• What Is the Prepared Environment In Montessori Education

    Portrait of little school boy doing homework at white desk

    Maria Montessori observed that children learn best in a prepared environment, which is one that facilitates independent learning by exploration. A prepared environment in a Montessori classroom is calm and orderly, yet filled with activity. The prepared environment allows children to follow their own interests with freedom of interaction, of movement, of exploration, and of choice. A child at one workstation may be learning fundamental mathematical concepts, while another is learning about extinct species with a timeline.

    When children work at their chosen learning activities at their own pace in this prepared environment, they develop a lifelong love of learning itself. Children become self-reliant and resilient as they realize that they are capable of reaching a solution by themselves. This nurtures a child’s self-esteem and facilitates inner discipline.

    The Montessori School at StarCreek is firmly committed to upholding Maria Montessori’s vision of a carefully prepared environment in which children can develop an essential foundation of creative thinking and learning. Parents who wish to learn more about our preschool or elementary school can call our Allen location at (972) 727-2800 or our North Dallas location at (972) 985-8844.

  • Examining the Montessori Approach to Homework

    Happy young woman reading book

    Parents who are new to the Montessori Method are likely to have many questions and perhaps even misconceptions about this approach to education. Before enrolling your child in a Montessori school, you may wish to ask the school administrator about their approach to homework. Traditionally, Montessori schools do not offer homework choices prior to the upper elementary program, although some may do so in the lower elementary program.

    Maria Montessori’s Approach
    Long before the U.S. instituted standardized testing, Maria Montessori shared her vision of the future, which involved the passing of an individual to a higher level of learning or achievement solely on the basis of their own activities and will, rather than by means of exams and certification. Indeed, in a Montessori classroom, you’ll find children hard at work on learning activities that they have chosen for themselves. Since children have freedom of choice within the classroom, it makes little sense to impose certain assignments on them after school hours. Since the Montessori Method recognizes that learning is not bound by the classroom, children are encouraged to continue learning via exploration after school. They are free to pursue their own interests, strengthen familial relationships, and restore their minds through relaxation.

    Adverse Effects of Assignments
    Conventional public schools impose homework assignments on children out of the belief that they teach time management, self-discipline, and responsibility. In actuality, a child who is forced to work on a certain assignment will invariably suffer from a lack of self-motivation and perhaps even resentment. These results are not conducive to developing a lifelong love of learning.

    Beneficial Effects of Homework Choices
    Instead of requiring certain homework assignments of children, a Montessori upper elementary program offers children homework choices. Children may be sent home with a list of suggested activities, from which they can choose activities that suit their interests. For example, children may enjoy physical activities such as sports or hone their practical life skills by assisting with dinner preparation. They may enjoy a good book or complete an art project.

    Parents with questions about the Montessori approach to homework are invited to contact The Montessori School at StarCreek. Our preschool and elementary school are child-centered environments in which students become self-motivated in directing their own education. For more information on our programs, contact our school in Allen at (972) 727-2800 or our school in North Dallas at (972) 985-8844.

  • Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Your Kids

    Nutritious lunches helps children focus better in preschool. Although kids can eat the same healthy foods adults enjoy, they may need a little convincing to do so. Many children are more willing to eat healthy foods if they’re presented in a fun way. Instead of packing a whole apple in your child’s lunchbox, peel the skin off and slice it. Then, coat it lightly with citric acid or citrus juice to prevent browning.

    For more fun ideas for your child’s lunchbox, watch this video. This mom demonstrates a quicker way to slice an apple and discusses the tasty mixture she tops the apple slices with. She also recommends slicing sandwiches into fun shapes and creating healthier homemade granola.

    Children at The Montessori School at StarCreek learn the value of good nutrition by engaging in fun cooking projects with vegetables grown on our beautiful campus. Explore our private elementary school and preschool by calling our Allen campus at (972) 727-2800 or our North Dallas campus at (972) 985-8844.

  • An Overview of Our Lower and Upper Elementary School Programs

    school concept

    The Montessori School offers families in the Metroplex area a stimulating, nurturing learning environment. We consider it our mission to imbue each child with a healthy sense of self-esteem and a positive attitude toward learning. Our Montessori school offers lower and upper elementary school programs, which instill a foundation for lifelong learning and personal growth in children.

    Lower Elementary Program
    The lower elementary program at our Montessori school is designed for children ages six through nine. Our multiage elementary classrooms encourage children to develop divergent thinking skills by figuring out problems themselves, which empowers them to become confident and independent learners. Our Montessori teachers serve as nurturing guides, helping children master instruction in tangible ways and then develop abstract and critical thinking skills. For example, children learning mathematical concepts work with Montessori math beads to master this abstract subject with an initial concrete approach. Throughout your child’s time in our lower elementary school program, he or she will also develop social skills, strive to sort through moral questions, and develop a sense of personal responsibility. Our comprehensive curriculum includes the core subjects as well as enrichment lessons, such as the music arts.

    Upper Elementary Program
    The Montessori School’s upper elementary program is designed for children ages nine through 12. Although children in an upper elementary classroom are first introduced to textbooks, they primarily use time-tested Montessori materials for their learning activities. After mastering a concept with Montessori materials, textbooks are used as ancillary learning tools. Throughout your child’s time in this program, he or she will further develop a love of independent and self-motivated learning while navigating subjects such as foreign language, geometry, botany, and zoology. In the upper elementary program, reading is fully integrated into the curriculum; it is not considered a separate subject, rather, it is considered an essential tool for exploration.

    The Montessori School at StarCreek accepts young learners from six weeks of age through sixth grade. We invite families to learn more about the Montessori approach to education by visiting our beautiful campuses and touring our orderly classrooms. To arrange a visit to our preschool or elementary school, call our North Dallas campus at (972) 985-8844 or our campus in Allen at (972) 727-2800.