Frequently Asked Questions

Is Montessori for every child?

Yes! Dr. Montessori spent many hours observing children and then designed a method of education that embraced the idea of the universal child. This is the understanding that all children, no matter what country or culture they grow up in, have the same developmental milestones. Development is universal. The materials and concepts in Montessori education respond to each child individually, so each child’s unique development is addressed, with the understanding that milestones will be met when it is natural for that child. This takes into account that the timeline for development is broad. Montessori activities and materials are designed to support children who reach their milestones early, those who reach them later, and those in the middle. Through observation, it is possible to determine which activity is most beneficial for each child. Want to know more, check out my video, What is a Montessori School?

Is Montessori right for my energetic child?

Yes! Montessori theory provides for whole-child development. A child that needs to move a lot, has the opportunity to move through almost every presentation given. Children learn by involving their whole body and Montessori takes that into account. This is one reason we have children carry one thing at a time. When they clear the table and have to make six trips to clear their dishes rather than piling them up and just taking one trip. One item at a time helps them to get the movement they need, and slow down and concentrate on their movements. Want to know more, check out my video, What is a Montessori School?

My child seems to lack self-motivation, is Montessori a good fit?

Yes! All children do well in Montessori as it is an individual education based on the knowledge that all children have a universal timeline of development. A child may seem “lazy”, but this may mean they have a less energetic approach to learning experiences. They may learn better through watching rather than participating. When young children are in mixed age groups they have the opportunity to learn from those who are both younger and older. Children who need to observe for a while before participating are given that opportunity in a Montessori environment. The guide (teacher) watches closely and responds with just the right presentation when the time is right. Want to know more, check out my video, What is a Montessori School?

Where can I find a Montessori school?

Montessori schools are all around the world. To find a Montessori school in your area visit the AMI, AMS, or NAMTA websites. You may enjoy this video list my Top 8 Questions to Ask a Montessori School.

How do I know if a Montessori school is authentic?

It is true that the name Montessori is not copyright protected. Therefor, anyone can open a school and call it Montessori. It falls to you, the parent, to do the research and learn more about any school you are considering. This article is helpful in discerning what to look for in a good Montessori school. You may enjoy this video list my Top 8 Questions to Ask a Montessori School.

Does Montessori theory suggest children should do whatever they want?

No. Although children are allowed to follow their individual interests there are two general rules in every Montessori environment: 1. You may not hurt anyone, including yourself. 2. You may not damage the materials or furniture. A child must follow these rules to have the freedom to choose what to work with, who to work with, and where to work. In addition to following these guidelines, a guide (teacher) observes each child and makes sure that a child is working equally in all the areas in the environment. This guiding is often so gentle that a child does not sense it, leading to greater success in a well rounded, whole-child education.

We are using Montessori theory at home, how do I know my child is progressing?

Through observation. Observation is the cornerstone of the Montessori Method and will guide your choices in materials and activities. It is important to respond to your child’s interests and have available the next challenge. A child needs to see that there are more challenging materials for which he may not be ready. This encourages a child to keep trying and learning. Through observation you will see your child’s progress. Development ebbs and flows from day to day, so take notes when you observe and review at the end of the week. Note the patterns and where there have been improvements and where there have been setbacks. This will help you to know times of day and days of the week your child is more receptive to new lessons. If you have a child younger than three, checkout our video timeline of Montessori Activities.

When is my child ready to start self-feeding?

Starting from the first meal. Around 5.5 to 6 months old. For more on supporting your child’s developing love of food and learning to contribute to family meal prep, get our book, First Foods to Family Meals.

When should my child start toilet learning?

Whenever you feel you are ready to support her. Children all over the world can start to learn to control the sphincter muscles starting in infancy. See our section on potty learning for more information. Using the Montessori philosophy in the toilet awareness process, most families start once their child is walking. This is considered part of self-care.