Questions & Answers
Do the children also play a Montessori environment?
Maria Montessori has deliberately chosen the term “work” and not “play” for any activities with the Montessori materials. For her it was important to emphasise the children’s activities. In the adult world, the “games” are often not taken seriously, while “work” is something serious. If a child wipes the table with great enthusiasm and highly concentrated for half an hour, or for the umpteenth time slots cylinders in the corresponding box, or pours water repeatedly from one vessel into another, this counts far more than “playing” in the Montessori environment. With regard to the concentration and the seriousness of the children with these activities it is more suitable to use the term “working” . In the adult world, the term “work” unfortunately often comes with a negative “aftertaste”, it is often something that you have to do, that is not always enjoyed and that also can be exhausting. Therefore, parents are sometimes confused when they hear, that the children “work”. But it is the freedom of work and the development of self-activity, the children learn here and this allows the children to develop the joy of learning, “working” and of social responsibility.
How do Montessori students compare to other students?
Please read the following article by Dr. Reinhard Fischer from the Montessori Centre at the Westfälische Wilhelms-University of Munster „Ergebnisse empirischer Forschungen zur Montessori Pädagogik“.
Can I pick up my child earlier than 14:30 o’clock?
In exceptional cases, yes, but we do not encourage you to regularly take your child home for lunch, because the child often does not feel as a member of the group, when it is the only child that can not have lunch with all the other children. The children enjoy the responsibility to organize their own lunch: two move the tables together, one gets the plates, another one gets the glasses and another one the cutlery, etc. If the weather is nice, the children often decide to take everything outside in the garden. As also with adults, eating together plays a large role in the social consolidation of the group.
Can I sometimes pick up “full-day” children at 14:30 o’clock?
Basically yes, but we ask at the beginning of the kindergarten year to indicate on which days your child stays until 16.30 clock and on which it has to be picked up earlier, so that the guides can plan better in relation to certain activities.. A “full-day” child should have at least three full days (up to 16:30 o’clock) a week at the House.
Can I bring my child to the Toddler community at just three days per week?
No, this option is unfortunately not possible. This primarily has pedagogical reasons: For the children of this age, daily routines are very important to build confidence in an environment and help them to feel safe and content in this environment. On a Monday, we sometimes observe that the smaller children, after only two days’ break, have a more difficult start. An even larger gap would give the child more difficulties to settle. It also helps to develop a much more intensive togetherness in the group, if all 10 children are always there at the same time.
What does AMI mean?
AMI stands for Association Montessori Internationale. The Association was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori and has its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The AMI monitors the professional implementation of the concepts developed by Maria Montessori and therefore provides them with a sort of quality label for Montessori facilities. Since the term “Montessori” is not protected and it often proves difficult for parents to see how the individual school actually works, the orientation of the AMI international standards, as they are implemented in the IMS Barbara House provide an important guide line. To be able to implement the ambitious pedagogical approach of Maria Montessori in a way, so that your child really can develop optimally, we need personally and professionally highly qualified teachers. We therefore take great care that our pedagogues have been trained and are provided with continuous training according to the standards of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
Can my child change from another nursery to Barbara House?
Basically yes. But we must remember that the daily schedule and activities are very different to the ones in a traditional nursery. Older children, who have already made their own experience in another nursery, sometimes have difficulties in adjusting to a nursery, where many things are different. The earlier a child is confronted with the Montessori pedagogy, the better. Therefore it is very important to us, to get to know your child as good as possible already during the registration procedure. Open discussions will help us and you to find out whether we fit together.
Do I have to know about Montessori teaching practises?
The more you know about our educational approach, the better you can support your child and our team in their work. For most parents the Montessori pedagogy is a new, unknown field, and it is very important for confidence-building between parents and schools, that the pedagogical principles, which are practised by the teachers at the IMS-Barbara House, are understood. Through a versatile choice we can help you to find answers to your questions. Whether you observe in the group of your child, attend one of our events for parent education (link) or with the help of our literature list (link) read all about the topic Montessori – you will find that Maria Montessori was a modern woman with contemporary ideas that last to this day and age.
The best way to support and lovingly accompany your child on its way is to have belief in him and the pedagogues in Barbara House. Every child is different, one finds it difficult, for the other it is easier to separate from home and adjust to a new environment. Allow your child time and rely on the experience of pedagogues, who accompany your child during this transition into the new community.