How can I tell a good Montessori preschool from the rest?
Obviously the definition of what makes a good preschool is open to interpretation. However, in order to determine whether a school offers the Montessori method as conceived by Dr. Maria Montessori, ask whether the instructors and assistants are certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Ask if the classroom materials are authentic and certified by AMI. You may notice that most authentic Montessori materials are not made of synthetics like plastic or rubber. Rather, they are made of wood and polished glass, organic materials which children tend to find inherently beautiful and fascinating. Recognition by AMI provides you an assurance that the staff, materials and curriculum all conform to the highest standards as originally conceived by Dr. Montessori. The International Montessori Academy is proud to be one of only a handful of schools in the region that have received this recognition.
Are all Montessori schools part of the same chain?
No. Unfortunately Maria Montessori did not trademark her name and -- as such -- no controls are put on its use. In fact, of the thousands of schools bearing the Montessori name in this country, only about 4% offer teachers and materials certified by the Association Montessori International (AMI), the organization founded by Dr. Montessori to ensure that the method is properly implemented.
Do children have fun at a Montessori preschool?
Yes, Dr. Montessori recognized the fundamental truth that play is a child's work. As such, her method is designed to appeal to children as a form of fun play while simultaneously bestowing upon them important educational precepts. Dr. Montessori's studies taught her that -- unlike adults -- young children must learn abstract concepts through concrete, physical examples and objects. For instance, a three-year-old child cannot grasp the mathematical concept of addition through verbal explanation. Rather, the child must touch and see physical examples of adding objects to a group. Montessori students play with specially developed materials designed to both fascinate and entertain them through visual and tactile stimulation. Naturally we also set aside plenty of time to run, climb, slide, socialize and play outside as healthy children should.
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Do children have difficultly making the transition from a Montessori preschool into a traditional elementary school?
Should you wish your school to continue in a Montessori environment upon graduation from the International Montessori Academy, we will be pleased to provide referrals to a number of excellent Montessori primary programs in the area. Should you instead prefer at that time to move your child into a traditional program, rest assured that children who complete our program are often among the most advanced in their class once placed in a traditional school. Upon enrollment in a traditional school, their needs are the same as children everywhere; to be challenged and taught according to their unique aptitudes and abilities. We will happily counsel you on the best possible options for your child upon graduation.
What does AMI recognition mean?
The International Montessori Academy is proud to be one of only a few preschools in the region conferred with full recognition by the Association Montessori International (AMI). This means that we follow Dr. Montessori's principles and practices completely and that our staff and classroom materials all conform to AMI's highest standards.
Commonly Asked Questions
Interested parents often ask us many of the questions below. You may wish to review them to see how we typically respond. If you have additional questions, feel free to email us on the form provided.