The Importance of the Uninterrupted Work Period

We wanted to give you a little bit of background on why we are such “sticklers” about arriving on time to school. We do understand that life happens and sometimes things are out of your control. Our intention is not to punish parents and create conflicts and stress. We hope that this background information helps you.

One of the things that sets Montessori apart from other educational philosophies is the emphasis on the child’s freedom within a prepared environment (the classroom). The Montessori teacher, or “guide” is there to entice and invite the children to explore with the learning materials rather than dictate what to do. Children should be presented with information when they are interested and developmentally ready, and not according to the schedule or time of day. In order to allow for this exploration, the uninterrupted work period of at least 3 hours is required. Through much trial and error and observation, Maria Montessori found this to be the necessary amount of time and so it has been the standard in true Montessori schools for over 100 years! The purpose of this block of time is to allow children to select materials freely, and to become absorbed in their work. They are absorbed because they have the freedom to choose to work with something that is fascinating to them in their particular stage of development. The children are also hesitant to choose challenging work if they are not expecting to have enough time to complete it. Any interruption to the child’s work period disrupts the fragile focus, concentration, critical thinking, problem solving, and exploration which is being developed. For this reason, our drop-off policy has evolved. In order to allow time for a beautiful classroom community lunch and outdoor playtime, the work period must begin by 8:30 and continue without disruption. Each child deserves this opportunity, and a late arrival to the class not only takes away from that child’s experience, but disrupts the others as well. Each child wants to pause from his or her work to greet and welcome the friend or see whose “Mommy” or “Daddy” has come. Our goal is not to make parents feel stressed or guilty when arriving late, or to charge fees. It is our top priority to have this uninterrupted work time for the children to have the best opportunity for learning and development. Please help us with this commitment by bringing your children to school on time!

We consider our parents as partners in providing the best environment for the children and truly have a great desire to work with you in a harmonious way.

(source: http://www.kinderhousemontessori.com/the-uninterrupted-work-period/)

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