Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.
–Maria Montessori

In 1907, Dr. Montessori opened her first “children’s house” in a suburb of Rome. Her approach focused on a “prepared environment” in these ways: preparing the most natural and life supporting environment for the child, observing the child living freely in this environment, continually adapting the environment in order that the child may fulfill his greatest potential — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It relies on a child-driven curriculum which allows children to move at their own pace, based on their interests. Montessori education is well-recognized both in the US and internationally, but because “Montessori” is not a trademarked term, there is tremendous variation in schools claiming to use Maria Montessori’s methods.

Check out this video on Montessori math materials to see how the “prepared environment” shapes the children’s experience.

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