Frequently Asked Questions
Below find answers to some of our more commonly asked questions.
What exactly is the Montessori method?
The Montessori approach is a system of education that is both a philosophy of child growth and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on the child’s developmental needs, exposure to materials, and experiences through which to develop intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. Children need adults to expose them to the possibilities of life, but children themselves must direct their response to those possibilities. The premises of Montessori education are:
- Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who differ from each other.
- The child possesses unusual sensitivity and mental abilities for absorbing and learning from his or her environment that are unlike those of the adult both in quality and capacity.
- The most important years of growth are the first nine years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to the conscious level.
- The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He or she works, however, not as an adult for profit and completion of a job, but for the sake of the activity itself. It is the activity which accomplishes the most important goal of the child: the development of him or herself, inclusive of mental, physical, and psychological powers.
For a more extensive overview of the Montessori approach, please read Desmond Perry’s “An Introduction to Montessori” found under the “Resources” tab on this website.
Is Montessori for all children?
The Montessori approach has been used successfully with children up to eighteen years of age from all socioeconomic levels, representing those in typical classes as well as those who are academically gifted, have learning differences and/or are physically impaired. Because of its individual approach, Montessori education is uniquely suited to educating children of differing needs, temperaments and abilities.
Is the child free to do what he or she chooses in the classroom?
The child is free to move about the classroom, to talk to other children, to work with any equipment or material whose purpose he or she understands, or to ask the teacher to introduce a new material. The teacher observes the child, noting his or her needs and interests. The educator then uses his or her observations to facilitate learning by guiding the child toward those activities that will best serve his or her development. The child is not free to disturb other children at work or to misuse the equipment that is so important to his or her development. We call this attitude “freedom within limits”.
Why is the Montessori approach beneficial to children?
The goal of Montessori education is multi-faceted: it encourages self-discipline, self-knowledge and independence; it nurtures a curiosity that results in a lifelong love of learning; and it provides an organized and developmentally appropriate approach to problem solving and academic skill development.
How will my child make the transition from a Montessori classroom to a traditional classroom?
Most children adjust readily to new classroom situations. In all likelihood this is because they have developed self-discipline and independence in the Montessori environment, as well as a foundational ability to approach learning in a variety of ways.
What do the older students gain from a multi-age classroom?
Curriculum in a multi-age setting is not static; older students can delve as far into a subject as they are able to, while younger students explore subjects at their own level. Older students also “learn what they know” while gaining self-esteem in the role of mentor to the younger students and naturally develop leadership skills as they assist children of all ages.
Are all Montessori schools alike?
No. Montessori is a philosophy and method of education, not a franchise. Each school operates independently. Seton Montessori School is unique in its relationship with the Seton Montessori Institute Teacher Education Program as a Lab School, in the way it interprets this philosophy for the community it serves, and in its leadership, vision, staff credentials and stability.
Does the school have a religious affiliation?
No. However, there is a spiritual component to the Montessori philosophy which recognizes and respects the whole child, including an inner self, where issues of character and civic virtues reside and require development.
What forms of payment does Seton accept?
Seton Montessori accepts checks, money orders and online bank payment for all tuition plans; it does not accept cash or credit cards. A tuition deposit, which is due upon enrollment, must be made either by check or money order.
Does Seton offer any discounts?
Yes. A second (or third, or fourth) child enrolled in Seton Montessori School or Summer Camp will receive a 10% discount off the lesser tuition. In addition, academic year tuition paid in full by check prior to August 1st of the school year will receive a 2% discount.
May I change my child’s program after the school year has begun?
Depending on availability, yes. However, you will incur a $50 processing fee.
Your question not answered? Call the school office at (630) 655-1066, and someone will be glad to assist you.