Choosing a school for your child can be a stressful decision, especially if you’re choosing your child’s first preschool. It may be the first kind of schooling your child is introduced to so, of course, you want it to be the “right” one. Perhaps you’ve heard about the Montessori method of early education when researching preschools, but you’re not quite sure what it is or if it’s right for your child?
We’re here to help by breaking down important components and methods of Montessori to help you determine if it is the best choice for your child.
How children learn in Montessori schools
In schools that follow the Montessori method, children develop skills and abilities by exploring an environment, guided and supported by a teacher when needed. By evaluating your child’s learning style, you’ll be better equipped to decide if Montessori is right for your child.
You’ll know that Montessori is the right choice if your child:
1. Learns better with individual teacher attention.
Teachers trained properly in the Montessori method are an important core component in Montessori schools. Montessori teachers allow the emphasis to be on the children in the class, as opposed to traditional classrooms in which the teacher is the focus of attention in the group. Because each child in the classroom works independently on an activity tailored towards their interests and abilities, each child is given specific attention by the teacher when necessary. If your child grows their skills best through thoughtful and personalized guidance from a teacher, Montessori is a good option to consider.
2. Learns through hands-on activities.
Learning materials are specially designed to complement the Montessori method. Each learning material teaches a specific skill or concept. These lessons are also self-correcting, allowing the student to assess their progress and correct any mistakes made without a teacher’s help. Materials vary based on age group, but the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector shares typical learning materials found in a Montessori classroom, if you’re curious. Montessori may be the right choice if your child is a kinesthetic learner, or if your child needs to improve their self-learning and critical thinking skills.
3. Enjoys interacting with other kids of different ages.
Multi-age classrooms are another component of Montessori. Schools typically sort students into age groups that span three years; for example, a pre-K or kindergarten class will include children from three to six years old. Grouping kids in this way fosters a sense of community and promotes positive socialization. Older kids can act as role models and grow leadership skills through teaching others. Younger kids can learn from older kids and feel supported by the sense of family created within the classroom. This structure will benefit your child at any age since it is good practice for how individuals will work and socialize with all types of people in the real world.
Is Montessori right for your family?
Even if you’re unsure of your child’s learning style, a Montessori school may help them improve their cognitive, motor, social and emotional skills. Perhaps your child seems to do well in traditional group learning, but it’s likely he or she will really thrive independently with a Montessori teacher.
If they’ve typically been a visual or auditory learner, Montessori learning materials may help them develop their hands-on learning skills. Plus working, learning, and socializing with other kids in a Montessori classroom can benefit many children of all ages, preparing them for interacting with others as an adult. All these reasons combined may indicate Montessori is right for your child.
Want to find a Montessori school near you? Winnie can help!