By Guest Blogger Brittney Biggs
Let me start by saying that I have two “Montessori hats.” I am a Montessori mom, and I also serve as the Director of Admissions at The Montessori School of Winston-Salem (TMS), located in Clemmons. Though I have lots I can share with my “admissions hat” on, the following comes mostly from my experience as a new Montessori parent.
I began my role as Director of Admissions at TMS just over a year ago and my daughter has been enrolled since August. Like most of the parents that I meet on a daily basis, I had heard good things about Montessori but didn’t know much about it. Being here every day has obviously given me the opportunity to immerse myself, where I learn something new each day. However, it is through my daughter’s experience that I have learned the most.
Almost immediately, we saw a big difference in our daughter and have been amazed by her growing independence and language skills in just five short months. Her level of independence, increased vocabulary and ability to care for herself as a two-year-old has all stemmed from her Montessori experience. At home, she always wants to help out. She loves setting the table, dusting or washing windows and getting dressed all by herself. We even had to start hiding the cleaning supplies and get her own little spray bottle.
What I really appreciate and didn’t expect before being a Montessori mom is that she finds real satisfaction contributing to and helping her family. During our holiday gatherings, family members were impressed and kept commenting on how they couldn’t believe how she was cleaning up after herself (even without being told), able to peddle a bicycle or that she could put her shoes on by herself… and on the right foot too.
One of the most significant benefits of a Montessori education for our daughter is the individualized learning approach. What we know for sure about children is that they grow and develop at different paces. One size, shape or time frame doesn’t fit all. The teachers we call “guides” at TMS, are able to individualize their approach with my daughter, in part because of the multi-age grouping. My daughter’s classroom of 1-3 year-olds reminds me of a family unit, with younger and older siblings naturally teaching and learning from each other. I love that my daughter can learn at her own pace. If she is really advanced in an area there are no limitations on what she can learn. And, if she happens to be struggling in another subject, there isn’t undue pressure on her to “get it” right away. It’s customized education that meets her needs.
I also like that my daughter has large blocks uninterrupted blocks of time to work on different activities. With the support of her meticulously prepared classroom, nurturing guidance from her guides, and a wonderful structure of freedom and responsibilities, I see her concentration, inner discipline and social skills blossoming.
The benefits of a Montessori education, however, have not only been for our daughter. Montessori has changed the way my husband and I parent as well, in the most positive ways. Our daughter is thriving and we see how capable she is, even at such a young age. We have come to trust more in her ability and have become more patient knowing that a little extra time to allow her to do things for herself is well worth it. The more we give her a little space to do things on her own, the more she is able to accomplish. Helping her have ways to be independent and help the family has created more joy and harmony for us all at home.
For my husband and I, like most parents, education is a high priority and the decision about where our children will go to school is one of the most important we will make. As both a Montessori mom, and the Admissions Director, if you would like to learn more about TMS and Montessori education, I encourage you to come out and visit. We have programs for preschool, elementary and middle school students. Our weekly campus tours and information sessions are almost every Wednesday morning from 9-11 AM. We also have an Open House event coming up on Sunday, February 10, 2019 from 2-4 PM. It would be a great time to learn about what a TMS Montessori education has to offer your child and your family.
*Sponsored by The Montessori School of Winston-Salem