The Montessori Philosophy
Montessori is a hands-on approach to learning. It encourages children to develop their observation skills through activities that use the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, small and gross motor skill coordination, and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction.
A 2006 study published in the journal Science (“The Early Years: Evaluating Montessori Education,” by Lillard and Else-Quest) concluded that Montessori students performed better than those who attended conventional schools — not only in traditional academic areas such as language and math, but also in social skills. They performed better on standardized tests of reading and math, engaged more in positive interaction on the playground, and showed advanced social cognition and executive control. They also showed more concern for fairness and justice.
My two boys are now very successful high school students — and their Montessori background is largely responsible. They attended the Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff from very young ages, and when they graduated from the middle school, they were definitely ready for high school. Although I had been concerned about their transitions from the smaller Montessori Middle School to the larger public high school, both turned out to be very smooth and actually quite amazing. They took with them from the Montessori system confidence, leadership, and organization skills that certainly are contributing to their many successes.
I entered the Montessori School of Flagstaff as a 2-year-old and graduated 12 years later from the Montessori Middle School, never having had the experience of what any other educational methodology had to offer. What had once been a “different” little boy grew up through the Montessori system to become an Eagle Scout, Chair of the Governor’s Youth Commission, and a PADI Divemaster. I graduated first in my high school class, founded its chapter of the Key Club, won the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award in the youth category, the President’s Call to Service (Lifetime) Award, the Congressional Award Gold Medal, and the 2008 Young American Award. I’m now an Emergency First Responder Instructor; I’m earning a double major at Bowdoin College, one of the “Little Ivies,” and I’m putting the final touches on my first novel.