Apple Montessori Blog

Montessori Elementary Versus Traditional Elementary


Elementary school is a critical stage in your child’s journey of self-discovery and learning about the world around them. Creating an atmosphere where children love to learn is vital.

Learn what differentiates an Apple Montessori Schools’ Elementary Education from the traditional elementary school approach:

1. Hands-on Learning

In contrast to a traditional elementary classroom where children are directed by the teacher and learn by memorizing facts and figures, the Montessori elementary classroom fosters hands-on learning. Proactively, children select from a variety of proven Montessori materials to joyfully discover and learn language (including Apple’s exclusive reading and writing program), math, science, geography, history, and more, in a supportive, respectful, fun environment.

2. Individualized Attention

Unlike traditional classrooms where teachers follow a standardized curriculum to educate students, an Apple Montessori elementary education is child-centered and based on the needs of each individual child. Working in small, three-year age groups, children learn at their own pace, collaborate with their peers, while being guided by an observant teacher. Students enthusiastically work on projects for uninterrupted periods of time that are best suited to their own level of development and interests.

3. Self-disciplined and Directed

Creating independent, self-reliant children is a hallmark of the Montessori education philosophy. Founder Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children have an innate curiosity and passion for learning. Through scientific observation, she found that children learn best when they do for themselves and take responsibility for their own progress and accomplishments.

This is in sharp contrast to traditional elementary schools where teachers are responsible for following a specific curriculum to serve and grade a group of children, often without the time or resources to ensure that each child comprehends the information provided and can (or wants to) act on it independently. Unfortunately, that’s when some children become disengaged in the traditional learning experience.

“The Big Bang” — Cosmic Education

Dr. Montessori believed in four planes of child development and education. The elementary years (ages 6-12) are plane #2, the Age of Temperance, where the child’s intellectual mind organizes and learns by thinking creatively using both imagination and logic to accomplish tasks and projects.

During this sensitive period, Montessori elementary education focuses on cosmic education which involves helping each child discover his or her role in the larger world or universe through storytelling.

Dr. Montessori referred to cosmic education as the Five Great Lessons, telling the story of the start of the universe and earth and all that resides within it—oceans, mountains, plants, animal, people, civilizations, communications, and economics. It’s the “Big Bang Theory” coming to life in a way that connects your child to the past, present and future, demonstrating how they are a part of this evolution in a meaningful, purposeful way.

By appreciating the fascinating “big picture” of history, children can more readily understand and explore the individual components that comprise our world, while exercising abstract and analytical thinking skills, and the academic, social and emotional intelligence to be a force within it.

The stimulating environment of an Apple Montessori Elementary School education ignites a child’s desire to learn and sparks the connections of what they hear, see, touch, feel, and do, to foster higher learning and sense of community.

Your child will gain confidence and take pride in their accomplishments as part of a collaborative community of good students, good citizens, and goodwill.

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