Why Choose Us
What does it mean that BALBRAHMAS is an “authentic” Montessori School?
All aspects of our school’s education and operations are designed to be respectful of children and to fulfill children’s needs for holistic development. All of our teachers are Montessori trained and our classrooms have all of the scientifically developed Montessori materials, and we adhere to the guidelines of the Montessori including allowing children ample opportunity for uninterrupted concentration.
Are the benefits of Montessori education long term?
Yes, children at BALBRAHMAS develop a great love for learning, and they are focused. BALBRAHMAS graduates go on to prestigious schools and careers; many graduates attribute their success to their time at BALBRAHMAS, where they developed the curiosity, solid work habits and collaboration skills that last a lifetime.
What will I see when I visit BALBRAHMAS?
When you visit, you will have an opportunity to tour our campus and see children at work and play throughout the school. Our mixed-age classrooms are set up quite differently from traditional classrooms. The teacher is not at the front of the room, but rather moves throughout the room, giving lessons to individual children or small groups. Independent and collaborative work creates a busy hum of activity as children engage in a variety of different activities, each of which is designed to build a specific skill. Allow about 45 minutes to one hour for your visit.
Why do you group different age children in the same class?
Maria Montessori believed that having mixed-age grouping in a classroom provided important opportunities for students to share experiences, learn collaboratively, and mentor one another. Summit students have a range of abilities and interests that make the classrooms dynamic and exciting places to learn. Students come to know each other like family, supporting one another when needed and celebrating triumphs together. One parent shared, “This is a fantastic way to encourage a child to be a mentor to their peers while at the same time giving them the confidence they often need to complete a task themselves.” Since only one third of the students are new to a classroom each year, returning students are role models beginning in the fall; the older students enjoy welcoming new classmates to their community.
I have heard that Montessori classrooms have no structure, is that true?
Montessori classrooms have an inherent structure that the prepared environment provides. Our teachers work very hard to establish child-centered classrooms that allow students to make choices throughout the day. In addition to teaching the basics, our teachers help students understand themselves as learners, pursue their own interests, work at their own pace, and choose challenging work. The sequenced curriculum in practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language and cultural subjects offers each child a broad range of concepts to discover, explore, and master. Our curriculum is developmental; we embrace the fact that children learn in different ways and at different times. Our teachers observe their students and present relevant work when each child is most ready.
How can Montessori teachers meet the needs of so many different children?
Our teachers are trained to be astute observers and to make curricular decisions based on the individual child and his/her interests. In Beginners and Children’s House, teachers give lessons on a one-to-one basis. Since teachers have students for three years, they come to know their students’ personalities, strengths and challenges. This level of knowledge allows teachers to create a curriculum plan that is specific to each child and give each child the gift of time to master important skills and tasks.
Is there homework?
Children in Lower and Upper Elementary do have homework assignments. In Lower Elementary homework comes home once a week and families are encouraged to help their child establish a plan for completing the homework over the course of a week. Some homework involves specific skills the child needs to practice; other homework may involve completing an activity that the student started in class.
How do teachers communicate with families?
BALBRAHMAS share many wonderful pictures of the students at work and describe group lessons and activities that are happening in the classrooms at their Facebook pages.
Are there field trips or opportunities for children to learn outside the classroom?
Children’s House students have a field trip in the fall; this is only for the children of above 3 years old.
How can children learn if they're free to do whatever they want?
“Dr. Montessori observed that children are more motivated to learn when working on something of their own choosing. A Montessori student may choose her focus of learning on any given day, but her decision is limited by the materials and activities—in each area of the curriculum—that her teacher has presented and has set as appropriate for her. Beginning at the elementary level, students set learning goals and have personal work plans under their teacher’s guidance.”*
If children work at their own pace, don't they fall behind?
“Although students are free to work at their own pace, they’re not going it alone. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance her learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps her master the challenge at hand—and protects her from moving on before she’s ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”*
Why are Montessori schools all work and no play?
“Dr. Montessori realized that children’s play is their work—their effort to master their own bodies and environment—and out of respect she used the term “work” to describe all their classroom activities. Montessori students work hard, but they don’t experience it as drudgery; rather, it’s an expression of their natural curiosity and desire to learn.”* Much of the classroom as the environment is set up based in reality, for example, they have a real kitchen and prepare their own snack using real dishware and food, so instead of pretending to cook they are cooking. Dramatic or imaginative play is still in the Montessori classroom. Imagine the child who cuts a strip of paper and turns it into a road on a island with an active volcano and becomes a scientist on a mission to assess the situation. This type of dramatic and imaginative ‘play’ occurs frequently and spontaneously.
Do BALBRAHMAS teachers follow a curriculum?
“Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools, and offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar—such as math, science, history, geography, and language—but they are presented through an integrated approach that brings separate strands of the curriculum together. While studying a map of Africa, for example, students may explore the art, history, and inventions of several African nations. This may lead them to examine ancient Egypt, including hieroglyphs and their place in the history of writing. The study of the pyramids, of course, is a natural bridge to geometry. This approach to curriculum shows the interrelatedness of all things. It also allows students to become thoroughly immersed in a topic—and to give their curiosity full rein.”*
How well do Montessori students do compared to students in non-Montessori schools?
“There is a small but growing body of well-designed research comparing Montessori students to those in traditional schools. These suggest that in academic subjects, Montessori students perform as well as or better than their non-Montessori peers. In one study, for example, children who had attended Montessori schools at the preschool and elementary levels earned higher scores in high school on standardized math and science tests. Another study found that the essays of 12-year-old Montessori students were more creative and used more complex sentence structures than those produced by the non-Montessori group. The research also shows Montessori students to have greater social and behavioral skills. They demonstrate a greater sense of fairness and justice, for example, and are more likely to choose positive responses for dealing with social dilemmas.”*
How do students transition from a Montessori environment to a more traditional school?
BALBRAHMAS gives students all the skills necessary to be successful in any academic environment. BALBRAHMAS graduates are highly motivated, eager learners who have a strong relationship with their teachers. They are unafraid to ask for help and display great confidence and poise. They demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways. They consistently make good choices academically and socially.
Who were Montessori graduates?
There are many noteworthy people who were Montessori educated. They include author Anne Frank, Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Chef Julia Child, Larry Page & Sergey Brin (founders of Google.com), Princes William and Henry, Katharine Graham (former owner/editor of Washington Post), and Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com). Other noteworthy people associated with Montessori include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Fred Rogers (i.e. Mister Rogers), Jean Piaget, and Alice Waters. *American Montessori Society Website