Montessori Kindergarten from a Miniapple International Montessori Family’s Perspective

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We recently interviewed a graduate of the Miniapple Montessori kindergarten program and her family about their experience with Montessori kindergarten. Elyse is now in third grade and currently attends public school.

 

Miniapple: If you had to do it again, would you choose Miniapple for kindergarten or would you have wanted to be at your current school with your friends?

 

Elyse: Miniapple! The kindergarten works are more challenging than they are in first grade at regular school.

I got to figure things out myself (when learning).

I was way smarter than my classmates when I went to 1st grade!

I liked being a leader in the class.

 

Miniapple: Was it hard to be new in 1st grade?

 

Elyse: It wasn’t hard to make friends.

 

From Elyse’s parents, Mia and Mike:

 

When we were looking at kindergarten, we were most concerned with Elyse being academically challenged, as well as her social development.  To be frank, we wanted to be sure if we were investing in another year of private education, that it was going to be a better experience than what she would get in public school. We looked at different districts around us, but we felt like she could not get the individual attention she needed in those environments. There were so many kids in the classrooms in these schools, and many of the resources went to helping children who required the most assistance. The curriculum was so basic, and teachers had little time to challenge the brighter kids (although they did try). Additionally, learning was not through discovery but rather kids were told the information. We knew that Elyse would be bored. We still worried about the social development a bit when she started first grade, coming into a class that had already been together a year.

 

We were so glad that we decided to keep her at Miniapple for kindergarten. She grew immensely that last year. She was definitely a leader in the class and relished this role. She loved reading to the class and being able to teach what she had learned to the younger children. Her bonds with her other kindergarten friends also grew this last year!

 

When Elyse went to first grade in public school, she was more than well prepared. The biggest adjustment for her was no longer getting to learn through discovery, and being given work that she had learned a long time ago at Miniapple.  From a social perspective, she quickly made friends and excelled (as usual my worries were unfounded in this area).  In fact, when I had lunch with her in first grade, one of her classmates was telling me most kids have a few friends “but Elyse, she’s friends with everyone!” which really showed how truly prepared and confident she was in a new school, as well as the values she had coming out of Miniapple of kindness and acceptance for everyone.

 

Elyse is now finishing 3rd grade and is in the top of her class for math and reading (even though she is one of the youngest in her grade).  She loves to learn, which we believe was because of her experiences at Miniapple. She read the whole Harry Potter series in a month!  She will start the gifted program next year at school.  Miniapple really set her up for this success, and kindergarten at Miniapple was a big part of this.  Our only wish was that Miniapple had additional grades as well for her to attend!

 

Are you looking for a Montessori program that meets your child’s needs? Miniapple International Montessori Schools has infant, toddler, preschool, and private kindergarten. Contact us today for more information.

How Are Montessori Educators Different From Traditional Teachers?

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The Montessori classroom is unlike any other educational environment. The child-centered, sensory-friendly setting is engaging, interesting, and led by a teacher who is unlike any other educator. How are Montessori teachers different from traditional teachers? Take a look at the top things that Montessori educators do differently.

Acting as a Guide

In a traditional classroom, the teacher often serves as the instructor. Standing in front of the students, the teacher leads the class by directing the children. Telling the students what, how, and when to learn isn’t part of the Montessori teacher’s repertoire.

Montessori classrooms are child-centered spaces where exploration is encouraged. But this doesn’t mean the teacher isn’t an integral part of the learning process. Instead of telling, the Montessori teacher guides. This allows the teacher to shape the learning experience without taking away the child’s curiosity, self-expression, or need to explore.

Choice, Freedom, and Learning in the Montessori Classroom

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The Montessori philosophy values the individual child. That’s not to say other educational environments don’t value the student too. But in Montessori classrooms, the child leads, making their own choices. If you’re a Montessori parent (or considering becoming one), take a look at why children need the freedom to choose and how they can benefit from it.

Learning Styles

How does your child learn best? There isn’t one educational strategy that works for everyone. Different students adopt different modes of learning, depending on their natural preferences, abilities, likes, and dislikes.

Allowing children to make choices in the educational environment allows them to prioritize their learning style, making lessons and activities more meaningful. The primary types of recognized learning styles include the following:

Practical Life Activities in the Montessori Classroom

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clay sculpting

What are practical life activities in the Montessori classroom? The name says it all. If you’re new to Montessori education, take a look at what you need to know about these in-school exercises and how your young child can benefit from them.

Types of Activities

Practical life activities include a variety of exercises that provide the young child with the chance to learn through doing. These hands-on activities put the child in the center of the action, allowing them to explore and make discoveries for themselves.

Clay Is the Perfect Tool for Montessori Kindergartners

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clay sculptingMontessori may be different from the way that you learned, and grasping its benefits can be difficult. Simply put, Montessori allows your child to learn by exploring their environment and mastering their education in a way that works for them. Starting your child in a Montessori kindergarten is likely to expand their learning in ways you’d never expect.

For example, old-fashioned modeling clay transforms into a critical and essential part of a child’s education in a Montessori kindergarten class. If you are interested in Montessori schools and you want your child to start young, learn how clay benefits your child’s early kindergarten years. Doing so will help you to understand Montessori as a whole. 

Montessori Schools Teach Children to Use Their 5 Senses

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Children of all ages are eager to learn about their world and everything in it. They learn their first lessons from their parents and siblings at home, and when they go to school, they learn from their teachers and the world around them.

When young children go to public school, they learn by watching, listening, and reading. In a Montessori school, however, young children are taught to experience the world through all five of their senses. This can give them new insights and allow them to think creatively,

Here are some techniques and methods used by Montessori schools to teach young children to use all of their five senses.

The 5 Senses

Early Literacy in the Montessori Classroom

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The term early literacy may seem like a buzzword in education. Even though you may see it repeatedly on every daycare blog, article or book, this does not mean it is just a trendy early childhood activity.

Language development starts early on, making an early foundation for reading and writing a necessary part of the young child’s education. Unlike traditional preschools, Montessori does not approach literacy with a rote, memorize, and repeat type of standard.

What does early literacy look like in the Montessori early childhood classroom? Between the materials that your child will use and the guidance that the educator provides, literacy lessons take on a whole new meaning. If reading and writing are top priorities with your child’s early education, learn what Montessori can do for them.

4 Ways Montessori Kindergarten Can Help With Fine Motor Skills

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As you consider schooling for your young child, getting them off to the right start developmentally can go a long way toward building a successful future.

Along with verbal and social skills, another important part of a child’s development is their fine-motor skills. Improving fine motor skills will help a child handle tools like scissors. Having developed fine motor skills also improves handwriting, and allows for better coordination.

A Montessori kindergarten program helps with fine-tuning and improving fine motor skills many specific ways. Learning about these methods will give you a better understanding of your child’s development.

Sharing in the Montessori Classroom

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Sharing is a social skill that isn’t always easy for a young child to master. Toddlers and preschoolers are curious explorers. And with that in mind, they don’t always want the intrusion of a peer taking over their play. In other words, young children aren’t always natural sharers.

Does this mean that your child can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t share? The answer to this question is complex and doesn’t have one straightforward or all-encompassing response. There’s an ever-present ideology in early childhood (whether in the classroom or at home) that pushes children to share without a sense of awareness.

Social Skills in Montessori Classrooms

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Building social skills as a young child helps lay the foundation for good social skills as an adult. Children learn to communicate, show respect, and how to express their feelings in a reasonable manner.

Along with teaching your child social skills at home, you have the ability to expand their knowledge through a Montessori kindergarten classroom. Montessori classes offer several benefits over a traditional school, and a number of these benefits have to do with social interactions.

See all of these benefits and the ways they can help your child thrive socially.

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(612) 378-9375

1125 5th St. S.E.
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Director: Kayla Gustafson
Email: [email protected]

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