Why you should consider sending your child to a Montessori school in Tokyo

GIIS communications team
May 24, 2021
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The Montessori program is a hands-on, project-based learning program for children. It is mainly for children from the age of three to six years old. However, some international schools in tokyo that offer Montessori allow students from 10 months old. With the program, children are in control of their learning from a very young age. It is more student-focused and is unlike the traditional educational system where teachers are more focused on the syllabus. 

The Montessori program prioritises the students' interest and creates the environment to nurture it. With the Montessori program, the student can do an activity severally before becoming a master in a particular subject. In other words, there is no error—the aim is to develop a child's natural abilities.

Principles of the Montessori Program

GIIS Tokyo, a leading Montessori school in Tokyo, is student-centred. Teachers are less authoritative figures and more supportive of a student's learning process. The learning program has about six basic principles at its core.

Learning is a hands-on experience

The Montessori program offers children a chance to learn real-life activities by doing them practically in the classroom. For example, students will learn how to clean up after themselves, get dressed, or prepare a snack in the classroom. These skills are not new to them because they learn or know them from their parents at home. However, doing it by themselves gives them confidence and arms them with the necessary life skills for the future. 

Self-discipline through freedom

Interestingly, a child's self-discipline comes from freedom. The Montessori program recognises every child as a unique individual. Students have the space to learn at their own pace and in the way they choose. Children are given a chance to act independently and choose the learning materials they are interested in. Furthermore, students are free to interact with other students when they want to. Also, there is no time limit to how long they can use learning materials. If a child is interested in something, then the teacher's job is to encourage them to use the specific learning material until they become experts in it. Mistakes do not have consequences enabling a culture of learning and exploration.

Social environment

The Montessori Program is for preschoolers, but it is not age-specific. Older students interact with younger students to reinforce their skills, while younger students learn from older ones. Unlike traditional education, where students are grouped by age, the program encourages collaboration among students of all ages. In a Montessori classroom, the classroom environment inspires student collaboration. There are children of all ages in each classroom and each has relevant activities to aid in their personal growth and academic development.

Natural development

The Montessori program focuses on growing the child through participating in activities. The focus is on the child's interest. No matter the child's action, they learn essential skills such as communication, solving problems, language, and other skills. The learning materials also encourage a child to explore new things. It is up to the teacher to guide the student in maximising the opportunity and learning all they can from that experience.

Self-correction and self-assessment is something that is highly encouraged in the Montessori program. When students are working in their activities, the teachers encourage them to interact without interrupting each other. This helps them to focus on the task at hand. As they work on their own, they can observe where they have gone wrong – they recognise and learn to take corrective measures. This develops a sense of self-awareness that will benefit them in the future.

Montessori Learning Materials

Montessori learning materials look much like toys. These 'toys', however, train children to understand some complex concepts. These are divided into three categories.

Math Materials

Math materials teach a child basic counting, addition, and subtraction without making them feel they are learning. It helps develop critical thinking in children and builds confidence. 


In the Montessori classroom, beads teach geometry and the decimal system. Children use beads of different sizes and arrangements. The beads can be arranged on a rod, in a cube, or on a bead frame. The rod represents a straight line, and the cube a solid. Students learn different shapes by arranging beads in various forms. They also learn place value and numerical powers on the bead frame. Using beads makes it exciting and fun to learn and solve difficult math problems.

Arithmetic boards

Mathematical boards such as checkerboards help students visualise solutions to mathematical equations. These boards show the relationship between numbers and mathematical operations such as addition, multiplication, and subtraction. Students can arrange beads on the boards to represent the numbers and solve arithmetic problems.

Language Materials

Language materials help students develop reading and writing skills. Students are first taught to build their coordination, hand strength, and agility before they read and write. Language learning materials include;

Movable Alphabets

Students learn how to read and write by first learning letters and how to form words. The movable alphabet is very instrumental for learning words. The alphabet is colour-coded to differentiate consonants and vowels. Students can arrange letters and form words as they see them on paper or the board. Sandpaper letters are also used to teach the students the different shapes of letters and sounds.

Dexterity materials

Dexterity materials are used to develop students' motor skills. Activities such as painting, using scissors help children gain the strength to perform tasks such as reading and writing. Dressing frames help the children learn skills like tying shoelaces, buttoning, and unbuttoning, among other skills. Dressing frames were the invention of Maria Montessori and are still being used in schools today.

Sensory Materials 

Sensory learning materials help students develop their sense of feeling. Through sensory play, kids can describe their learning experiences and later choose the activities they like. Developing such independence and the ability to define their experiences is one of the Montessori program's critical principles

The Pink Tower

The pink tower is a tower that contains blocks of different sizes and shapes. Students build the tower in a logical order so that it stands in the end. They observe the shape and size of the tower blocks and decide which one fits where. Working on the tower helps the children learn how to concentrate and coordinate. 

Puzzle Maps

Puzzle maps are used to teach children geography. They get to arrange different continents in the world as they refer to a colour-coded globe. Students will later know the location and names of the different continents and oceans. 

Thermic Tiles

These are tiles made from different materials that conduct heat. Students then use their heat senses to arrange the tiles from the coldest to the warmest. Such activities develop the students' tactile senses, which is their ability to recognise something through touch.

Parents who have children in the Montessori program testify that the program has helped build a foundation for their children's academic achievements. As the children grow, the activities increase in difficulty but the specific learning materials in every category advance as the child matures. It ensures that the child maintains the routine they have developed from a young age while advancing their learning.


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GIIS communications team

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