The Montessori Learning Method
Montessori is a very hands-on learning method that allows children to make natural connections with the world around them through self-paced, self-directed learning. It is typically coined as learning by doing.
To the untrained eye, it may appear as if learners are not following a rhyme or reason when using this learning method, but really they are. The environment in which Montessori learning takes place in has been specially prepared and designed with the learning outcomes in mind. Interactive materials that will teach the skills and information to learners are easily accessible. Depending on the school or homeschool schedule, learners decide what they want to do and when. It is a neat concept.
A good way to get a handle on what this method looks like is to visit a local Montessori school. We did and it was quite inspiring for both us parents and our children. It really did have an impact on how we selected learning materials and resources - in quality if nothing else.
Special Features and Strengths of this Method:
Material is presented to the child as an individual rather than to a group/class
Uses experiential learning - learning through all five senses
Uses a broad learning program that focuses on building the learner's independence and self-reliability
Materials used in teaching are engaging, well made, and generally self-correcting
Teaches learners how to do things for the sake of the outcome without using rewards or incentives
Prepares children to smoothly progress into higher learning institutions by teaching them skills of how to get along with others
Allows for child directed learning and is especially appealing or suited for those learners who are progressing at a different rate then their natural peers.
Weaknesses of this Method:
Very child centered
May become too eclectic over time
Requires special training or extra preparation in order to properly facilitate this method
One must have a learning environment that can be conducive to this style of learning
Materials can be expensive or hard to find locally
Must have storage space for materials
This method is generally used for Pre-Grade 6 in formal institutions
Art Montessori Cards
Aesop's Fables Montessori Cards
Literature Based (Burgess Bird Book and more)
Dinosaur Montessori Cards
Timeline of Mathematicians
Timeline of Composers
Flower Shop Role Playing Game
Montessori Spelling Train
Carrot Contractions Game
How-to Help: Five Things to Do with Montessori Cards
1. Name the picture on each card.
2. Play matching games with two sets of Montessori cards.
3. Sort by topic criteria.
4. Recall narrative details about the topic pictured on the card. (Explain all you know about the material.)
5. Relate the Montessori cards in the set to one another.
Do you know these famous people who have used the Montessori Method?
-Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google
-Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google
-Peter Drucker, Management Guru
-Prince William and Prince Harry, English royal family
-George Clooney, Academy Award-winning actor
-Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon
-Anne Frank, famous diarist from WWII
-Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
-Will Wright, designer of The Sims
-Julia Child, famous chef
-Helen Hunt, Academy Award-winning actress
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize Winner
-Joshua Bell, American violinist, owner of Stradivarius violin
-Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former first lady (John F. Kennedy)
-Melissa and Sarah Gilbert, actresses