Before your child was even born, you probably found yourself looking up the wide variety of approaches and pedagogies for parenting, early childhood education, or even preschool.
One of the names that would likely have come up during your research is Montessori (or the Montessori Method), one of the most well-known children’s education systems in the world.
While the Montessori system has become widely known and practiced since it was first developed it in the late 19th century, it is now seeing a resurgence in popularity as many parents try to emulate its key approaches at home.
But what exactly is the Montessori Method and how does it compare to MindChamps’ own research-based methodologies and pedagogies?
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method was developed by physician-educator Maria Montessori in Italy around 1897, and was officially documented in her 1912 publication “The Montessori Method”. This child-centered system heavily focuses on a “freedom within limits” approach and emphasises the importance of children getting to choose their own interests, activities, and approaches to learning.
Key Differences between MindChamps and the Montessori Method
1. Approaches to play: Free Play VS Crafted Play™
One key aspect of the Montessori Method is Free Play whereby children are presented a variety of toy or activity stations without being guided towards a specific activity to complete. Spontaneous independent learning is crucial to the Montessori Method to encourage children to learn, develop, and grow at their own unique pace.
At MindChamps, we encourage Crafted Play™ where children are given the space and opportunity to explore a variety of activity stations with sufficient guidance that leads towards a particular outcome. Our MindChamps PreSchools have different stations based on real-life situations (e.g. grocery shopping or kitchen play sets) and our educators guide children through fun interactive activities that impart fundamental skills such as numeracy, language, literacy, or social skills.
2. Sensory learning: Sensory focus VS S.M.I.L.E.S.™
Sensory learning is a big part of both the MindChamps pedagogy and the Montessori Method. Both schools of thought emphasise sensory exposure during the early years to develop physical, cognitive, and even emotional skills.
The S.M.I.L.E.S.™ methodology is MindChamps’ own unique approach to sensory learning. Comprising a framework that develops children’s Sensory, Motor, Intellectual, Linguistic, Emotional and Social skills, S.M.I.L.E.S.™ elements are holistically incorporated into our PreSchool lessons and activities to help children learn better. This ranges from sensory bins to painting sessions to play-based activities when learning English, Maths, or Science.
3. Encouraging natural curiosity: Inquiry-based learning VS Enquiry Teaching and Learning™
Many childhood development systems including the Montessori Method embrace inquiry-based learning as a way to get children interested in the world around them. This generally involves encouraging children to ask questions on their own and clarify their thinking, nurturing a greater sense of curiosity and wonder in the world around them.
Enquiry Teaching and Learning™ is a unique approach to teaching adopted by MindChamps PreSchool centres that encourages children to go beyond their curiosity and raise questions that allow them to dive deeper and explore a topic further. Enquiry Teaching and Learning™ lessons involve a constant exchange of ideas as our educators craft directed lessons to engage children’s particular interests.
Finding the Right Preschool for your Child
The Montessori Method is just one of the pedagogical approaches available for parents to explore, and many parents may even combine elements from various approaches depending on what works best for their family.
Here at MindChamps, we employ a holistic approach to early childhood development and education that embraces the uniqueness of each child while nurturing a Champion Mindset. Using our 3-Mind Approach, we aim to equip children with the confidence, versatility, curiosity, and open-mindedness needed to adapt to an ever-changing world.
Book a visit to any of our Singapore PreSchools around you today to find out more about our facilities, programmes, and curriculum!