The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive about Montessori education and our school. Please look at our Parent Handbooks for more information on our policies and practices.
More detailed information can also be found on our Classroom pages as well as in our About Montessori page.
How does a Montessori classroom differ from a “regular” classroom?
|Teacher has an unobtrusive role in classroom, acting as a guide in the learning process||Teacher is center of classroom as, acting as the leader in the learning process|
|Environment and method encourage self-discipline||Teacher is primary source of discipline|
|Mainly individual instruction||Group and individual instruction|
|Mixed age grouping. simulating a family-like environment||Same age grouping|
|Grouping encourages children to teach and help each other||Most teaching is done by teacher|
|Child chooses own work that has been specially prepared for him/her||Curriculum is structured for the child|
|Child discovers own concepts from self teaching materials, often after a lesson has been presented||Child is guided to concepts by the teacher|
|Child works as long as he wishes on chosen project||Child is generally allotted specific time for work|
|Child sets own learning pace||Instructional pace is usually set by group norm|
|Child spots own errors from feedback of materials, which have a control of error and allow for self-correction||If work is corrected, errors are usually pointed out by the teacher|
|Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success||Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards|
|Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration||Fewer materials for sensory development|
|Organized program for learning care of self and environment||Less emphasis on self-care instruction|
|Child can work where he chooses, move around and talk at will (yet not disturb the work of others); group work is voluntary||Child is usually assigned his/her own chair; encouraged to participate, sit still and listen during group sessions|
|Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process||Voluntary parent involvement|
Is there any benefit to a Montessori Education after pre-school?
Yes! While the pre-school environment is wonderful for aiding a child in their path towards physical independence, the elementary age will strengthen that independence and move towards intellectual independence. Students will be involved with planning out their own educational path, following their personal interests so that the prospect of learning something new will continue to be an exciting and fulfilling task.
Studies show that students of any age learn best when the task at hand is meaningful, interesting, and engaging. Because the Montessori Environment is geared towards the needs of those within it, the lessons presented become more meaningful to the students they’re intended for, designed to their specific interests and ability level. When children are engaged in their education they develop a drive to persevere in finding solutions, they grow to enjoy the challenge.
What happens when I send my child to a traditional public school after attending a Montessori Pre-school?
Montessori students tend to adjust well to their new school environment, often times being the students at the top of the class. A Montessori education provides a strong foundation for any future learning environment the child will encounter.
Want more information?
Download a copy of Montessori 101
Click here for a recent article on the benefits of Montessori.
Click here for thoughtful parenting tips from Maren Schmidt.
Is Renaissance a peanut-free school?
Renaissance is a peanut sensitive school. This means that we help children manage their food allergies and allow others to eat tree nut and peanut products for lunch. For example, we will help a child recognize that another student may have peanut butter for lunch, and help them find another friend to eat with that day. Renaissance Montessori is not free of peanut and tree nut dust, and we currently have students with mild to severe peanut allergies. Our staff is trained on how to use Epi pens if necessary. Please see administration with questions about your child’s food allergies.
How do you handle inclement weather?
- We do not follow Wake County Schools exclusively. We have realized that it is best to be informed by Wake County Schools’ decisions, but do not follow them exactly in every instance. Our policy is that Renaissance will make all efforts to be open as much as possible during the winter weather while considering safety of students, parents and staff. For example, if your child’s teacher cannot make it due to ice, but a substitute can, we will inform you of this as soon as we know and open accordingly. If no staff are available or the entire region is deemed too dangerous for driving, we will unfortunately close for the day.
- What about a delayed opening time? At times, Wake County Schools open on a one or two-hour delay. We generally take these to mean that the conditions will improve as the temperature rises. We have found that opening near 10 am allows for melting to occur and allow us to have as close to a full day as possible.
- When Wake County closes early we will do the same. As we have seen in past years, conditions can become icy within minutes and we will inform you via email and phone should we need to close school early.
- Will you make up lost days? Because we will make every effort to be open, Renaissance will not make up lost days due to snow and ice.
What about your Star rating?
You may notice that many Montessori schools are only listed with one to three stars, while others have earned five stars. This is because the current star rating system doesn’t always agree with Montessori best practices. For example, the star system requires that there be pretend objects in a room. Montessori educators prefer real objects, such as real food preparation instead of pretend food.