Sessions for Families Catalog

Strong Montessori programs—public or private—are stronger with a robust partnership between home and school. The sessions described here can enhance that partnership. providing essential information about the what, why, and how of Montessori education. Programs can be offered during the day or evening hours, and most often last between 90 minutes and two hours. Any of these topics can be customized to meet the needs of individual schools, districts, or communities.

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General Orientations

What is Montessori, and is it the right choice for my family? In this introduction to Montessori, adults learn about the elements that set Montessori apart: a unique developmental approach,
specific in-depth training for teachers, multi-age classrooms, open work periods, and specialized materials. The session grounds Montessori in the core concepts of children’s natural drive to learn, the power of choice, freedom within limits, independence, and executive functions.

Where are the desks? Why isn’t the teacher teaching? Won’t the children just do whatever they want? What about homework?

Families have as much to learn as children when they join a Montessori community. This session explains the value of unfamiliar Montessori practices and how they support independence, executive functions, and cognitive and social development. The session also explores the home-school relationship—what can families expect from the school, and what the school expects of them—to support the best outcomes.

Montessori education is a comprehensive approach, with all its parts working together, and it works best when it’s fully implemented.

Research in brain development, cognition, and social and emotional learning confirms the theory and practice of Montessori education. That same research suggests that full implementation supports the best outcomes in concentration, self-regulation, and flexibility, along with reading, writing, and math. This session explains how the essential elements of Montessori work together, and how families can work with the school towards full implementation.

Maria Montessori was a scientist and a medical doctor, and she developed her model through observation and experimentation. But what does modern research say? Does Montessori really help children learn?

Recent and expanding research says yes. Studies have shown that Montessori supports cognitive and social-emotional development, creativity, problem-solving, and executive functions, as well as reading and math, across racial and socio-economic class lines. This session explores the myths and the realities of Montessori education and the growing body of scientific study supporting the model.

The School/Home Partnership

The Montessori classroom is a “prepared environment”—every element is designed to support children’s development at a particular stage. But what about at home?

Our homes serve the needs of a wide range of ages and interests, so they can’t—and shouldn’t—look like the classroom. But there are still things you can do to support your own child’s development. This session explores simple, practical ways to foster independence, concentration, language development, and social skills at home. The Montessori philosophy behind the prepared environment will be shared as well as specific ideas for home set up and regular routines and tasks for children of all ages.

A positive and reciprocal relationship with the classroom teacher is essential to the overall and success of your child’s school experience. In this webinar, parents learn about the developmental milestones and design principles that underpin what happens during the school day, the ways in which these might be incorporated into your child’s home experiences for maximum continuity, and the opportunities for engagement in school activities.

Human Development and Optimal Learning

Montessori observed distinct periods, or “planes” during human development, with very different needs and characteristics: Elementary children are not “just like preschoolers, but bigger.” This session explores Montessori’s model of human development from birth to age twenty-four. Parents will learn what they can expect from their children at each stage, how Montessori classrooms are designed to support the different levels, and what they can do at home.

Technology and digital media present challenges and opportunities for parents of young children. When should we introduce it? What value does it add? How much is too much? In this webinar, we will explore how children learn, what developmental outcomes matter most, and how to create optimal home learning environments that are intentionally designed for healthy and well-rounded child development.

Academics and Montessori

Children need support in their developing literacy both at school and at home. This session explains the stages children pass through on their way to becoming confident readers, writers and speakers, and introduces parents to the methods used in Montessori classrooms to build language skills and how they can continue this work at home.