Have you ever noticed how different people prefer different learning styles? You may prefer to learn by reading, while your child might learn best by holding and touching different objects.
Unfortunately, the traditional school system typically favors two kinds of learning styles: verbal and logical. The Montessori Method addresses all learning styles, with a greater focus on visual and physical learning styles.
If you’re considering enrolling your child in a Montessori preschool or kindergarten, it’s helpful to learn about the various learning styles and how they’re addressed at a Montessori school.
Those with a solitary learning style prefer to work independently. Traditional classrooms can be tough on students with a solitary learning style. Many classrooms are arranged in clusters of desks with students right next to each other, and teachers often encourage lots of group work.
In a Montessori school, students are not forced to do group projects. Instead, they are free to roam about the classroom independently and choose the learning activities that they prefer. This helps solitary learners explore and discover on their own.
Other students have a social learning style and enjoy learning with others. The Montessori classroom can help social learners as well. For example, Montessori students often participate in activities with other children, such as cultural celebrations and field trips. Plus, older students are expected to mentor younger students and help them master the various learning activities.
In a Montessori classroom, social learners are free to work with and play with other students as much as they’re comfortable doing so. Montessori classrooms encourage a diverse cultural environment so students can learn to interact with others from different backgrounds than themselves.
Visual learners learn better when they can see pictures, images, and objects that represent what they’re learning. A Montessori classroom is ideal for this type of learning.
For example, Montessori students learn about different objects by using classification cards. The cards have pictures of different objects so students can actually see each item they’re learning about. Another Montessori learning tool is a math tool made with beads, which can help students visualize the different parts of the decimal system.
Physical learners learn best by touching and manipulating objects and experiencing the world and environment around them. This type of learning is a focal point of the Montessori Method. Founder Maria Montessori believed that learning occurred not merely by listening but by experiencing in the environment.
The Montessori classroom has many hands-on materials. For example, children use dressing frames to learn how to tie shoes and button buttons. They also move around puzzle maps to experience for themselves how the world is organized.
In addition, children are encouraged to play outdoors and experience the natural world. Environmental studies is an important part of the Montessori curriculum.
Some students prefer to learn by listening, and the Montessori classroom addresses this as well. Although teachers don’t lecture students as often they do in a traditional classroom, teachers can work with students at any time to answer their questions and help guide the learning process.
In fact, unlike with traditional classrooms, students get one-on-one access to a teacher. That means they get more opportunities to talk with the teacher and listen to his or her guidance.
Some Montessori classrooms invite guest speakers to talk to the children. Children also have lessons in topics like health and global awareness.
Verbal learners learn by speaking and writing. Children in Montessori programs have the opportunity to speak and write just as they would in a traditional classroom. In fact, activities like the movable alphabet letters help children learn to read and write at a young age. Children at Montessori schools might even speak and participate in school-wide presentations and programs.
These learners prefer to learn through logic and reasoning. In a Montessori classroom, students have plenty of opportunities to think and reason. Visual and physical learning through Montessori learning materials can even enhance students’ logical capacities.
For example, by using the binomial cube activity, students can visualize geometric patterns. Older students can even use the cubes to create algebraic equations.
It’s important to recognize that people usually have a mix of different learning styles. For example, someone could be a primarily aural learner but favor verbal and visual learning as well.
Each person is unique and prefers a different combination of learning styles. Montessori schools do their best to cater to children who prefer all different types of learning styles. That way, children get a well-rounded education while learning in the ways they prefer to learn.
If you’re looking for a Montessori school for your child, enroll in Miniapple International Montessori School. We provide an all-encompassing educational approach that helps children learn, grow, and explore. Contact us today to learn more about our infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten, and summer programs.