A lot of people don’t understand a Montessori education, resulting in a few myths that we need to dispel.
Myth #1: Montessori Is Only for the Wealthy
This is so not the case. Maria Montessori actually started this way of educating for children with special needs and for disadvantaged families. Having said that most Montessori schools fall under ‘private’ schooling in SA, making it a little more expensive than a government education.
But don’t let that scare you off. It’s worth comparing fees and seeing which works for you. Sometimes the teacher learner ration and overall learning experience justifies the costs
Myth #2: The Montessori Classroom is Unstructured and Children Can Do What They Want All Day
Although the children have more freedom in a Montessori classroom to choose their “work” and activities – there is still plenty of structure and a schedule set for the day – it is not just an 8 hour free for all! They don’t have the day scheduled out down to the minute, as is the case with traditional daycare – but there is a schedule. And keep in mind, what is considered by adults to be ‘playing’ all day, it’s learning for young minds
Myth #3: Montessori Curriculum is Not Strongly Academic; Child May Fall Behind
This is definitely not the case, and unfortunately it seems to be the most misunderstood of all the myths. Most Montessori kids are ahead of the ‘norm’ in terms of the academic curve. It doesn’t mean they will always be ahead of the pack, but as a starting point, it’s a great foundation.
The older children in a Montessori class are covering the basics of reading, writing, social / personal skills, life skills as well as l addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, geography, science, etc.
Myth #4: Montessori is “All Work and No Play”
There is plenty of work and academic/learning time – but their daily schedule still has plenty of time for play – such as music / dance and recess! Also, to an adult, learning how to count, pour, tie their shoe, set the table, mix colors, etc sounds like work – but to a little kid – that is still play and fun! Stacking blocks (aka The Pink Tower) from smallest to largest – is learning about size and balance, while they think they are just building a tower!
Myth #5: Montessori Teachers Are Too Strict
This can be said of any teacher at any school. It’s completely up to their teaching strategy and personality. Montessori is, however, built on respect for children, adults, our planet, our possessions, everything. This sometimes can come off as being strict or not loving when you see how a teacher welcomes a child in the morning or how they interact. But if you really watch and see it day in and day out, you see how much the teachers love their children. And vice versa.
Should you want to join us for a walk around the school, spend some time in the classrooms and experience Montessori in action, please give us a shout