I know some Montessori schools in our area that give out lots of paper work to the children and “force” them to do it, so parents know their children are learning something at school.
Some Montessori schools, like ours does very limited paper work, more so only given at a later stage for them to practice their letters/numbers.
Montessori philosophy is based on “hands-on learning” with the scientifically proven materials created by Dr. Montessori which cater to the child’s sensitive periods and development.
What do you think parents feel about paper work ?
Most parents might think that since they pay a hefty tuition for a Montessori education, they ‘should’ receive enough paper work to help them understand their children are indeed learning what they should at their age.
So, how do we stay true to the Montessori philosophy and have limited or no paper work, while at the same time meeting the needs of the parents.
Here are some ideas
Administration explains the philosophy in detail when parents visit school for a tour the very first time.
Teacher discusses the importance of hands-on learning and limited paper work at the meeting with the parents before child joins the class.
Create opportunities for parents to come see what their child is learning by hosting “Discovery sessions” periodically during the school year.
To wrap up this topic, I would say – Encourage parents to look out for those special moments where their child might “show” them what they have learnt in the Montessori classroom.
One child in my class was with her parents at a restaurant , when she folded the napkin to make different shapes and named them, based on what she had learnt working with the Constructive triangles( Sensorial).
A child who loves to bake with his mom at home, traced his numbers on the flour, counted the muffins and sounded out the beginning sounds of all the ingredients used , which totally impressed the mom.
This is an excerpt from an email I received from a parent : “We were all sitting down to eat and ‘X’ just picked up the mustard bottle and started sounding out the letters “o r g a n i c”. He sounded out all of the letters by himself “.
Would love to hear your thoughts on paper work in a Montessori classroom….