A classroom is wonderful thing but Montessori learning is far more dynamic than just one space – all the time. Maria Montessori said this: “When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them in cupboards.”
At St Andrew’s Montessori we love to go outside and explore not only our beautiful school garden but also the wider world – but what does it mean to go out Montessori style?
When we plan days out with our children at school, we want them to explore and absorb the world beyond the classroom. With older children, Maria Montessori recognised that they are in need of a dual environment: while the classroom is captivating and intriguing, it is not enough; children must witness and experience first-hand what is out in the community. For primary school children, going out days thus focus on trips that are planned, organised, executed, and followed up by the child. At pre-school level we aim to prepare the little ones for this type of independent thinking.
Our primary goal, from birth to age 6, is to connect children with their world; by engaging their senses. We encourage them to look at, listen to, smell, taste and touch their environment. So if we go on a walk, we want them to feel the leaves on the trees they walk past or pick up a stick and throw it into the growth. If we’re on a cooking excursion, we want the children to get messy; touch, taste and smell the ingredients.
Some other really simple ‘going out’ adventures that are great learning experiences for children (and can be orchestrated as a family, too) are: trips to the library, police station or fire department; attending plays or shows; even a simple outing to the supermarket is a good way to get your child involved in meal planning and the process of choosing and paying for food.
Also ask your little one what they’d like to do! If castles are their thing, then take them to see one (we’re lucky enough to live in a place where there are plenty) or perhaps you’ll inspire your child with a trip to a swimming pool or playground. Let them get involved, and allow them the space to connect with the space around them…Montessori style.
If you have any questions regarding Montessori schooling and methodology, we’d love to chat more with you – please visit our contact page and we’ll be in touch.