What sets Montessori education apart from Traditional educational environments?
The main purpose of a Montessori school is to provide a meticulously planned, enriching environment which will help the child develop a foundation for lifelong learning. Instruction adapts to each student’s learning style rather than the student having to adapt to a teaching style. This creates an environment where students become an active participant in learning.
Helping each child develop self-confidence, lessons are designed so that each new step scaffolds upon what each child has already mastered, thus avoiding a negative experience of frequent failure. A carefully arranged series of successes builds confidence in the child affirming that he can learn by himself. Each child works at their own rate, repeating the task as often as they like, thus experiencing a series of successful achievement. In this manner, they foster a positive outlook toward learning itself. It is our goal that each child at Little Scholars becomes a confident and independent learner throughout the course of the school year.
Developing habits of initiative and persistence by immersing a student in interesting and appealing materials and learning activities geared towards individual needs, the learner becomes accustomed to initiating engagement in activities on their own. Gradually, this builds a habit of initiative. This is an important quality in becoming a leader in one's community. Montessori and classroom expectations, call for completing a task once begun and gradually results in a habit of persistence and perseverance for replacing materials after the task is accomplished. This “completion expectation” not only creates perseverance but also encourages internal self-discipline.
Are there any similarities between the Montessori and Traditional teaching methods?
Public education is adopting the "common core" standards, which utilize the methods of Montessori learning. Students will now explore fewer standards in depth and with a variety of materials and manipulatives. Little Scholars combines the Montessori Method with the common core standards so students can easily transition from private to traditional educational environments seamlessly.
How much time is spent on any particular subject?
In Montessori a student will determine their own learning pace to internalize information. By formulating their own concepts from self-teaching materials, students learning is reinforced internally through the child's own repetition of an activity. Students are allowed to work on a lesson or subject as long as they wish. Children are also encouraged to collaborate, teach, and help each other therefore, further enhancing the students understanding of the concept.
How are students assessed for academic progression?
Academic goals are individualized for each child, and can vary greatly from one student to the next. Students will enter in and out of periods in which they are the most sensitive to learning a particular academic skill at various times. It is through careful observation and record keeping for each child, that teachers become clued in to these periods and therefore able to take full advantage of the child's state of readiness and track learning progression.
Once a student completes 5th grade at Little Scholars, how does the transfer to public/private school work?
Transferring to a new school, regardless of educational model, is simple for our students. Little Scholars is a Category 3 private school licensed through the Tennessee Department of Education, meaning students will not be required to be assessed for grade level upon transfer. The documented grade of completion will follow the student from our program to their new school. Additionally, the Little Scholar’s teachers have developed assessments and "report cards" to travel with the students. These items, along with the supplemental documentation requested by the new program, will provide the new school with the standards taught and grade level equivalency for each student.