Choosing a preschool for your child can feel like a daunting task. Depending on where you live, your options might be limited or seem endless. If there is a Montessori school option in your area, consider these five benefits of Montessori education and see if Montessori is right for your child.
Benefits of Montessori Education #1:
Maria Montessori developed her method to address key developmental needs of different ages.
Developmental changes in young children can appear to happen overnight. A child who struggles with a particular task one day, can have success the next day and never look back. The Montessori classroom meets the needs of a three year age group. With materials that address the development of three, four, and five year olds, there is a fluidity to growth and progress.
Montessori classrooms are mixed age, compared to traditional preschools, which tend to group children by age: a “threes” room or a “fours” room, for example. Rather than move a child from one classroom to another as they “age-out” of a class, Montessori classrooms provide a wider range of materials. A child’s developmental needs are met consistently, without the disruption that comes from changing classrooms.
Benefits of Montessori Education #2:
Montessori teachers meet the needs of the individual children in their care.
Maria Montessori’s philosophy, “follow the child,” is a guiding thought in the Montessori classroom. There are no expectations for advancement that are based purely on age. Instead, each child is seen as an individual and the lessons and materials to which they are guided, will reflect their interests and abilities.
Children progress through the materials at their own pace, guided by the experience and insight of their teacher. When a child is ready for the next step or the next level, the teacher gives them that lesson, regardless of their age. Similarly, if a child needs additional practice or time spent with a particular lesson or concept, they can do so without feeling like they are being ‘held back.’
Benefits of Montessori Education #3:
The Montessori method is an approach to learning that instills a sense of organization and order in the child.
Every material on the shelves in a Montessori classroom is carefully thought out and placed there on purpose. There is a progression of difficulty, from left to right and top to bottom. Each curriculum area is organized on its own set of shelves in its own place in the classroom. The teacher arranges the materials in baskets or on trays and everything that a child needs in order to complete a work, is contained therein.
When a teacher presents a lesson, she is purposeful with her movements and language. She moves slowly and with intention so that the child can follow along and duplicate her actions when they choose the same work another time. Teachers model the organization and order they are expecting from a child. They carry materials carefully from their spaces on the shelf, complete the activity in a specific order, and return everything neatly to its place.
Benefits of Montessori Education #4:
Montessori classrooms are set up to encourage independence in even the youngest of children.
Visitors to a Montessori classroom are often surprised at how calm the classroom appears to be. Children work alone or in pairs, and everyone is busy and engaged. From the very first day in their new classroom, children learn how to do everyday things for themselves. A new child, in his first week, receives enough small lessons to ensure that he has options of activities that he can choose for himself. This helps build his confidence and adds to his knowledge bank of ‘this is how we do things at our school.’
As accidents happen and issues arise, the teacher will address them and show the child how to correct the situation. Within the first month of school most of the children will learn how to clean up a spill, sweep up their crumbs, roll their work rug, and put their own work away. They will learn to ask for help when they need it, but they will also learn that they are capable, in their own way, of doing more than they might expect.
Montessori educators encourage parents to carry this independence home. Click the link to receive your copy of Montessori at Home. This free guide is filled with tips and easy adaptations you can make at home to encourage your child to be more independent.
Benefits of Montessori Education #5:
Montessori education encourages creativity and problem solving.
One of the most notable benefits of Montessori education is that Montessori kids become curious learners. They make choices about their learning and are active participants in the process. The Montessori teacher is the guide who follows the child; the child is leading his or her own voyage of discovery. Rather than simply provide answers, teachers ask questions. Instead of praising a child’s accomplishment, a Montessori teacher acknowledges the effort that went into completing the task or learning a new skill, naming characteristics like perseverance, concentration, and discipline.
Montessori encourages children to develop internal motivation, rather than relying on others for external praise. They learn to look within and identify that they are the one responsible for their own success, capable of rising to new challenges. They learn to think creatively and tackle new obstacles with confidence.
You might also like these posts from Children’s House Montessori of Reston:
- What’s the Difference Between Montessori and Traditional Preschool?
- 4 Important Lessons Kids Learn in Montessori
- Three Reasons Why Montessori Makes Sense