“When are they going to start learning?”
This is a question many Montessori and preschool teachers hear from parents. Visitors to classrooms may see children at play and become anxious to see academics introduced. However, it is the very act of play and interacting with the materials (or “work”, as they are called in the Montessori environment) that is learning!
The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognizes play as a right of every human child! Why is play so important? Studies show that play is essential for children to develop physical, cognitive and emotional strength as well as develop fine and gross motor movement. It is also important for healthy brain development. It also fosters traits and skills such as resiliency, confidence, negotiation skills, self-regulation, conflict-resolution skills, and teamwork. Playing enhances children’s adjustment, language, and social and emotional stability by as much as 33% to 67%!
In recent decades, there has been a shift in the traditional kindergarten program from play-based learning to academic-directed learning. This model has made the early childhood years and preschool experiences even more important, as it has further reduced opportunities for early-childhood play (along with other factors such as increasingly hurried lifestyles and changes in family structure.) Perhaps this is because, for adults, play is for “fun”, and is separate from their work. But, as Dr. Montessori said, “Play is the work of the child.” Using the word “work” to define a child’s play is not to equate it with drudgery or duty, but to recognize its value and purpose.
Our classrooms are designed for the child, and are filled with sensory play and materials that serve both direct and indirect learning opportunities. The teacher presents the child with lessons, then steps back to quietly observe, allowing the child freedom to explore, make mistakes, and self-correct. Investing into your child’s early childhood education has lifelong reward, and we encourage you to consider Sonnet Montessori for your child! We have both part time and full time enrollment options, to fit the needs of both working and stay-at-home parents. Contact us today to set up a tour or to get more information!