How does the Montessori program meet my child’s academic needs?
Students are moving forward with even more freedom as they will be in their own individualized program. The focus is on mastering material in a particular program and following their own interests by pursuing curriculum horizontally versus vertically. The Montessori curriculum is at a higher more complex academic level. The students will be using manipulatives that, if mastered, can keep on going and bring understanding of concepts to an abstract level.
My child has not seen Montessori materials, how will they adjust to using them?
The Montessori materials can be understood even without previous Montessori experience. Students will be given individual and small group lessons in order to use the materials. Once they have shown mastery with a material they can move on to the next one.
Do the older kids in a multi-ages class still get challenged or is it dumbed down?
On the contrary, the Montessori curriculum allows all students to be challenged. There is lots of curriculum to be covered in both the programs. Students will need 3 years (early years through elementary) and 2 years (middle school) to cover all of the curriculum associated with the particular program. There are plenty of opportunities for students to explore curriculum and materials laterally so as to gain greater insight and knowledge.
How does a multi-age class work? Will my older child just spend time teaching younger children?
No, your child will not only spend time teaching younger children. There is a peer teaching component to any Montessori classroom. Older students can teach younger students and vice versa. Montessori believes that an important way to show mastery of a topic is to teach it. Students will have a variety of learning experiences, one of which will be peer teaching.
Are there field trips?
Yes. Connecting materials and curriculum to the “outside” world is an important cornerstone to Montessori education.
Will my child become bored by spending three years in the same classroom and doing the same thing year after year?
No, your child will not be bored from spending 3 years in the same classroom. There are an appropriate number of materials to ensure all children are actively engaged throughout the years in the program.
Will students be covering the curriculum for their particular grade level in their program?
Over the three year program there will be a rotating curriculum. Students will cover different social studies and science curriculum each year and have the entire three years to master all the math and language outcomes.
Where is the academic rigour?
As in previous programs, WMS will continue to challenge students to ensure that they are fulfilling their potential. Montessori programs ensure that students will have endless opportunities to explore curriculum in ways that meet their learning interests. The Montessori curriculum meets and exceeds the requirements of the BC mandated curriculum.
While the Montessori curriculum is student focused, there are still expectations that need to be met when a student exits a particular mixed-age group in Kindergarten, Grade 3, Grade 6, or Grade 8.