Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Montessori Escuela and a traditional school?
Our Montessori School:
- Collaborative work between students and teacher
- Uninterrupted work cycles
- Multi-age classrooms with periods of quiet
- Children have the freedom to move and be spontaneous
- Teacher-pupil ratio is 1:6 (never more than 1:8)
- Integrated subjects and learning based on developmental psychology
- Spanish is spoken and encouraged most of the time
- Younger children are more suited to learn a second language than older children
A Traditional School:
- Children complete the same worksheets & texts at the same time, regardless of skills or abilities
- Specific periods of time for lessons
- Single-aged classrooms
- Children sitting in desks, often passive and quiet
- Teacher-pupil ratio is generally about 1-25
- Subjects taught independently
- English is spoken and encouraged most of the time
- Older children have more difficulty acquiring a second language
What is the age range of students at Montessori Escuela?
Students between the ages of two and five can participate in our program.
Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?
Yes, Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools, and we offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar: Everyday Living, Math, Language, Art, Sensorial, Music, Geography, Science, Movement, Language and Nature Study.
How is discipline dealt with in a Montessori school?
Montessori schools believe that discipline is something that should come from inside rather than something that is always imposed by others. Our school does not rely on rewards and punishments. By being allowed to be free in the environment, and learning to love and care for other people, the child develops confidence and control over his own behavior. So Montessori teachers only step in when a child’s behavior is upsetting or disruptive to others. And then the child will be handled with deep respect and sensitivity. The belief is that the children are by nature loving and caring, and the emphasis is on helping them develop the vital social and emotional skills needed for participating in the community.
Is it true that Montessori schools don’t encourage imaginative play?
Maria Montessori saw that there was a difference between truly creative imagination, based on reality, and fantasy, based on non-real events. When she watched children play she realized that they really wanted to be able to do real things in the real world, rather than just pretend. So Montessori schools really value imaginative play but will always try to help children work with real objects and situations when possible.
What happens after Montessori school?
Montessori children tend to be very socially comfortable. Because they have been encouraged to problem-solve and think independently they are happy, confident and resourceful. Generally they are quite prepared for, and transition very easily into, new schools. In fact, most Kindergarten and elementary teachers are often delighted to hear that your child has been in a Montessori school.
Is the Montessori classroom too structured?
Order and structure are really important to help children feel safe and secure. Montessori did a lot of experimentation to find out which, and how many, materials best suited the needs of the children. What she realized was that too much information was as bad as too little, and that children needed to be able to successfully build on their previous experiences. They could be overwhelmed with too many changing toys and options. So she carefully structured what was available. Montessori teachers, therefore, always watch the children to ensure that the right materials are available to support their individual interests and needs.
Does Montessori encourage creativity?
Genuine creativity stems from individual freedom of expression. In a Montessori setting, it’s not likely you will find several pieces of art that all look the same. Your child will be encouraged to express him or herself through singing, dancing, acting, talking, drawing, painting, sticking, gluing, cutting, arranging and writing. Unlike adults, children aren’t really interested in the end result. Instead, they are much more interested in the fun and fascination of the creative process.
What kind of training do Montessori teachers have?
Montessori training is comprehensive and includes the following: in-depth investigation of the Montessori philosophy and materials, exercises for practical life, education of the senses, literacy skills, mathematics, cultural subjects, arts and crafts, music and movement, drama, child development, observation and assessment, contemporary issues, childcare and health, safety, nutrition and special needs. Montessori licensure and certification programs are fully committed to ensuring the ongoing provision of this high quality training. Additionally, Montessori teachers tend to be people who really love being with children and who feel strongly about the importance of holistic approaches to learning. The philosophy often attracts more mature students, from very diverse backgrounds, who are disillusioned with conventional educational systems.
How can I enroll my child in Montessori Escuela?
You may contact us to request an informational packet. Among the documents, there is an application form which may be filled out and mailed back. You may also download the application and mail it to us. Complete applications will be reviewed and you will be notified of the submission status promptly. When we have reached capacity, your child will be placed on the waiting list.
How long is the waiting list?
Due to increased demand for primary Montessori education in the area, limited space is available. However, we are currently accepting applications for the upcoming academic year. If we cannot accommodate your child for the approaching school year, you will be notified, and his or her name will be added to the waiting list. Preference is given to siblings of currently enrolled students.