Did you know that 100% of Maria Montessori International Academy students read before kindergarten? Montessori children often learn to read very early. When they learn their numbers, their understanding is not just of counting but that seven is one more than six and not just because it follows six. They begin to add and subtract, even multiply and divide. They learn about leaves and leaf shapes. They learn about zoology, geometry and time. There seems to be almost no end of the surprises of what children learn. It is ironic, however, that the most important lesson does not appear on a progress report. The Montessori educational philosophy builds its structure on the lessons of grace and courtesy. The classroom succeeds because each child is encouraged to exercise care and consideration for his or her classmates by taking turns, helping and supporting each other, and teaching each other. Grace and courtesy set the tone for the classroom and the quietness of the environment allow the concentration that precedes significant accomplishments.
One of the great lessons in Montessori Education is the ability to positively control oneself. Many of us grew up with “self-control” meaning to do exactly what someone else told us to do – “be quiet, don’t, stop, no, don’t move” etc. The great Montessori lesson (and the one that takes great effort and often a lifetime to master) is self-control. The mastery of self-control leads to making wise choices. Wise choices come from focus, determination, knowledge and control. The way one learns to make wise choices is to have the opportunity to make choices and live with the consequences. Similar wisdom applies when both learning how to deal with people and learning how to make amends if necessary.
Traditional education does not always afford children the opportunity to exercise real self-control, make independent choices and work through them toward successful completion. Traditionally, if students fail a test they move on. In the Montessori method, students strive for mastery before moving on. The Montessori method allows students to progress from strength/mastery as opposed to weakness/failure.
The most important lesson in Montessori education is not an academic one but one of self-control and focus. Montessori students gain many academic skills, however, the greatest lesson is the mastery of self – knowledge.
Contact Mrs. Vivian Cain, Elementary Teacher and Executive Director at The Maria Montessori International Academy serving infants to 6th grade in Indianapolis, Zionsville, and Carmel.
“I love the teaching passion and relentless energy that is poured into every child at Maria Montessori International Academy. The teachers exude such compassion towards the children in what a Montessori education does for a child’s love of learning. I love the enthusiasm that it engenders. I love to watch the understanding that dawns on a child as a concept makes sense for the ﬁrst time.”