Traditionally, music and art have always been important parts of the holistic educational experience Montessori schools strive to provide. And offering the arts (music and art) as a second language is still an essential component of the educational program at most Montessori schools today.

Today’s world has changed greatly from the world that existed when Maria Montessori created the Montessori method and yet it is uniquely suited to help children succeed in the present. A traditional school teaches students facts and rote memorization – catering to the average student. More and more we are learning that this method is not always successful. A Montessori-based education teaches children how to learn and explore on their own, which fosters independence. This type of learning begins at the preschool level and continues to elementary school. The benefit of joining the Shining Stars Montessori Academy family is that you’ll get to experience both levels of education since they are both ingrained into our curriculum. 

A Montessori education is unique in the fast-paced, highly-structured educational system that many students experience today. Montessori students are encouraged to learn and grow at their own pace; to engage in the types of learning that they find most fascinating; and to develop their own goals and appreciation for those goals in the process. Montessori students are given the benefit of a hands-on approach, doing most of their learning from manipulable materials instead of from books and worksheets. Students are not expected to simply absorb information as it is thrown at them, but instead to actively engage in the learning process.

Perhaps your child is nearing the end of pre-kindergarten in a Montessori pre-school. You have watched your child blossom under the care and guidance of the staff at the school. Others of you might not have had your child in a Montessori pre-school, but are looking at alternatives as your child reaches the age when it will be time to begin elementary school. The Montessori method is historically an early childhood development program, but in recent years it is being successfully integrated into elementary school curriculum. Here are five reasons why a Montessori elementary School is a good idea for your child.

Since the founding of Shining Starts Montessori Academy our staff has reflected the diversity of our community. Washington DC is a melting pot, home to a all shades and hues of Americans as well as ensconced immigrants and foreign born residents. In 2013, the US Census reported that in the city’s roughly 650,000 residents, 49.5% are of African American descent. The District’s population also boasts 11% Hispanics, while people of Asian decent make up 4%. Foreign-born residents living in DC make up 13.5% of local population. These numbers reveal that two-thirds of Washington DC’s population is that of people of color.

Many parents feel that Montessori schools are mostly intended for preschool aged children. Once their children are ready for elementary school, they push them into a regular public school, with its more traditional education. There are, however, a number of advantages to keeping your child in a Montessori setting. For example:

One of the core principles behind the Montessori Method of teaching is the idea that children will teach themselves if provided with the proper tools in an environment conducive to learning. It is also based upon the idea that children have a natural tendency to mimic the behavior of adults; that the point of childhood is to ‘work’ towards becoming an adult. Maria Montessori created her method in 1907, when the technological tools that we have at our fingertips today could not have even been imagined. Some advocates of the Montessori Method argue that technology is antithetical to the classroom application of Montessori principles, however there are others that claim Maria would have certainly included modern-day technology into her methodology were she alive today to do so. Knowledge of the Montessori principles combined with a realistic understanding of how technology has become a part of human life in today’s society naturally leads to the realization that technology is an integral and vital part of a modern Montessori education.