When children are able to actively engage in learning about their world and develop independence in the process, they radiate happiness and become more peaceful. Parents appreciate the changes they see within their children and often seek to learn more about Montessori to extend it into the home.
For Parents: In Montessori, children learn through engaging their senses as opposed to sitting and listening to a teacher. Carefully engineered materials become the tools for learning in a thoughtfully designed environment under the watchful eye of specially trained teachers. Children become actively engaged in a wide variety of activity with no time wasted.
For Educators: Montessori is a holistic approach to learning with its own philosophy, curriculum, teaching methods, and specially designed materials. It uses concrete materials in a multisensory approach to guide and equip the child’s natural desire to learn. Doing so fosters intrinsic motivation rather than rewards, punishment, and external control. Multisensory learning produces greater brain engagement which generates deeper retention of learning.
For one, private schools are exempt from standardized testing mandates and all of the related preparations. In addition, public Montessori schools are accountable for preparing students to meet the state standards, i.e., TEKS in Texas.
We will offer multilingual learning: English, Spanish and French with the hope of adding German in the near future. Teachers of these languages will conduct their lessons with small groups of children unobtrusively within the child’s classroom, to ensure a seamless flow of learning, free of the disruption of pullouts. Multilingual learning is essential to preparing the child to thrive in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world.
In addition, Downtown Montessori places a high value on providing authentic Montessori to our families while providing extended learning opportunities (not simply childcare/babysitting) until 6pm. Becoming the first fully accredited public Montessori school in Dallas is a top priority of the staff.
We will be providing a full program of Parent University classes to choose from, including:
- an overview of Montessori
- how to extend and support it at home
- lessons your child will receive in each subject
- the array of programs and services offered by the school
- what to expect from your child at each stage (plane) of development
In addition to onsite parent classes on campus, we will provide learning opportunities, resources and links through our Website and Facebook page. Offsite sessions may also be available depending upon demand and locale. In addition, our PTA may begin compiling a parent lending library of Montessori books, articles, dvds, etc.
Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations. Being able to self-direct and work collaboratively are hallmarks of Montessori outcomes as well as key qualities sought after by employers.
As a public school, Montessori must meet all of the requirements of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS. However, in many areas, Montessori exceeds these mandates. For example:
In Math, upper elementary students construct square and cube root models, giving form to their advanced number computations, something which is conventionally taught at the high school level.
In Geometry, a full elementary program culminates with advanced studies of equivalence and theorems of Pythagoras, again high school content.
In Science, subjects like botany and zoology are regular features in a program which also includes astronomy, chemistry, physics, geology, paleontology, anthropology and archaeology stress the vital interrelationships of all organisms. The science content of the TEKS is presented in isolation with no unifying theme.
In History, the commonalities across time and locale emerge from the development of life on the planet to the progression of civilizations. The TEKS are limited to a state and national focus until high school.
In Geography, the world’s political divisions, from city to nation, their histories and their flags are studied in detail. Landforms and the forces that continue to shape them are included as earth sciences and meteorology are integrated into geography. Again, the TEKS touch briefly upon studies of landforms and weather but lack a global focus on political geography.
In Language, complete programs of grammar and word study, including advanced work in verb tense, mood and voice. In Montessori, these are essential to a fully developed literacy. The TEKS deal with grammar and word study at a basic level.