When you first get the opportunity to observe the prepared environment of a Montessori classroom, you will be nothing short of amazed. The effect this setup and design will have on your child’s learning abilities is astounding. A child’s learning ability is much bigger than that of adults. Their minds ‘absorb’ what they are introduced to and are able to interact with. The Montessori classroom is designed to support your child’s ‘absorbent’ mind.
How Setup and Design Matter
Using a balanced practice of directing, providing, and allowing, your child will be given the freedom of individual choice. Classrooms are setup to support teachers by removing the responsibility to ‘control’ the students. Instead, they implement an observational style of teaching so they understand each student’s interests, needs, and abilities. Dr. Montessori, founder of the Montessori Educational Program, made it her mission to understand and resolve challenges in childhood learning. Using observation, design, testing, and refinement, she created a comprehensive learning environment that the Montessori system still uses today.
Design of the Furniture
Furniture used in the Montessori learning environments are created with the child’s size in mind. The desks, when used, are child sized and able to comfortably be moved by the child to any location they feel relaxed in. Children are encouraged to move to an area they are comfortable in, even if it is on the floor. Dr. Montessori believed children should be able to choose what they want to engage in and be able to work together with other children of their choice. Tables, cupboards, and all learning areas are designed for the height of the learning age so children can reach their materials without adult assistance. This type of environment encourages your child to be more independent.
Setup of the Classroom
The setup of the Montessori classroom creates ultimate harmony for a prepared environment. This type of classroom allows your child to choose what he or she is most interested in, and then follow a set of steps to complete it. Work will vary on the interest level of the age such as beading a necklace to completing an independent work study. Children are given as much time as they need to complete their chosen project and it must be something they have received some form of lesson on from the teacher.
Approach of the Montessori Classroom
The Montessori classroom is inviting, beautiful, and arranged to follow the elements Dr. Montessori so strongly believed in. The classrooms use natural lighting, soft colors, and uncluttered spaces so your child can focus in a calm and comfortable environment. They are setup and designed to suit group activities or for a child to find a quiet space to have alone time. It is designed so your child will find joy in his or her learning.
Contact Montessori Children’s House in the Bay Area today and schedule a tour. See for yourself the learning environment setup to enhance your child’s natural curiosity and learning abilities.