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How Do I Know My Child is Learning?

Categories: Back to School / Dr. Montessori / For Parents / General Knowledge Fund / The Montessori Difference

How Do I Know My Child Is Learning?

  • Look for evidence of your child being inquisitive, using known information to reason out answers, and using a variety of resources to investigate his/her interests. This is the true hallmark of the Montessori child, and hopefully this is what motivated you to seek an authentic Montessori education for your child. Isn’t this far more important than memorizing the state capitals? (Although they will do that, too!)
  • Avoid asking directly, “What did you do in school today?”. This is a conversation killer. Instead, share your stories about your own day, talk about what YOU learned, or a problem YOU solved. The children will talk, if you provide them with opportunities to relate their experience AND give them plenty of breathing room. We can’t expect answers on demand; kids feel put on the spot and they “clam up.” We have to leave room in the day for quiet reflection, conversations that won’t happen if the TV is constantly on or the day is filled up with activities.
  • Your Montessori teachers are constantly evaluating your child’s understanding, and developing flexible lesson plans based on observation of the whole child. We take into account not just the facts they know, but also what interests they are expressing, whether they are balancing their work time across all subject, what skills need to be developed, what social elements are at work, what your child’s emotional needs are… and so much more.
  • AMI curriculum has been mapped to Common Core State Standards. Our Elementary teachers are required to make sure that every student at Wheaton Montessori School covers everything expected of an elementary student in the state of Illinois. Because we offer lessons based on developmental readiness rather than age, specific lessons may not be given the exact grade that they are in public school.
  • Avoid comparing what kids in public school are doing with what your child is doing at WMS. It is very easy to panic when you find out that public school 3rd graders have started on fractions, and your 3rd grader hasn’t said anything about fractions yet. Remember that you have chosen a developmental education for your child. This means that your child has most likely already spent time with manipulative materials designed to give sensorial experience with fractions without the term “fraction” ever coming up. These sensorial lessons begin in the primary and build up for a long time before we do fractions arithmetically. This is what makes Montessori so effective, and it is experience that children in the public schools have most likely NOT had. In these moments of panic – and we’ve all had them – it is easy to forget all the benefits that made you choose Montessori. When this happens, please let us know.
  • If you have concerns, ASK! We are always happy to schedule a phone call or a face-to-face conference. If you feel it has been too long since you’ve seen any of your child’s work, we will send some home! If you have noticed them struggling with something and you are wondering if they are getting help with it at school, we will be very happy to talk with you about it. We are happy to address questions and concerns.
  • If we perceive there to be a significant issue impacting the child academically or emotionally, we absolutely will let you know. We will not wait for the parent/teacher conferences to address a significant concern.