Montessori is a method of education based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their knowledge, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.
A Montessori classroom integrates children of mixed ages. This promotes socialization, respect, and solidarity among them naturally. The environment promotes the child's independence in the exploring and learning process. Freedom and self-discipline make it possible that each child finds activities that respond to their evolutionary needs.
The Montessori teacher, called "directress", observes each child, his/her needs, capabilities, and interests, and offers him/her opportunities to work intelligently and with a concrete purpose, to service the care of him/herself and the small community in the classroom. The directress' final objective is to intervene at the minimum possible as the child progresses in his/her development. The directress allows the child to act, want, and think for him/herself, helping him/her to develop confidence and inner discipline.
The environment caters to the child as a whole, looking at each individual and their social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental well-being.
Freedom is given within boundaries to develop the child's independence.
The environment also plays a significant part in learning as materials entice students to try new things, as well as help, install a sense of order and pride in the school. Taking care of the environment both inside and outside is a part of our weekly routine, from feeding the fish to watering plants and cleaning the classroom, all activities that promote future independent children.
The Unschooled Approach
Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means of learning. Unschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction.
Unschooling encourages exploration of activities initiated by the children, believing that the more personal learning is, the more meaningful, well-understood, and therefore useful it is to the child.
Supported and Assisted Self-directed education in a natural environment better equips a child to handle the "real world
The SMARTT™ Foundation Pillars of Learning
Words are the cornerstone to an understanding of any subject. When the words cannot be understood the child loses interest in that subject and can no longer effectively learn
When an individual tries to do something at a too-high gradient they experience failure and no longer wish to engage in that activity. Ensuring that knowledge is gained at the correct gradient in an appropriate sequence for each child, ensures interest and ongoing engagement in any subject being learned
When a subject is exclusively taught in a conventional manner, the youngster is compelled to study for memory. The ability to touch and feel the subject being studied during interest-based learning encourages application and maintains interest.
Ensures children learn at a pace that is correct for them
Ensuring they fully understand the subject of interest ensures that their interest is not interrupted
Provide materials that allow them to touch, feel and experience the subjects they are learning, thus grow creativity and development of imaginative skills and confidence in self
They independently become self-motivated, enthusiastic individuals eager to explore and discover.
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