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The name Montessori can mean many different things to different people. Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori over 100 years ago, this method of education still raises some eyebrows among those only familiar with traditional classrooms. If you are unfamiliar with the Montessori approach to education, you may wonder if everything you hear about it is true.

This week on the Eden Prairie Montessori Blog we debunk 5 myths about Montessori education!




MYTH #1:

Montessori classrooms are unstructured and children can do what they want all day.


Although the children have more freedom in a Montessori classroom to choose their activities, there is still plenty of structure and a schedule set for the day. It is not just a free for all! The Montessori philosophy suggests children should be introduced to a variety of subjects with specially developed, age-appropriate materials. Through self-guided exploration at Eden Prairie Montessori, children can work at their own pace to learn basic functions, concepts, skills, and independence.


We don’t have the day scheduled out down to the minute, as it is in a traditional daycare, but there is a schedule for the day. Montessori schools have blocks of time where children have the freedom to choose what they want to work on. Some days a child may pick something they have done over and over, while other days they are encouraged to try something new and more challenging. Each student is encouraged to progress at his or her own pace. This allows every child to master skills by working both individually and with their peers in small groups. By using materials and activities that are appropriate in terms of progress and abilities, your child will master their skills through repetition and recognition of their own mistakes.


Along with working, they have activities such as art, spanish, yoga, music, outdoor play, etc. It is the perfect mix of freedom, independence and structure, and the Montessori classroom itself is very well organized and orderly.


A  Montessori classroom also has 3 important rules, which are very easy to follow:

– you can not do harm to others

– you can not do harm to yourself

– you can not do harm to the environment


Montessori children know that rules are a positive thing to help them to feel respected, comfortable and work in a friendly and respectful environment.



MYTH #2:

Montessori schools are religious.



Some people get this confused because the name Montessori sounds vaguely like the word monastery; a community of monks living under religious vows which people connect with religion. But in truth, Montessori is actually derived from Maria Montessori, the Italian physician who developed the learning method.

While Dr. Montessori was a religious woman, her educational methods focused on the social and neurological development of children, rather than focusing on religious teachings.


Maria Montessori started her education as a physician and then went on to study child psychology, quickly becoming a leader in the field. The advances that she made were all brought about by her observance of the students’ advances, her tweaking of the curriculum, and continued study of how kids responded to it. It was a scientifically-based field of study that she championed for more than 40 years.



MYTH #3:

Montessori teachers don’t teach.



Our Montessori teachers, whom we refer to at Eden Prairie Montessori as Montessori Adults, facilitate learning rather than instructing the class. This approach allows students to explore their own interests while reducing wasted time and maximizing developmental outcomes for each student.


Montessori Adults  act as a guide to a child’s independence. By presenting the materials to the child, the child is free to explore it and learn through self-correcting. The teacher’s observation of the child helps to plan for future lessons: By watching the ways in which each child plays and learns, they can discover the best way to teach each particular child. They will then use this knowledge to guide the child toward other activities so that they can learn as quickly as possible while still being challenged. By observing the behaviors of the children in every circumstance, teachers are also well equipped to handle disciplinary problems in the classroom by knowing what a child responds to best.


Each member of the Eden Prairie Montessori team is fully trained and credentialed to guide the growth and development of your children. We believe that by surrounding our students with highly qualified, specially trained professionals, each will reach his or her full potential from a cognitive, social, emotional, and physical perspective.


Each of our lead teachers must complete Montessori Certification under a credible Montessori training program that is recognized by the Department of Human Services, in addition to their teacher qualifications. Each staff member is also trained in CPR and First Aid, keeping your child safe at all times. Through ongoing training, we’re constantly improving our ability to care for and guide our students.



MYTH #4:

Montessori is only for the rich.



Many people associate Montessori with wealth and a private school education and assume there would be no way they could afford to send their child to a Montessori school. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Montessori is for EVERYONE!


What many don’t know is that Maria Montessori actually started her development of the Montessori education for disabled and disadvantaged children; although, it was her goal to extend Montessori to all types of children. Today, you can find Montessori in many variations and price points. There are, of course, some private Montessori schools which will be charging a higher tuition rate in return for additional benefits or the community it is set in – but you will also have the middle of the road price points. Often, if you look around you will be pleasantly surprised! Many Montessori preschools are on par with, or are not much more than other regular full-time daycares! Eden Prairie Montessori offers a mixed age environment to develop coordination, concentration, and knowledge-based skills at competitive prices. So don’t hesitate to stop by Eden Prairie Montessori if you are interested in your child attending – we love to have families come by for a tour! We have 2 locations in Eden Prairie and we welcome you to call us to set up a time to visit: 952-777-3606



Myth #5:

All Montessori schools are the same



If you’ve seen one Montessori school you’ve seen them all, right? Wrong! Just like traditional schools, no two Montessori schools are exactly alike. The Montessori approach is based on a philosophy of education and is neither franchised nor licensed. Some Montessori schools are private; others are public or charter schools. Some strictly follow the original Montessori model; others slightly vary their interpretations. The bottom line: although all Montessori schools likely have some common characteristics, they also have unique features that make them distinct.


What sets us apart and makes us unique? At Eden Prairie Montessori Learning Center it is our mission to inspire a love of lifelong learning, independence, responsibility, and respect in all students. All of the extracurricular activities we offer support these values and provide preschoolers with an extra enhanced early education program that is vastly different from other preschools. In addition to our Montessori learning experience, Eden Prairie Montessori Learning Center offers yoga, Spanish language, art, music & piano, gymnastics, dance, health classes, and outdoor nature time to provide a well-rounded learning experience and create the foundations for a healthy lifestyle.


We are proud of our diversity. Our students and our staff come from a varied background of countries and cultures. This gives us the unique ability to recognize and celebrate a wide range of cultures and holidays of the world with authenticity. Your child will learn from an early age to respect and cherish the qualities that make us all different and unique, while recognizing that we are all bound by a common thread of humanity.


In addition to a multicultural environment, all children have the opportunity to learn Spanish from a native speaker. Our Spanish education begins in our infant room with our bilingual staff speaking to our babies in both Spanish and English. It continues into Toddlers and Preschool/Kindergarten with daily class lessons taught in a fun and engaging way.


At Eden Prairie Montessori children thrive by further establishing their independence and by learning about nutrition, manners, positive learning and social habits, and how to care for both themselves and their environment. This better prepares them for future growth either in our kindergarten program or elsewhere and creates an early foundation for a healthy lifestyle.


Consistent participation in physical activity, especially when starting from a young age, leads to positive attributes in the development of children. Our Amazing Athletes programs are specifically structured and designed to provide little athletes with positive movement experiences that allow them to enjoy sports and fitness while also advancing their motor-skills so that they can confidently pursue any physical activity that interests them in the future.


WeeMove Yoga & Gymnastics partners with Eden Prairie Montessori to offer on site ‘Gymnastics For Yogis’ classes to kids. Our classes with WeeMove are a wonderful way to introduce the importance of movement, teaching children through techniques of balance, focus, tumble, strength and confidence. Age appropriate equipment is brought in each week and each student receives one on one attention to master each movement as they progress.

We also have a Summer Program! Our staff believes that summer preschool in Eden Prairie is not just about fun and learning, but about how children explore and develop new skills. Our summer program supports the Montessori method of learning, meaning your preschooler will enjoy structured, multi-sensory materials for exploratory learning and development. It’s Montessori Education offered all year long, with a summer dose of FUN! Learn all about it here: http://edenprairiemontessori.com/uncategorized/eden-prairie-montessoris-summer-program/



Contact us today to schedule a tour and learn more about our SUMMER child care program in Eden Prairie! For over 20 years, our attentive staff has been creating fun, student-centered summer daycare learning experiences for Eden Prairie children.

To learn more about our summer program, book a tour by contacting a member of our staff at 952-777-3606. We look forwarding to showing you a better type of summer camp.