FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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1. How does your curriculum differ from a traditional school setting?
Montessori Traditional
Teacher's role in the classroom is passive and designed to guide individual learning when asked and when a child is ready; the child is the active participant Teacher's role is dominant, assuming the active role in leading a class; the child is the passive participant in learning
Self-discipline is encouraged both through the method of teaching and the environment External discipline is enforced by teacher (and principal)
Instruction adapts to each individual's learning style in both group and individual settings Instruction conforms to standardized curriculum with less room for flexibility
Mixed-age classroomsSame-age classrooms
Children are encouraged to collaborate, assist one another, and teach each otherChildren are primarily taught by teachers with less time for collaboration
Children select their own work dictated by individual interest and skill levelChildren are taught a prescribed curriculum for the whole classroom, regardless of interest or skill level
Children forumlate their own answers from self-teaching materialsChildren are guided to answers by teacher
Children set their own individual pace to absorb information presented to themChildren typically follow a pace set by the group average or the teacher
Children work as long as they desire with a selected materialChildren are typically given a specific time limit to achieve their work
Children learn to discover their own errors through exploration with the materialsChildren's work is corrected with mistakes identified by teacher
Learning is achieved internally at child's individual pace, by their continued interest, and their personal feelings of successLearning is reinforced by others through memorization, repetition, and external rewards or discouragement
Complete array of multi-sensory materials for explorationLess emphasis on intentional sensory exploration
Nurturing environment encourages children to work where they are comfortable working individually or in groupsChildren are typically assigned a space and are encouraged to remain still and listen during group instruction
Emphasis on practical life skills to learn how to care for self and the environment and to develop attention span, fine motor skills, and work ethicLess emphasis on caring for self and environment; this instruction left to parents


2. What role does standardized testing play?
There is no standardized testing required through Kindergarten. Children who transition into a traditional school program are assessed by that individual school using their criteria for acceptance.

3. What level of education and certifications do you require of your teachers?
We require all lead instructors to be fully certified in the Montessori Method by an accredited institution. The majority of our lead instructors have their masters degree in teaching or education, often with a specialization in Montessori (although this is not required).

4. Do you introduce religion into your curriculum?
Montessori Centre is not affiliated with any religious tradition. We honor all cultures and welcome children and families of all faith backgrounds. Holidays often present an excellent opportunity to broaden our children's awareness and cultural sensitivity.

5. How do you address cultural diversity?
We embrace all cultures and view diversity as a way to prepare our children for their journey in this world.

6. Why do you mix ages in a classroom?
A fundamental tenet of Montessori education is that social learning reinforces an older child's skill and confidence while embracing a younger child's eagerness to look up to and model the older child.

7. How difficult is it to make the transition to a traditional school after Montessori?
A student will be amply prepared to attend any school after Montessori. In most cases, those experienced in admissions will recognize and address the uniqueness of the Montessori methods, and will speak directly to parents and students about the transition period. As a parent, it will be important to monitor your child's interest and enthusiasm about his new classroom to ensure that he is continuing to be stimulated.

8. How do you discipline a child?
We choose positive reinforcement or redirection to guide the child to an appropriate outcome. We encourage self-calming techniques and have a designated safe, comforting place for the child who requires a moment to compose themselves. We do not permit any physical punishment under any circumstances.

9. Do you offer 2- or 3-day programs or extended care?
We offer 2-, 3-, and 5-day programs in all of our classrooms. After care and early care are also provided, beginning at 7:15AM and ending at 6:00PM.

10. How does your tuition compare to other private schools?
The tuition at Montessori Centre is comparable to other private schools. Tuition can be paid in full, or by monthly or semester installments.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL

Not all Montessori programs are created equal. There is presently no regulation within the industry, allowing any school to call themselves a "montessori" school. The following is a checklist to assist you in finding a Montessori program with a genuine approach:

 
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  1. Are all of the educators Montessori educated and certified?
  2. Is the campus and classroom environment clean, organized and calm?

  3. Is the executive director available and informative?

  4. Does each classroom represent a mixed age group?

  5. Are the children focused on their work and do they look interested and engaged?

  6. Are all of the classrooms fully equipped with all of the traditional Montessori materials?

  7. Are the materials made of natural elements such as wood, glass and cloth?

  8. Are the classrooms separated by Sensory, Practical Life and Academic areas?

  9. Do the instructors support the "follow the child" philosophy of working at their individual pace?

  10. Are children permitted to repeat a work as many times as they would like?

  11. Are the children exposed to character and environment education?

  12. Are parents encouraged to become involved not just in the school's activities, but in the education style and learning of their children?