The Dos and Don’ts of Finding Your First Montessori School

Kids Collaboration — Minneapolis, MN — Miniapple International Montessori

Is your child ready to start school? More specifically, are they ready to start a Montessori school? If you are unsure which program is the right choice, look at the dos and don’ts that can help you to select the perfect preschool program for your family’s needs.

Do Learn More About the Montessori Method

Are you sure Montessori is the right fit for your young child? The more you learn about Montessori preschools, the better equipped you are to make an informed decision. If this is your first experience with early learning and Montessori schools, you can learn more about this educational method from:

  • The school.Do you already have a Montessori school in mind? Talk to the school’s educators about the philosophy behind their practice. A quality Montessori program is staffed by a supportive group of knowledgeable educators who are eager to explain the philosophy and daily classroom activities to parents.
  • Other parents.What are the realities of the Montessori preschool day? Parents of Montessori students can help you to understand the everyday aspects of the program. If you have friends or family with children in Montessori, ask for their opinions, stories, and recommendations on specific schools in your area.
  • Organizations and associations.National Montessori and early childhood organizations and associations often provide general resources for parents. These may include a history of Montessori education, program terminology, what to expect, and significant issues and aspects of the educational philosophy.

After you learn as much about the Montessori method as possible, it’s time to take the next step and explore your child’s school options.

Don’t Skip the School Visit

How do you know which Montessori school or pre-k program is the best choice for your child? Start with the programs your closest friends and family recommend. If you don’t have a referral from someone you trust, you may need to research a few options in your local area.

Most schools provide plenty of information on their programs for parents to read. Even though this type of information can play an important role in the selection process, it isn’t a substitute for an in-person visit. A school visit can help you to:

  • Get a better grasp of what Montessori education really is. You have the facts. But you need more. A school visit allows you to see the Montessori method in action. The chance to observe classes can help you to connect information you already have with the realities of daily class life.
  • Explore if the school is the right fit. Not all Montessori schools are the same. A visit can help you judge whether the program is the right place for your child to start their education.
  • Learn more about the facilities. Along with the educational philosophy, you also need to match the physical space to your child’s needs. A tour of the school allows you to view the classrooms, learning materials, furniture, and outdoor play areas.

The school visit is also a time to ask questions. Instead of a long back and forth chain of emails, come prepared with a list of program questions to ask in person.

Do Talk to Your Child

Montessori is a student-directed philosophy. Children are expected to explore on their own, make their own decisions, and guide the learning process in a self-paced and individualized way.

Your child doesn’t need to wait until they’re enrolled in a Montessori program to direct their own education or express their own developmental needs. While you’ll play the primary role in this decision-making process, you can include your child in the discussion. Ask your child what they think of each school you visit. Use open-ended questions to learn more about how they feel and why they feel that way.

Do you need to learn more about Montessori preschool? Contact Miniapple International Montessori School for more information.

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