As many parents and teachers are coming to realize, creativity is a key part of a child’s development. Creativity promotes problem-solving and social skills and often leads to a more successful and fulfilling career. It’s no surprise, then, that many parents want to send their children to schools that cultivate creativity.
Unfortunately, traditional education systems tend to promote rigidity rather than creativity. Children get into a routine–wake up, go to school, do homework, go to bed, and repeat. Worse, the traditional schooling system tends to promote stress and anxiety, which can dampen creativity and lead to lower levels of well-being later in life.
The Montessori method of education seeks to change this dynamic. Instead of having children follow a strict curriculum, Montessori schools seek to develop the whole child. They promote self-directed and hands-on activities that promote self-confidence, social cohesion, a love of learning, and, of course, creativity.
If you’re interested in sending your child to a Montessori school in the Washington D.C. metroplex, consider looking into Brooksfield School. Situated on five quaint acres of woodland in McLean, Virginia, Brooksfield provides world-class Montessori education to young children. Schedule a tour to learn more today.
How Montessori Schools Encourage Creativity from a Young Age
Though many parents would like to see their young children immediately begin painting and drawing, true creative skills stem from a child’s cognitive growth. Developing sensory and motor skills is a prerequisite to creative expression. In a safe and well-prepared environment, a young child will absorb and learn from his or her surroundings.
To promote cognitive growth and introduce children to creative activities, a Montessori school will provide a range of art supplies. Children who show an interest in a particular form of art will slowly be introduced to the art form. For instance, they may be taught how to put on an apron, how to use a brush, and finally how to use an easel.
The Montessori method emphasizes self-directed learning. To promote creativity, teachers will often allow children to explore an art form themselves without structured instruction. The freedom and autonomy this allows will help develop their creative skills. Of course, teachers will continually monitor a child’s progress and facilitate their success. Other students, often older children, provide children with a model when learning a new art form.
A Well-Prepared Montessori Environment
The success of any Montessori program begins with the learning environment. Classrooms and other learning spaces are generally open, allowing for movement and collaboration; they are thoughtfully organized to promote different activities, including arts and crafts, music, and play.
Because Montessori programs promote self-directed activities, access to a range of materials is key. Teachers are careful to lay out various materials that support creative endeavors, including glue, paper, felt-tip pens, play dough, pencils, crayons, sponges, woodblocks, easels, and more. Children then work on the activities independently or in groups, supervised by the Montessori-certified instructor.
A key part of the environment is outdoor space. Most Montessori schools include a large outdoor area where children are free to play and learn. There is often a playground, where children are encouraged to play imaginative games that allow them to develop their creative and social skills. Other outdoor activities may include gardening, woodworking, sculpture-building, mosaic art, and fort building.
Creativity and Social Skills
One of the key pillars of a Montessori education is to promote social development through collaboration, clear communication, and natural consequences. Children develop strong social bonds with their peers, including those who may be a few years older or younger. When there is disagreement, teachers encourage the children to work together to solve their differences rather than coming up with a solution for them.
According to the Montessori method of education, social skills and creativity are closely linked. Creative problem solving is often a group activity–whether it involves interpersonal conflict or solving a puzzle. As children develop cognitively and exercise creative skills, teachers encourage the children to work creatively in groups. This may involve storytelling, music, games, or even dances.
If you’d like to prioritize your child’s social and creative development, a Montessori school may be the right choice for your child. Consider scheduling a tour at Brooksfield School, one of the top Montessori schools in the Washington D.C. area, to learn more about how our Montessori system of education promotes creativity, social skills, and well-being in children.