montessori schools

Montessori Schools



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By Brian Tracy

When my wife and I had our first of four children, we studied child raising exhaustively, and were eager to be excellent parents (all parents are when they’ve had their first child).

We read books and pamphlets, attended courses and lectures about raising happy, healthy, self-confident children.

We soon came upon the works of Maria Montessori, an Italian scholar and teacher who developed what is known today as the Montessori Method.

As a teacher, she developed a series of profound insights as to how children learn and develop in the best and fastest way.

She then experimented for years and developed her system, and finally formularized it, so that it could be duplicated by other teachers and administrators throughout the world.

There are guidelines enabling parents to find genuine Montessori schools, which we did.

As soon as our daughter, Christine was three years old, she began the three-year Montessori learning process.

Here’s how it works:

Each day, the child is dropped off at school.

The teachers greet all the children by name as they arrive, shake their hands and treat them as young ladies and gentlemen.

They are always courteous and respectful to children.

The children then go to their class according to their age, level and development, and are taught to immediately go to their places on “the line”, which is in effect a large, round circle drawn in the middle of the classroom, with room for each of the students to sit comfortably.

The class activities begin and end throughout the day with a return to sitting on the circle before getting engaged in the next exercise.

Based on age and experience, the children are then given tasks to perform. At Montessori, this is called, “the work”.

The children are encouraged to see each exercise as important. It may be coloring with crayons, drawing with paintbrushes, assembling and disassembling puzzles, creating artwork or something else.

In each case, there is a beginning, a middle and an end.

The job of the teacher is to guide the children into and through each task.

At the end of the exercise, which is always age and skill appropriate, the children return to the circle, one by one. They discuss what they had done and receive positive feedback from the teacher.

They then embark on the next exercise.

For the student, completing Montessori exercises is like climbing a winding, spiral staircase.

Over the course of the three years, the exercises become more complex and difficult — each one gauged to the individual growth rate of the child.

By the end of the basic three years, Montessori children can read, write, do mathematics, operate a computer, play a musical instrument, speak parts of a foreign language, know enough geography to recognize the various states and countries of the world, and are fluent in several other subjects.

What is most impactful is that for three solid years, the students have been starting, working on and completing ever more difficult tasks. At the end of each completed task, they receive compliments and encouragement from their teacher.

This makes them feel like winners.

The teachers continually tell the students how proud they are of how well the students are doing.

There is no pass or fail. There are no losers: every child WINS over and over again. Day after day, week after week, month after month — for three years.

Can you imagine how children begin to feel, how they emerge from the Montessori experience?

The answer is EXTRAORDINARY!

They have high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence.

They are proud of themselves.

They are self-responsible and have high levels of self-respect.

They have positive self-images.

They like themselves and they like others.

They feel empowered and capable of doing anything that they put their minds to.

In their key, formative years, they have learned repeatedly — by design — that they are competent, capable — and absolutely excellent human beings!

Once, when we were walking in a shopping center with our children, and our children were talking eagerly with each other in between dodging away and coming back, looking at different things for sale and asking questions, a woman stopped us and asked, “Are those Montessori children?”

It was at this point that we realized that we had accomplished something quite wonderful with our children.

With the constant reinforcement at school, matched with the constant encouragement at home, our children had started their little lives feeling like WINNERS!

They still feel and act like that today!

Some people who have attended Montessori schools include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google and founder Jeff Bezos.

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1. The writer and his wife were very interested in and concerned about early childhood development. True or false?

2. Who was Maria Montessori? What did she do?

3. The teachers get angry at the children if they come late to school. Is this correct or wrong?

4. What is the base or home of a Montessori? Is it rows of tables?

5. Do all of the children do the same activities together?

6. They only draw, paint and do artwork. Yes or no?

7. What do the teachers do? What are the primary roles and responsibilities?

8. Is there competition at Montessori schools, with the best and the worst, first place, second place and third place among students?

9. Does this have a mental and psychological effect on children? Does it wear off when they grow up? Do students outgrow their Montessori experience?


A. Have you attended a Montessori school? Do you know anyone who has?

B. Would you like to have attended one? Does it sound like “fun”?

C. Are there Montessori schools in your city or country?

D. Is the Montessori school a big industry?

E. What may happen in the future? Will it become more popular?


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