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'Supposing we study the phenomenon of error itself; it becomes apparent that everyone makes mistakes... many errors correct themselves as we go through life. The tiny child starts toddling uncertainly on their feet, wobble and fall but end up walking confidently.  They correct their own errors by growth and experience.'        
Maria Montessori

Why do children start a Montessori education at three years of age? Isn't it too young?

Children aged three to six have what Dr. Montessori called Absorbent Minds. They are full of curiosity and have voracious appetites for knowledge. They want to become independent, competent people; in other words, they are intrinsically motivated. These young children will naturally learn and master skills without the need for rewards. Their ability to absorb information at this age will never by surpassed. This is why we believe that it is not too early for three-year old children to start their education.

How does a Montessori education teach children to think?

The Montessori classroom suits the developmental ages of children. Within this prepared environment, students are trusted to make independent choices, explore ideas and develop skills largely on their own. This allows them to think for themselves, to draw their own conclusions and shape their own sense of individual identity.

Are children in a Montessori classroom allowed to do whatever they want?

No. Montessori students do have considerable freedom of choice and movement. But their work must be challenging and they must not disturb others when they move around the room. They are expected to return all materials and activities to where they belong, ready for the next student to use. With these expectations clearly defined, the children learn self-discipline, management and care for their environment, as well as respect for others.

It is crucial to know that, like all other schools IMN must fulfil curriculum criteria and reach the outcomes laid down. All students must study math and language every day.

What is the main goal of Montessori education?
  • Independence
  • Independent,  creative thinking
  • Self-directed learning
  • Self-motivation
  • Good working habits
  • Strong understanding of ethics
  • Respect for others.

What are the main differences between a Montessori and a traditional education?

  • Directed by Montessori principles and methods
  • Multi-age classrooms
  • No testing
  • Children learn by handling objects and through patterns of  'learning-doing-teaching'
  • Individual learning
  • Teacher observes and directs
  • Few interruptions
  • Freedom to move and work within the classroom
  • Environment facilitates discipline
  • Encouraged to help one another
  • Child chooses materials and sets own pace
  • Freedom to discover
  • Grounded in reality
  • Child provides own stimulus for learning
  • Child-centred environment
  • Self-education through self-correcting materials
  • Recognition of  'sensitive periods'

How do Montessori students cope when transferring schools?
This depends very much upon when they transition, as there are critical points in terms of the use of Montessori materials. If a child transitions at prep level after completing their pre-school education in a Montessori environment we usually find that the children are more advanced in their learning than other students who come to prep from a traditional preschool environment.

What were Dr. Montessori's key discoveries?
Children are intrinsically motivated. They have an innate and insatiable desire to learn new ideas and skills. There is no need for rewards to encourage them. Instead, they are driven by their desire to become independent, capable people.