout a child’s life in their long-term memory.

At Acton Academy & Montessori, we have invested heavily in our Montessori materials so that all of our young Eagles have this high-quality learning experience in their formative years.

When you visit, you will notice that, in our Montessori classrooms, all of the materials are highly organized. You will rarely see a block or number or pencil thrown on the floor.

How do we ensure this high level of care and order? We model care and order in everything that we do. When introducing a new material, the Guide first models exactly how to use it. Then, once the child feels that she is ready to try it herself, the Guide observes her using the material, and, if necessary, makes clear and kind indications.

Once the child has shown competence, she is free to use that material to continue on her learning journey!

Would you like to come see our Montessori Studios for yourself? Please call us on 2242-7404 to reserve a spot at our upcoming Open House!

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