5 Reasons Why The Montessori Method is Good for Children with ADHD
Having a child with ADHD does not have to rule out a Montessori experience, and in fact, can mean the opposite.
The Montessori curriculum supports development of decision-making and promotes good attention for all children.
Children working as if the teacher does not exist will lead them to identify errors on their own and correct themselves.
It also helps a child with their perspective of the world because Montessori sensorial materials demonstrate attributes of objects (volume, length, temperature, color).
By working at their own pace, children will realize that they are able to succeed at difficult tasks if they try long enough and this helps build self-esteem.
Additionally, children act towards each other with ‘grace and courtesy’ and they will begin to consider a Montessori classroom as a social environment which helps with the development of social skills.
What is ADHD
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of tenacious issues, such as difficulty with attention, hyperactivity and impulsive conduct.
Children with ADHD may also struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and meager performance in school.
Montessori Method and ADHD
Symptoms of ADHD sometimes decrease with age. However, some people never completely outgrow their ADHD symptoms, but they can learn tactics to manage it with the help of the Montessori method. The Montessori Method benefits children with ADHD by building concentration skills and an active mind and here are 5 ways it can help kids with ADHD.
1. Movement is Key
Children with ADHD may circle the classroom because they have a strong need to move and may be learning as they move. Being inattentive or hyperactive may mean you can’t sit for a long time and focus in any type of classroom.
In Montessori schools, children aren’t expected to sit at desks all day, and integral movement in the Montessori classroom can be a great benefit for children with ADHD. Children are able to lie on the floor for some activities, stand at tables for others, and walk around in order to find and replace materials.
2. Provides Tactile Space
Montessori classrooms are very tactile spaces and children learn by touching and doing. The Montessori Method provides great emphasis on fine and gross motor development which is a great environment for a child with ADHD to use their body and select which activities feel good.
Children with ADHD thrive in environments where they can sink their fingers into sand to trace letters or wash dishes in a bucket of soapy water. Some Montessori classrooms offer animal match games, yoga mats with pose cards so children can practice motor skills, and children with ADHD benefit greatly.
3. It Allows for Self-Pacing
The Montessori method is great for children with ADHD for the way that it allows children to go at their own pace. A Montessori classroom is separated into different spaces, and each offers a different focus. For example, there’s one area for practical life skills, one for math, and another for language.
Children are allowed to explore the different areas; select the activity they’re interested in and stay with it until they’re ready to move on to something else. This means children with ADHD can take more time than other children to get familiarized with an activity and finish the project.
Rushing a child with ADHD, to keep up with the classroom’s pace, may cause your child to become frustrated and feel like giving up. In a Montessori classroom, it’s perfectly fine for your child to take their time.
This kind of self-paced learning environment may seem unfocused, but it actually helps children in developing attention, independence and the capability to self-regulate. These are important teachings for all children, but they are highly useful for children who have ADHD.
4. Individualized Plans for All Students
In a Montessori classroom, each child is given their very own work plan. This, combined with the multi-age setup, means teachers can group children by ability without embarrassment, and all children are working at their own pace on their own designated schedule.
In a Montessori classroom, a customized environment can be a benefit for children with ADHD. Teachers can push or pull children out, guide them through the process of creating their work plan, and offer ideas on what activities to try first.
5. Children Will Learn Through Observation
Montessori schools value respect for others, diversity, and inclusion. Children with ADHD often thrive socially in Montessori environments where they are welcomed into a multi-aged group that promotes compassion and acceptance.
In a classroom with older and younger children, your child will learn from others and experience new challenges through observation of their classmates.
This will also strengthen their learning by teaching concepts already understood to other children, while developing leadership skills and serving as a role model.
In addition, your child will build self-esteem through individualized, positive learning experiences through observation. In a Montessori classroom, each child does individual work at their own pace.
This decreases the tendency of children to compare their progress with their classmates or notice if another child is more or less advanced. This removes the impression of being behind that children with ADHD may feel in traditional classrooms.
The Montessori Method is a self-paced learning environment which actually helps children develop their concentration, independence and ability to self-regulate. These are important lessons for any child, but they're especially useful for children with ADHD.