As loving parents, most of us would agree and hope that quality education provides the solid foundation and springboard from which our children leap from to reach their full potential.
As more and more evidence based research is revealing, children's attendance at a quality pre-school, really does help them emotionally and academically flourish at school too.
So how is Montessori pre-school and childcare different?
What are the benefits and what should a parent consider to check that this type of educational philosophy will suit their unique child?
So Parents Guide Illawarra interviewed Carey Nelson, a qualified, experienced childcare educator and Montessori directress, who has recently opened 'Growing Stars' a Montessori Pre-school and Childcare centre based down in Flinders (20 minutes South of Wollongong), serving the families of Flinders, Shell Cove, Shellharbour, Kiama, Jamberoo, and Gerringong, who are seeking childcare for their 3-6 year olds.
Q: Carey can you please explain the Montessori philosophy and how it differs from other pre-schools and childcare?
"The Montessori philosophy set out by Dr. Maria Montessori aims to develop each child’s innate desire to learn by using a child’s natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge. To educate children to their full potential, Dr. Maria Montessori felt that children must have the freedom to learn at their own pace and via what naturally interests and captivates your child.
Our teachers at Growing Stars Montessori School, are trained to recognise the differences in each child’s learning style, passions and pace at which they learn.
Because learning is focused around what interests each unique child, children will instinctively push to develop their skills and master new challenges they face. Our teachers know when to stand back and let these instincts drive discovery and learning.
This is how I've seen the Montessori approach be so empowering and able to boost a child’s confidence tremendously - coinciding with your child discovering that they have the intelligence to do things and develop the skills themselves.
In essence, a Montessori education and philosophy helps inspire a life long love of learning and it is this that which has long term results and benefits throughout the rest of their education and careers."
Q. What are the other benefits of a child attending a Montessori Pre-School, like Growing Stars?
"Montessori benefits students with a wide range of learning styles. Montessori classroom practices (and their Montessori benefits): uninterrupted work periods, concrete learning, and student-to-student teaching. Studies show that uninterrupted work time can boost students’ focus, concentration, and discipline. It can also improve soft “social” functions, such as self-control and regulation. Dr. Montessori discovered that children who engage in deep concentration on purposeful work emerge from that state more calm, self-regulated, and with higher social competencies.
Children in our classrooms are confident, self-directed learners. They are independent, careful, thoughtful, curious, creative and joyful. Students are constantly learning through inquiry which means that they are asking the big questions and searching out the answers. Montessori classrooms do not focus on reward or punishment as a means of motivation. Rather, they nurture a love of meaningful learning activities and inner focus and discipline. The outcome is positive regardless of result as it inspires self-correction and self-confidence.
Through the Montessori method, children have been able to attain a higher level of development than previously thought possible, not only academically, but in all areas of their growth and development."
Q. Carey, as an experienced childcare educator, what is most important to you about what children experience in Growing Stars Montessori School?
"I love being able to see each child's face light up as they work through an activity and achieve that sense of accomplishment when mastering an activity; allowing children to have the independence to choose what they are interested in creates a love for learning.
As a mum of 2 and having watched my own children grow and learn through the Montessori early education program and having owned my own Montessori School for 12 years I have really seen firsthand, that when children are put in the right learning environment the results are incredible.
By offering an environment full of lessons and materials that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but have purpose, and control of error, allowing the child freedom of movement, freedom of choice, freedom to repeat, freedom of expression, freedom for social development for their spontaneous development plays such an important roll and stems a life-long love of learning and gives children the foundation, focus and skills to succeed."
From Parents Guide Illawarra, thank you to Carey Nelson from Growing Stars Montessori School for sponsoring this article and sharing her wealth of experience and explaining what can be so beneficial about the Montessori philosophy.
Growing Stars Montessori School is currently accepting applications and enrolments for the remainder of 2018 / 2019 and beyond.
Click here to visit their website and Carey welcomes any questions - as a mum herself she knows how important it is to find the right child care centre for your loved ones - 0490 350 861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org :)