FAQs about Montessori

December 01, 2015
Pink Tiger

How is Montessori different from other schools?

Some hallmarks of Montessori Education include:

  • Multi-age classrooms encouraging cooperation rather than competition.
  • An environment with specially arranged shelves and materials to meet the natural drives of the child.
  • Materials to manipulate designed for self-education.
  • Freedom to make choices, within limits.
  • Time to develop concentration and a love of learning.

In Montessori schools, children have fun while they learn, respect and care for the people and things around them, and take responsibility for their actions. This is true preparation for life.

Why do Montessori schools ask children to attend five days a week?

Five day programs create the consistency that is so important to young children and which is essential to developing strong Montessori programs. Since the primary goal of Montessori involves creating a culture of consistency, order, and empowerment, most Montessori schools will expect children to attend five days a week. A five day program creates consistency for both the child and the school community.          

Are there children that a Montessori program does not work for?

The Montessori system has been used successfully with children from all socio-economic levels, gifted children, children with developmental delays, and children with emotional and physical disabilities. There is no one school that is right for all children; each family must take into account its needs and beliefs and make the decision that is right for them.

Why is there so much emphasis on independence and freedom in a Montessori classroom?

Children learn best by doing. Montessori children are free to move about, working alone or with others at will. Freedom is critical as children begin to explore. Our goal is not to teach children facts and concepts, but rather to have children fall in love with the process of focusing their complete attention on something and mastering its challenge with enthusiasm. The prepared environment of the Montessori class is a learning laboratory in which children are allowed the liberty to explore, discover, and select their own work. Work assigned by adults rarely results in such enthusiasm, interest and independence as does work that children freely choose for themselves.

What is the philosophy around discipline?

In keeping with the true meaning of the word discipline, which is to teach, we model and encourage appropriate, kind, and considerate ways to behave in various situations. We actively encourage and model ways to negotiate conflict so that whenever possible everyone can, at the very least, feel heard and feel that his/her feelings and needs are respected. Lessons in “grace and courtesy” are given when the social dynamic of the class calls for it. As necessary we cue and remind the child of appropriate behaviors. When behavior is inappropriate and a gentle reminder isn’t enough, we intervene and respectfully but firmly stop the behavior. Our ultimate goal is to encourage self?discipline and self?motivation as the reasons for behavior rather than shaping behavior through external fear or doubt.

Is there before school or after school care available?

The Montessori School of Central Vermont offers a before school program (Earlycare, 7:30-8:30am) and an afterschool program 3 days a week (Aftercare, 3-5:15pm) for families that need extra care. These programs are not included in tuition costs, and are billed separately.

Is there tuition assistance available?

The Montessori School of Central Vermont, Inc. has a financial aid fund that is available to families. The Child Care Subsidy Program, through the State of Vermont, assists eligible families with tuition payments. To find out if you are eligible for financial assistance through the State of Vermont Child Care Financial Assistance Program call 802-262-3292. MSCVT also partners with various school districts which may assist in tuition costs via Act 166 funding. For more information please contact the office.