Frequently Asked Questions


What does "Montessori" mean?

“Montessori” is the philosophy of education that bears the name of Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman doctor in Italy, who devoted her adult life to the observation and study of children. 

What is “Montessori Philosophy”?

The Montessori Philosophy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori's Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world.The Montessori Philosophy revolves around the belief that a child has a natural eagerness for knowledge and is capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional and cognitive.

Rather than "teaching" a child concepts, the Montessori environment is designed to stimulate the child's interest and facilitate understanding / learning capacities without interference. In this environment the child can unfold spontaneously and manifest the greater person within. According to Maria Montessori, "the child is the father of the man." The child begins to develop within the foundations for a lifetime of creative learning: thirst for learning, favourable attitudes toward school, and habits of concentration, initiative, order, and persistence”.

What is the difference between day care, nursery school, and preschool?

  • Day care centres are generally for the purpose of caring for children on an all-day basis.
  • Nursery schools are generally experiences in socialization and play
  • Preschools are oriented toward traditional educational experiences combined with socialization and play

How is a Montessori School different from other Preschools?

  • In most Preschools, the children are taught educational concepts in a group by a teacher.
  • In a Montessori School, the children learn concepts spontaneously as they work independently with the many materials in the environment.

What distinguishes Montessori from traditional preschool programs? 

Montessori environmentTraditional school
Emphasis on cognitive developmentEmphasis on social development
Mainly individual instructionMainly group instruction
Mixed age groupsSame age groups
Child works at his / her own paceGroup sets instructional pace
Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each otherMost teaching is done by teacher; collaboration is discouraged
Teacher has an unobtrusive role in the classroom; child is an active participant in learningTeacher has a dominant, active role in classroom activity; child is passive participant in learning
Environment and method encourage self-disciplineTeacher acts as the enforcer of discipline

Why should I send my child to a Montessori School?

Most educators and psychologists today agree that the single most important period in the development of a person's intelligence occurs between birth and age five. A child's mind is extremely absorbent and curiosity is at a peak during these early years. When properly nourished and stimulated, the child's mind forms patterns for learning that serve them well throughout life. The Montessori system of education has proven to be one of the most effective methods to guide a child through these critical years.

What is in a Montessori classroom?

The Montessori classroom is a child-size world. Whatever is in the world outside can be incorporated meaningfully in the Montessori classroom. To a child, the world is overwhelming—it is big, complex, and confusing. By careful selection of materials by the teacher, an environment is set up that allows the child a place to explore life on a level he / she can understand. The materials or exercises are designed to stimulate independent exploration. This prepared environment entices the child to proceed at his own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. Through this process, the child's natural curiosity is satisfied and the child begins to experience the joy of discovering the world.

What is a typical day in a Montessori classroom?

Children arrive at the school as early as 8:30 am. When the children arrive, they are warmly greeted by one of the staff and encouraged to put their bags away. They take their foot wear off and keep them in the designated area. With many of the youngest children, help from an adult or older child is often needed. The ultimate goal of all activities in the classroom and school is for the child to learn to accomplish the task independently.  Once this is achieved, the child not only experiences the freedom and confidence that comes with self-sufficiency, but they now have the ability to help a friend.

Once inside the classroom, the children are free to choose activities that have been specifically designed for their use. During the first part of the year, the children are invited to a circle at the beginning of each school day. During this time the children attend large group lessons, share thoughts and ideas, problem solve, and play educational games. This is also a time when teachers may read out loud to the children. At the end of circle, the “work cycle” begins and the children are free to choose work from the environment. As the year progresses and the children begin to assimilate the environment, circle takes place at the end of the morning. This practice avoids interruption of the children once they are engaged. Children are free to eat their snack at will.

Upon entering the classroom during the “work cycle”, newcomers to the environment are often surprised at how engaged the children are in their respective activities.  One quickly notices how independently and cooperatively the children are working. It is not uncommon to see the teacher giving a lesson to a few children, while the rest of the children work intently in different areas of the classroom.

Each classroom is equipped with classic Montessori materials and materials made by the teacher that follow the Montessori curriculum. These didactic materials are developmentally designed to allow the children to learn from doing. During the work cycle, teachers present lessons using the materials. The children, through using the materials, are able to absorb fundamental concepts for language, mathematics, sensory development, cultural studies (science, geography and history), and everyday living skills.

After the morning work cycle, the children gather and begin to transition to the outdoor environment. In addition to outdoor play, teachers use the outdoor environment for educational purposes, as the Montessori curriculum emphasizes contact and exploration of the natural world. For younger children enrolled in the Morning Program, pick-up is done at the playground as the outdoor play time winds down to an end. For children staying for day care, lunch is eaten after outdoor play, followed by a quiet time or nap time for those who need it. The afternoon work cycle begins after quiet time and is a time for further exploration and learning. As the regular Montessori school day comes to an end, the Extended Day Program, guided by Montessori staff, offers children a relaxed and familiar after school environment until 6 PM.

How do children interact in the environment?

As the children develop their sense of pride in their work, a feeling of confidence, well-being, and joy begins to manifest itself in each child. A general spirit of respect and cooperation among the children emerges.

What is the role of the Montessori teacher?

The Montessori teacher facilitates classroom activity. She carefully plans the environment in the interests of the children, and she helps children progress from one activity to the next. She is trained to deal with each child individually, allowing the child to choose from many activities within his/her range of ability. She stands back while the child is working and allows the child the satisfaction of his/her own discovery.

With all the freedom, isn't there confusion?

The concept of freedom in the classroom is a freedom within limits. A child is allowed to work freely so long as the child does not disturb others. Actually, the children having the freedom to follow their interests are generally happy and busily involved in their work.

What is the best age to enroll a child in Montessori?

Maria Montessori outlined various periods of "sensitivity." During these times, a child is capable of, and interested in, learning specific concepts. At age 2 1/2 to 3 l/2, a special sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence begins to emerge. This time is ideal to enroll a child in a Montessori preschool as the child is at the perfect period to build a strong foundation for future learning.

However, children are extremely inquisitive in the initial years. The Montessori system naturally leverages this inquisitiveness to give children qualities that will help them all their lives. It is never too late to start Montessori!!

How do Montessori children adjust to traditional elementary schools?

Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust quite easily to the traditional elementary schools. They generally spend their time in productive ways because of their self-direction and positive attitude toward learning. Montessori children are quite adaptable since they have learned to work on their own without constant supervision.

Why do you recommend a five-day Montessori experience?

A child who attends school for five days each week will have the greatest opportunity for consistent spontaneous learning. Consecutive attendance is extremely important.  It enables the child to feel safe and relaxed in the classroom and aids the child in forming strong bonds with their teachers and friends. A child taken in and out of school frequently does not have the same opportunity and consistency to pursue his/her unfolding interests.

What about socialisation and group work?

Socialisation is very much a part of the Montessori philosophy. Each day there is group activity and outside play. Additionally, in the classroom, you'll notice children interacting continuously, choosing to work on projects together, and older children helping younger ones. The children are allowed to communicate openly and joyfully with each other throughout the day.

Who is the Montessori Method designed for?

The Montessori Method is an "approach to learning" and as such has no distinction of class or intelligence. It has been used successfully in all parts of the world and in all types of programs.

Is Montessori expensive?

Montessori preschools have extensive materials, an encompassing environment, and a continuously trained staff. These elements can often cause tuition in Montessori schools to be higher than other preschools.

But not in the case of Anthea Montessori. We are more interested in laying the foundation to amazing human beings...

Why should I choose Anthea Montessori for my children?

Our programs are formulated from observations made of the child’s behavior and skills. Some of the key highlights of Anthea are:

  • Child Centred Approach: Anthea honors the Montessori philosophy that each child is unique and perfect, and follows the child. The child’s natural love of learning is respected and each child is allowed to develop at his/her own pace.
  • Location: Conveniently located in Jubilee Hills Rd #21; a beautiful and serene campus that lets your child be one with nature.
  • Highly Trained and Committed Teachers: The teachers are highly committed to the pedagogy and have made the switch from lucrative careers to inspire a new generation of children based on their personal experiences. The environment has a staff that is AMS certified.
  • Community Spirit Model: Multi-age classrooms in Anthea will help even the youngest child to contribute. The older children will learn to be excellent mentors enabling their leadership qualities.
  • Cosmic Curriculum: The child will be exposed to various areas of learning such as Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Geography, Science Art and Music. The belief is that the child has an “absorbent mind”at these early ages and the more exposure he/she is given now, better is the child's cognitive abilities.

 

Each child has their own portfolio which displays artwork, photos of your child, written observation of their development and special events. These are given to the parents to keep, at the end of each year.