Montessori Moments: Why Montessori?

buildingourstoryWhile I’m traveling to #BlogHer13, I thought it would be fun to have a guest post for this edition of Montessori Moments! My friend, Censie, from Building Our Story has a 3-year-old son, Jude who will be entering Montessori this fall. Here is her story on why they have decided to enroll him in Montessori School rather than a traditional preschool. Make sure to follow Censie on Twitter & Facebook.

Why Montessori for Jude?

I am Censie, Jude’s mom. I am the author of a parenting blog called Building Our Story. For any of you that follow my blog you know that Jude, who just turned 3, is my busy boy. When I have people first meet Jude I often get the question “Does he ever slow down?” – the honest answer is NO! This boy is on the go from the time he wakes up to the moment his eyes close.

Since he was about 18 months old we knew that he was going to be a challenge in any classroom due to his high energy and advanced thinking.  My parents are both retired teachers and they laugh at the thought of us having to field teacher calls for the next 15 years. Thanks Mom and Dad! I am very thankful for my parents though, their teaching experiences has really helped us decide what we want for Jude with his education, specifically his Preschool years. We have chosen to become a part of the Montessori education program.

Define Montessori Education:
Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child’s natural psychological development. The teacher, child, and environment create a learning triangle. The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop himself, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed. Classroom materials {for preschool} usually include activities for engaging in practical skills such as pouring and spooning, materials for the development of the senses, math materials, language materials, music and art materials, and more. – American Montessori Society

So what is appealing about the definition above for us and Jude? Jude will not be expected to SIT in a seat for hours a day and focus on lessons in front of the room. Instead he will get one on one education with his teacher or classroom aid but then also get to decide what he would like to engage with during his time in the classroom. When we visited the classroom with Jude he was immediately pulled into some great activities. Sculpting Play-doh, reading in the tree house, exploring the newly “hatched” butterflies and also matching letters. Also, he isn’t going be fitting into a box of education. Montessori is about working at the child’s level and need. What more could you want for your child’s first education in life?

Jude visiting his classroom for the first time.  He was so sad to leave.

Our plan is to keep Jude in this Montessori program that is just up the street from my parents until first grade. At that point we will re-evaluate our options and move forward. Jude starts Pre-school in just about a month! EEEK!! I am so excited for him, I know that this step will be a great experience for him. I want learning to be a positive feeling for Jude for the rest of his life and I know that the Montessori program is built on that.

Thank you to Heather for letting me be a part of her Montessori Moments – I look forward to many more stories to share with you all!

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