In the Montessori method, the child always comes first. The students will be responsible for conducting themselves through the learning process, as the teachers act mostly as careful and observant guides.
Our spacious and dynamic campus is the perfect space for your child to get acquainted with key Montessori values and share valuable learning experiences. The MSC campus is comprised of seven buildings, two playgrounds, several gardens, a labyrinth, and a plethora of animal habitats including chicken coops and a beehive.
Our campus is located in Rosewood, one of the most traditional residential districts in Columbia. The neighborhood is about three miles away from Columbia’s downtown, in an area full of parks and beautiful green sights. Our facilities are mainly distributed between Maple St. and Oceola St.
“I cannot express in words adequately how amazing your teachers are. I observed such grace and wisdom and kindness these past two days. You have a treasure in Mr Young. His thoughtfulness with regard to this trip and “next year’s upper el class” is amazing.”
SARA C. WEINBERG
Dr. Montessori first developed her educational approach while working with a preschool population. She gradually extended her approach to children and youth of all ages. Today, some Montessori schools provide all levels of learning, from infant & toddler through the secondary (high school) level. Others offer only certain levels.
The benefits of Montessori, the emphasis on independent learning, for example, and the warm, supportive community, continue to be important at each stage of development as children grow into lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world.
Dr. Montessori observed that children are more motivated to learn when working on something of their choosing. A Montessori student may choose their focus of learning on any given day, but their decision is limited by the materials and activities, in each area of the curriculum, that their teacher has prepared and presented to them.
Beginning at the elementary level, students typically set learning goals and create personal work plans under their teacher’s guidance.
Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools and offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar, such as math, science, history, geography, and language, but they are presented through an integrated approach that brings separate strands of the curriculum together.
While studying a map of Africa, for example, students may explore the art, history, and inventions of several African nations. This may lead them to examine ancient Egypt, including hieroglyphs and their place in the history of writing. The study of the pyramids, of course, is a natural bridge to geometry.
Although students are free to work at their own pace, they’re not going it alone. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance their learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps them master the challenge at hand, and protects them from moving on before he’s ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”
Dr. Montessori realized that children’s play is their work, their effort to master their own bodies and environment, and out of respect, she used the term “work” to describe all their classroom activities. Montessori students work hard, but they don’t experience it as drudgery; rather, it’s an expression of their natural curiosity and desire to learn.
Grades, like other external rewards, have a little lasting effect on a child’s efforts or achievements. The Montessori approach nurtures the motivation that comes from within, kindling the child’s natural desire to learn.
A self-motivated learner also learns to be self-sufficient, without needing reinforcement from outside. In the classroom, of course, the teacher is always available to provide students with guidance and support.
Although most Montessori teachers don’t assign grades, they closely observe each student’s progress and readiness to advance to new lessons. Most schools hold family conferences a few times a year so parents may see their child’s work and hear the teacher’s assessment, and perhaps even their child’s self-assessment.
An advantage of the Montessori approach, including multi-age classrooms with students of varying abilities and interests, is that it allows each child to work at her own pace. Students whose strengths and interests propel them to higher levels of learning can find intellectual challenges without being separated from their peers. The same is true for students who may need extra guidance and support: each can progress through the curriculum at their own comfortable pace, without feeling pressure to “catch up.”
We might note that from a Montessori perspective, every child is considered gifted, each in her way. Every child has their unique strengths, it is all a matter of degree.
There is a small but growing body of well-designed research comparing Montessori students to those in traditional schools. These suggest that in academic subjects, Montessori students perform as well as or better than their non-Montessori peers.
In one study, for example, children who had attended Montessori schools at the preschool and elementary levels earned higher scores in high school on standardized math and science tests. Another study found that the essays of 12-year-old Montessori students were more creative and used more complex sentence structures than those produced by the non-Montessori group.
The research also shows that Montessori students have greater social and behavioral skills. They demonstrate a greater sense of fairness and justice, for example, and are more likely to choose positive responses for dealing with social dilemmas.
By less stringent measures, too, Montessori students seem to do quite well. Most Montessori schools report that their students are typically accepted into the high schools and colleges of their choice. And many successful grads cite their years at Montessori when reflecting on important influences in their life.
We help progressive families avoid the downfalls of traditional education by providing your child with a science-based Montessori education that fosters your child’s individualism, empathy, and critical thinking, so that they may grow to their full potential as a highly contributing member of society.
To give students practice in making decisions, the Montessori approach allows students to choose the order in which they do their work and, within certain parameters, the focus of their studies.
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