Apple Montessori Blog

Academic and social-emotional benefits of in-person learning


According to a recent United Nations study reported in Psychology Today, remote learning is associated with negative impacts on social, emotional, physical, and mental health, as well as lower scores on academic tests.

Similarly, data collected by the U.S. Department of Education before and during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that in-person learning, on the whole, leads to better academic outcomes, greater levels of student engagement, higher rates of attendance, and better social and emotional well-being, along with access to critical school services and extracurricular activities when compared to remote learning.

At Apple Montessori Schools, we strongly believe in the benefits of in-person learning for greater academic and social-emotional well-being of children. Each child is unique and has a different learning style and personality that needs to be identified and developed to help optimize their potential. In our 50 years of childhood education and development experience, we have found that an individualized learning approach within a welcoming, multi-age classroom environment fosters an integrated community of collaboration and shared learning for student success ― academically, socially, and emotionally.

Focusing on a child-centered approach

More than a century ago, founder Dr. Maria Montessori believed that learning should be accomplished through problem-solving and cooperation within a welcoming, secure classroom, with teachers being attentive, thoughtful guides to their students. Her proven philosophy is very closely aligned with the Pragmatist/Progressive philosophy where learning increases based on meaningful experiences in an interactive environment and active play. Simply stated, children need to socialize with other children and adults.

Dr. Montessori believed that education should be child-centered allowing freedom of movement and respectful participation in activities designed to foster growth as part of a learning community.

Developing emotional intelligence (EI):

Emotional intelligence is awareness and understanding of our emotions. Before children can control and express their emotions appropriately, they have to understand and accept them.

According to Gottmam Institute, emotional self-regulation, a large component of a child’s emotional development and intelligence, is the ability to manage their experiences and expression of emotions with others. Self-control, a critical factor of emotional intelligence, is particularly important in predicting achievement in children. Children who can restrain impulses and outbursts (often driven by emotions) and avoid distractions are able to engage in more prosocial behaviors, such as empathy, compassion, and care for the well-being of others, while accomplishing their goals. With practice in classrooms and other social environments, children can improve their capacity for emotional self-regulation.

Building social skills and mental well-being

Creating social relationships and friendships are important components of mental well-being in early childhood development and education. As reported in recent McKinsey research, COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning, the development of social skills and the mental well-being of children suffered during the pandemic with more time in remote settings than in one-on-one and group activities. The research pointed to parents’ concerns regarding children’s symptoms of anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, self-isolation, lethargy, and irrational feelings, as a result of the pandemic.

At Apple Montessori, we understand how the last several years have impacted children and families. We continue to support our students, families, and communities as we proceed with in-person learning. Under the guidance of thoughtful teachers, we observe and encourage the dynamics of children engaging with each other in a classroom with hands-on activities to help stimulate curiosity, imagination, and creativity with a sense of camaraderie. When children are together in a physical location it is easier to make connections with their classmates and teachers than when schooling remotely in isolation.

Benefiting from working side-by-side

Physically, socially and emotionally, children thrive from hands-on, collaborative activities with their classmates. From learning to read and write to solving math and science problems, these activities within a multi-age classroom environment help develop and accelerate motor control and coordination, cognitive skills, concentration, self-esteem, independence, and a sense of responsibility.

Personalizing your child’s learning experience

In a supportive, thoughtful environment, teachers help each child progress at their own pace, guiding them to pursue and accelerate strengths, while supporting the whole child for a well-rounded education and personal development path. Children learn in different ways, some may be more visually oriented, while others may learn by writing things down. There are many ways to thrive in an Apple Montessori learning environment by recognizing how your child learns best.

Individualized learning plans provide the focus and attention every child needs to help them reach their potential. The teacher gets to know each student and their interests to develop an appropriate learning plan. As Dr. Montessori found, children will spend more time in productive, focused learning when they are interested in the subject matter. Advanced students can progress while students who may be struggling with a subject are provided more time to focus on and master the concept before moving along.

Providing peace of mind for you and your child

As we progress from the challenges of the last several years amid the pandemic, we see that children are much more resilient than we think. They want to be part of the adventure and joy of learning with other children ― exploring new things and being challenged to exercise their minds and bodies. And for parents who are balancing a myriad of family and business responsibilities, we understand you need the security and peace of mind that your child is advancing academically, socially, and emotionally in an integrated manner to develop the whole child in a safe, sound environment.

Caring for your child’s well-being and education is our purpose. Apple Montessori deploys rigorous health and safety protocols, including school surveillance and secure entry access, staff screening and training, live parent video monitoring, and strict cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

At Apple Montessori, we are here to support the care and education of your children so they can experience the joy of learning today and for a lifetime. We are partners in your children’s academic and social-emotional well-being.