Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Being a Montessori Parent: A Family Decision

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So, you've decided to research Montessori education as a possibility for your child. You've attended parent information sessions, open houses, met with the director of admissions, had a tour of the Montessori school, observed in a Montessori classroom, spoken with other parents. It’s looking pretty favorable, but there’s one more step. Before deciding if Montessori is right for your family, you must ask yourself the following questions.

I Think I'm Ready to Be a Montessori Parent:

Am I. . .
  • Supportive of an educational method which focuses on process vs. product? (Doing rather than memorizing).
  • Supportive of peace education, conflict resolution, community service, and environmental education?
  • Comfortable with curriculum that includes multiculturalism?
  • Comfortable with (and understand the complexities of) narrative progress reports and student work portfolios. Am I willing to leave numerical/letter grades and grade level comparisons behind for now?
  • Comfortable with an educational method that believes that children learn best through intrinsic motivation, where there are neither rewards nor punishments, and that competition hinders learning?
  • Supportive of real-life learning situations?
  • Supportive of the belief that children learn best when they have control over their own learning?
  • Recognizing that objectives are usually met in a three-year cycle, as opposed to standardized grade levels?

By exploring a Montessori education, you will find that it’s not just about the education of your child. It’s a commitment to educating the whole person and family. It’s about knowing there’s something better and seeking it out and being comfortable in knowing you've made the right decision.

For more information on the parent’s role in Montessori education, we recommend: Montessori Insights for parents of young children .
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, January 8, 2008.


  1. I've just found this blog tonight. Wow! I became a Montessori mom as a result of sheer curiosity. We passed a sign that said "Morrow Montessori" one day exactly the summer before my first-born would turn three in September. I was told to read The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori and found that I agreed with almost every word in the book. (I was a music teacher before having children).

    After about six weeks, one afternoon my three year old daughter started putting away a Puzzle Town toy unrequested. It was in the middle of the floor out of its box. She suddenly started putting all the pieces in the box and then proceeded to put it neatly on the shelf.

    That was the defining moment for me. I was sold on Montessori school that day - forget about academics!! Nonetheless, when my daughter started public school kindergarten she was already on a second grade reading level - seemingly without effort.

    She is now a Montessori teacher herself. Yay!!


  2. Juanita,

    I was a public school teacher before I became a Montessori Mom. Only then did I realize how truly wonderful it is and went on to become a Montessori teacher.


  3. It is really excellent article, I will have something to share with my potential students' parents!.

  4. I'm glad you found this helpful. You may also be interested in reading Aline Wolf's two publications:A Parents' Guide to the Montessori Classroom and Montessori Insights for Parents of Young Children.


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