The traditional learning model says to children, “Do what you’re told when you’re told to do it.” Then after twelve years, the expectation is that children will become successful, independent adults. That doesn’t make sense. Independence, like every other aspect of adult life, is learned little by little in growing increments, with each learning milestone supporting the successful development of the next.
In a Montessori preschool, children learn how to be self-directed. They choose the activities that most appeal to them and they are free to explore these activities at their own pace. Sometimes they make mistakes, but that is the beauty of independence. Children have the ability to learn in a relatively risk-free environment and to grow from their mistakes. As a result, this freedom and sense of responsibility helps children feel supported and empowers them to become creative and independent adults.