Why Montessori?

What are the benefits of a Montessori Elementary education?

The Montessori elementary curriculum provides a non-competitive, intellectually and developmentally appropriate learning opportunity.  Children are valued for their individuality and special gifts and talents.  Through a culturally enriched curriculum, children take responsibility for exploring the universe and researching those areas of particular interest to them.  The emphasis is on learning, not memorization.

Learning grows and blossoms in the Montessori Elementary classroom.  With three primary areas of study within the standard curriculum (mathematics, language arts and cultural studies).  The breadth and depth of possibilities of the Montessori curriculum extends well beyond traditional curriculum models.  The environment builds on the pre-primary (3-6) experience, reflects a new stage of development, and offers the following:

  • All children are approached as individuals and allowed to progress at their own rate.
  • Exposure to a complete and prepared environment that includes: mathematics, language arts, foreign language, history, geography, geology, biology, computer science, music (performances), creative art, physical education, peace education, grace and courtesy.
  • The activities for all subjects are supported by tangible, manipulative materials that invite children to discover and concretely understand all of these areas.

“The job of the Montessori director/ress is not to teach information so much as to guide or direct the children into an area of study by stimulating their imagination and interest, and letting them go on their own as far as they wish by using both the classroom materials and outside resources”.  In Montessori elementary, every child knows from experience that the teacher will not “dispense all the information so that he/she is sure the students get it”.  Every child knows that he/she is not expected blindly ” to memorize and regurgitate”, as in traditional education.  Every child knows that his studies will not be bounded by the limits imposed by the teacher’s own research.  Every child knows that he/she has “the opportunity to carry his/her study far beyond the reaches of the teacher’s own knowledge”.

(Duffy, Michael & Duffy, D’Neil; Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom, 2002, p.34, Hollidaysburg, PA: Parent-Child Press.)

What happens when your child leaves Montessori?

Even though the benefits of process-oriented, non-competitive education and a nurturing environment are evident in the daily Montessori experience of each child, parents still tend to be goal oriented when it comes to their children.  They need to know that their child will be ready for the “next step”, whatever that may be.

Academic preparation to enter the next environment is evident throughout all Montessori classrooms.  However, that is not the only preparation a child needs.  The social aspects of the Montessori education cannot be dismissed.  The self-confidence that is seen in students and their willingness to try just about anything when it comes to learning are amazing.  Children in Montessori schools set their own expectations for themselves and are internally motivated to achieve their goals.  These skills will serve all of the children well, whatever comes next for them.

Children will leave Montessori Elementary School of Asheville with certain values.  They will have a deep respect for the needs and capabilities of other people, as well as an appreciation for diversity in all forms.  When a child leaves the Montessori environment, they will take with them:

  • Academic preparation
  • Creativity and originality of thought
  • Autonomy
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Love of learning
  • Multi-cultural view
  • Confidence and competence
  • Lasting friendships

A study comparing outcomes of children at a public, inner-city Montessori school with children who attended traditional schools indicates that Montessori education leads to children with better social and academic skills.

(This study appears in the journal “Science”, September 29, 2006.)

The answer to the question, “What is next for my child?” is inevitably a personal one for every family.  Montessori Elementary School of Asheville’s goals are that of most parents:  for the children to be well rounded, happy, responsible and fulfilled.  MESA promises that we will guide your family through the transition process, so that it may be as smooth and comfortable as possible.