How can I best support children with learning and speech difficulties in the classroom?

The best approach for this situation is to work with the child’s speech pathologist, coming up with speech games, designed by the speech pathologist, that can be played by all the children in the group, thereby eliminating the child with the issues from feeling highlighted. The approach to this issue is also somewhat determined by the age of the child and the severity of the speech challenge.

Learning differences are easily handled in a Montessori environment. First, all the hands-on learning is extremely helpful for these challenges.  Secondly, the mixed age group removes the emphasis on what children usually do at what age. Thirdly, we focus on how the child learns – focus on positive approaches rather than focusing on the challenges. Perhaps this may mean stepping away from what you learned in a Montessori teacher-training programme and focusing on how a child learns and presents materials in a way that addresses that “how”.  As the primary materials are designed for individual use (mostly), presentations can also be designed to how an individual learns.

Holding hands with child