Is Montessori right for your child? If you need more information on this non-traditional style of school, take a look at the top questions parents have about Montessori and the educational approach behind it.
What Are the Main Differences Between Montessori and Traditional Education?
Unlike your local public school, Montessori schools are grounded in one specific educational approach. Montessori schools were founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s and use a prepared environment, multi-age classrooms, and active, student-centered lessons and activities. Instead of the teacher dictating what the students do, the children make the choices, explore, and create their own learning process.
Unlike the frequent content changes found in the traditional school’s period-by-period learning structure, Montessori schools use longer uninterrupted work periods. These allow the child to experiment and immerse themselves in whatever they’re currently learning. As the child explores, the teacher acts as a guide. This helps the individual student to learn in their own way, at their own pace.
What Are the Main Montessori Age Groupings?
Montessori schools group children into communities of learners based on age. Again, this isn’t something you’d see in a traditional type of school. While a multiage classroom can confuse parents at first, this strategy provides all children (both younger and older) with plenty of benefits.
Typical Montessori age groupings include zero to three, three through six, six through nine, nine through 12, 12 through 15, and 15 through 18. Some schools break infant and toddlers (the zero to three age group) into additional sections.
Does Montessori Stop at Preschool?
Even though many Montessori schools are preschools or serve infants through preschoolers, your child’s education won’t have to stop at kindergarten. Some Montessori schools have kindergartens or primary schools.
What happens if your child’s Montessori program stops at age six? If your Montessori preschool of choice doesn’t extend into the elementary years, you don’t have to move them into a traditional type of public or private first grade. Instead, talk to your child’s current teacher about elementary options in your area.
Does Montessori Prepare Children Academically?
Simply stated, yes. Montessori classrooms don’t look like traditional schools and won’t include standardized tests, a strict curriculum, or teacher-led lectures, but these programs prepare students for future school success.
Research shows that children in Montessori programs do just as well as, if not better than, those in other types of traditional schools. A 2017 study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, found that children in Montessori preschools had higher academic achievement, better social understanding, and increased mastery orientation in comparison to non-Montessori preschoolers.
Is Montessori a Hands-On Learning Environment?
Does your child learn better when they’re an active part of the process? If you answered yes, you aren’t alone. Many children need a hands-on type of learning environment to excel.
The child-led, exploratory nature of the prepared Montessori classroom provides young children with plenty of opportunities to learn in a hands-on way. If the term hands-on isn’t familiar to you — think of the true meaning of the two words. In a hands-on environment, your child will learn by putting their hands on the classroom materials.
Hands-on learning environments provide children with a way to take an active part in the educational process. Instead of a teacher lecturing the child, constantly demonstrating, or doing projects and activities for the students, preschoolers (and other Montessori age groups) have the chance to actively participate and do for themselves.
Is your child ready to start their educational journey in a Montessori program? Contact Miniapple International Montessori Schools for more information on infant, toddler, preschool, and kindergarten programs.