As parents, it is natural and right for us to want to be sure that our child is prepared for the next stage of her learning, as well as life beyond school – where the skills developed in the classroom can be readily applied to real world issues.
Where many parents get hung up, however, is confusing their own traditional educational history and path with what lies before their own children. The reason why you’re here at a Montessori school is because you wanted more. What we do in a Montessori environment is guide children to realizing the deeper meanings beneath abstract math and geometry concepts so that the knowledge is internalized. Then, when faced with larger more abstract challenges in math and geometry children can rely on their ability to think and problem solve to come to reasonable solutions – answers that require much more than just being able to calculate.
Math Text Books and Math Fact Sheets are natural extensions to the Montessori approach to mathematics education, but need to be used sparingly with great intention paid to when and why they are being used. Abstract, pencil and paper math works used for memorization and automaticity alone serve to undermine the entire philosophy of teaching in a Montessori environment; that is, learning to understand, to go deep, and to develop the skills of critical thinking.