Top 5 Reasons Why Montessori Works

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As a Montessori parent and advocate, I can honestly say that I fell in love with Montessori at first sight. Over the years, I’ve watched my son benefit in so many ways because of his educational experiences. His love for learning, academic abilities, compassion and self-motivation are all qualities he’s attained from this superb form of learning. Here are five reasons why I think Montessori sets itself apart from other ways of learning:

1. Montessori is not a trend.

So often in education, educators jump from one trend to the next. Districts and schools spend thousands of dollars on a new math or reading program only to find two years later, there’s something better out there. Providing the “right” educational curriculum has become a constant challenge of “keeping up with the Jones’s”. Montessori schools use a philosophy and tools that have been around for over a century. Montessori schools don’t flip-flop between programs because they don’t need to. Montessori education proves to be effective regardless of whether it is in a private or public school, what country it is taught in or the socio economic status of the students. The philosophy that Maria Montessori developed many years ago still works for our kids today and I know as a parent, it works for my child as well.

2. It fosters independence.

Everything about a Montessori classroom fosters independence. You first start with the classroom that is prepared to allow the child to do for themselves what an adult would often do for a child. Enter a preprimary room and you will watch a three year old sweeping the floor with a child-sized broom, washing the dishes at a sink just their height or folding washcloths that are the right size for their hands. The pride you see in these children who are able to “do it themselves” without asking for help from an adult is incredible. A Montessori classroom provides a prepared environment where children are able to develop independence.

Materials were created to be self-correcting. Students can identify a mistake in their thinking without having an adult point it out to them. Students in a Montessori classroom then have the power to ask for help when they need it, as opposed to an adult telling the child when they need help.

Students begin to realize that they have the intelligence and ability to do things for themselves. This is not only empowering to the child, but gives them such a boost in confidence. I remember waking up many years ago to the sound of a microwave. I remember lying in bed thinking – only my four-year-old son and I are home, who could be using the microwave? I walked into the kitchen to see my son eating a steaming bowl of oatmeal. I asked him what he was doing and he told me that his teacher had taught him how to make instant oatmeal in the microwave. He got up, was hungry and decided to make himself some breakfast. Of course we then discussed how his teacher had also said an adult must supervise this process, but I was so excited that he had already become so independent at four and how confident he must have felt to take on such a task.

3. Kids grasp the idea of “why.”

I truly believe that students don’t just “lose” information over the summer because the summer is too long, I think they lose information because it’s not meaningful to them. Often in math, we expect students to understand operations but never give them the how or why. We come up with acronyms and mnemonic tools to help kids memorize the step without asking why these strategies are even necessary. Montessori allows children to understand the how and the why with materials. Students can actually see a division problem occur as he or she divides each place value. They also have the ability to practice it over and over with the materials until it makes sense to them.

4. It meets kids where they are.

One of the best benefits of Montessori is that it’s completely individualized. I never have to worry that my child is bored or frustrated to tears. He’s getting what he needs, when he needs it. In order for teachers to teach on an individual level, they must observe, mentor, mold and guide the child to his potential. As a parent, I feel better knowing that my child’s teacher knows him as an individual and not as just a second grader.

5. Learning is actually fun. (No really, it is!)

When you get to learn about botany by looking at leaf samples or learn about your favorite historical figure by dressing up as her, learning is engaging and fun. Montessori provides experiences for students to learn from. Learning doesn’t just come from lectures or listening, learning comes from doing and experiencing the world around them. Learning is real and relevant and that’s the way I want my child to learn.

Picking a school or method of education is one of the most important duties of a parent. My advice to other parents is to make a choice that will not just prepare your child for the next grade level, but will also prepare them to be a global citizen. Make the choice to put your child in a program where they will learn more than just the core subjects but also responsibility, compassion for others and self-motivation. Maria Montessori developed her philosophy because she wanted better for the world and future generations. With a little research and a tour of a Montessori school, you’ll see why Montessori works.

annAnn Pilzner‘s career in education first began at a traditional school in Detroit. In an effort to find a fantastic preschool program for her son, she stumbled upon Montessori. Ann fell in love with the philosophy and soon began teaching at his Montessori school. She later was offered the opportunity to open her own public Montessori school in Battle Creek, where she is currently the Head of School. Ann resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and son.

29 Comments for : Top 5 Reasons Why Montessori Works
    • yonna
    • December 19, 2014
    Reply

    How does one go about opening their own public Montessori School?

      • Amanda WitulskiAmanda Witulski
      • January 7, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Yonna!

      Here is a great link with information on starting up your own public Montessori school.

      http://www.mi-choice.com/services/start-a-school

      I hope this helps!
      Amanda

        • Irasema
        • January 26, 2015
        Reply

        Hi Amanda, how can I find a montesori school close to me I’m in Gl11

          • AmandaAmanda
          • January 27, 2015
          Reply

          Hi Irasema-
          Can you be more specific about your location? I am unaware of the meaning of “GL11.”

    • roberta carter
    • December 30, 2014
    Reply

    I have watched my two nephews thrive in Montessori. Now I am watching my great niece. Montessori is incredible!

      • AmandaAmanda
      • January 7, 2015
      Reply

      It truly is Roberta!

    • Rob
    • January 19, 2015
    Reply

    Interesting article. In reason 3, I Believe you were referring to mnemonic tools rather than pneumonic tools.

      • AmandaAmanda
      • January 20, 2015
      Reply

      Whoops! You are correct Rob. I guess we better practice our Montessori self-correcting skills a wee bit better! Glad you enjoyed the article.

    • Gloria Usher
    • January 19, 2015
    Reply

    My daughter Hillary Usher is a Montessori teacher at Coastal Montessori in South Carolina. She attended Eastern Michigan to earn her degree. After several years she came to a Montessori school here in Canton Michigan where she fell in love with Maria’s method. After her certification she was unable to find full time employment in our state. I have visited her and her classroom in S.C. and now understand why this method of teaching is so incredibly superior to traditional methods. I enjoyed your post and just wanted to say you’re doing a great job… sincerely Gloria Usher

      • AmandaAmanda
      • January 20, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you for the kind words Gloria! We are so happy to hear that your daughter found her place in a Montessori school. It is truly an outstanding method of teaching which has no comparisons.

  1. Reply

    This is a wonderful article. May I have permission to share it with our school families?
    Linda Salenbien
    Director
    Montessori Children’s House of Lenawee

      • AmandaAmanda
      • January 21, 2015
      Reply

      Absolutely Linda! Feel free to share it with your families and let them know about our Facebook page as well.

  2. Pingback: Parent Resource: Top 5 Reasons Why Montessori Works, Ann Pilzner | Healthy Beginnings Montessori

    • Faye
    • January 28, 2015
    Reply

    I would like. Yo enroll my grandson

    • Jenn
    • February 1, 2015
    Reply

    Loved reading this! I am a Montessori teacher in Kalamazoo and I wish that all parents would read this before making a decision about where to send their children. The decision should be about so much more then getting ready for the next grade level or the next test!

      • AmandaAmanda
      • February 4, 2015
      Reply

      You are very right Jenn! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • Savitri Senansyake.
    • February 1, 2015
    Reply

    Every child deserves a healthy start and I believe that only Montessori Method is able offer this. Iam a consultant and a lecturer for the method. Montessori method will never be outdated.

    • Lilian
    • February 2, 2015
    Reply

    Hi,
    I am very glad I read this article. I would love for my 3 year old son to attend a Mintessori School. Where can I find a public or private one in Chicago IL?

      • AmandaAmanda
      • February 4, 2015
      Reply

      The American Montessori Society website is a great place to start Lilian. You can find both private and public schools listed on their site in your area.
      The following link gives you Montessori schools in Illinois. Pay close attention to accredited vs. member. Anyone can pay to be a member of AMS. Your best best is to find a few in your area and visit them and observe to get a feel for the school.
      http://amshq.org/School-Resources/Find-a-School?m=US_STATE&s=IL

    • barbara
    • February 2, 2015
    Reply

    I believe it fosters INTER-dependence as well – children helping one another, being respectful of one another and their environment. Everything/being is connected – we are all interdependent and Montessori fosters this care for each other and the planet we live on.

    • Kristen
    • March 9, 2015
    Reply

    Can you tell me which progrsms are accredidated in Macomb County? I’d love to send my three year old, but am nervous if he’d like it since he’s been in a traditional daycare for two years?!? Great article !

      • AmandaAmanda
      • March 10, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Kristen-
      Currently the only Michigan accredited Montessori school is Meadow Montessori in Monroe, Michigan. That would be quite a hike for you though! However, some schools are affiliated with the American Montessori Society but not necessarily accredited. A school I am familiar with is Four Corners Montessori Academy in Madison Heights, MI. Their preschool teachers are outstanding and Miss Chris, their head of school would be happy to give you a tour. Their phone number is (248) 542-7001 and they also have a website: http://fourcornersmontessori.com

      Hope this helps in your search!

  3. Reply

    Thanks for the information on how Montessori academies “foster independence”. My nephew is very codependent and could really use an environment where he is able to develop independence. Will he be too overwhelmed by the independence or thrive immediately?

      • AmandaAmanda
      • July 27, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Rhys!
      Montessori is the perfect answer for developing independence. It is important to share your concerns with your nephew’s teacher and work together to build his independence at his own pace.

  4. Reply

    My kids go to a startup Montessori School in Brooklyn, just 2 years old now, called C’e Montessori and I would never choose anything different for them, its been a really great ride and I’m sure like Rhys says most Montessori schools that are well run must have similar successes.

      • AmandaAmanda
      • April 27, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing Sydney!

    • julie foley
    • January 20, 2017
    Reply

    There is a montessori program in Grand Rapids. IT’s in the Sacred Heart Academy school. HOw does it prepare them for 1st grade?

      • AmandaAmanda
      • April 27, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Julie-

      I am sorry but I am not familiar with that exact school. My best advice would be to visit the school and ask questions.

      Amanda

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