Montessori FAQs

How is a Montessori preschool different from other preschools? 

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Montessori education places children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones.


Where did Montessori come from?
Dr. Maria Montessori graduated as Italy's first female doctor. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in Rome. Based on her observations she developed unique materials, a child-centered environment, and was one of the first persons to revolutionize educational thought by stressing respect for the child, freedom of expression, self education, and training through  movement and the senses. 

How do children do in other schools after a Montessori education? 
Montessori children are unusually adaptable. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they have been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, these children are problem-solvers who can make choices and manage their time well. They have also been encouraged to exchange ideas and to discuss their work freely with others and good communication skills ease the way in new settings. Montessori programs, based on self- directed, noncompetitive activities, help children develop good self-images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism. 

Is Montessori good for children with learning disabilities? What about gifted children?
Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multi-age grouping allows each child to find his or her own pace without feeling "ahead" or "behind" in relation to peers. 

Why should I send my child to a Montessori preschool? 
Most educators and psychologists today agree that the single most important period in the development of a persons' intelligence occurs between birth and age five. A child's mind is extremely absorbent and his curiosity is at a peak during these early years. When properly nourished and stimulated, the child's mind forms patterns for learning that will serve him well throughout his life. The Montessori system of preschool education has proven to be one of the most effective and fastest growing methods of guiding a child through these critical years. 

What is the Montessori Method of Education?
The Montessori Method of education is a unique approach to learning. Rather than “teaching” the child concepts, the environment is designed to stimulate the child's interests and learning capacities spontaneously. The environment allows the child to act independently and to be a participant in his own education. When the child is allowed to make choices and see the results of these, his self esteem and confidence are built creating a more self-reliant, happy, and independent child. 

In a Montessori classroom, the children are given individual lessons with each material. The special nature of the materials allow the children to continue to practice the lesson independently until the lesson is mastered. The adult stands back and observes the children making their own discoveries with the material and records their progress. 

Who is the Montessori method designed for? 
The Montessori method is an approach to learning and as such has no distinctions of class or intelligence. It has been used successfully in all parts of the world and in all types of programs - Head-start, gifted children, children with disabilities, public school, etc. – but the benefits of the Montessori Method extend to all types of children, because it is child-focus, and so in a sense it is designed for EACH child. 

What is the best age to start a child in a preschool? 
Maria Montessori outlined various periods of sensitivity. During these times a child is more capable of and interested in learning specific concepts. At age 3 a special sense of order, concentration, coordination and independence begin to emerge. This time is ideal to begin a child's training in Montessori as he is at the perfect period to build a strong foundation for future learning.