Should your child go to a full- or part-time Montessori preschool program? If you’re not sure which option is the right choice, take a look at the advantages of all-day or five-day school week for your pre-k child.
The Montessori classroom is unlike any other school (or often home) environment. In these classrooms young children can choose activities, work at their own pace, and guide their own learning process.
While this type of classroom has advantages galore in regards to your child’s education, such a classroom can take some children time to get used to. A child with little to no experience in this type of free environment may need time to take charge and exhibit independence. This often requires consistent exposure to the setting, without the disruption of mid-week breaks.
A full-time preschool provides the child who is new to Montessori with the regular routine they need to explore and understand their new environment. This type of consistent school day arrangement eases the transition and maximizes the program’s effectiveness.
The more time your child spends around other people, the more opportunities they have to develop social skills. By the preschool years many children can:
- Play communally. Unlike the toddler time (when parallel play dominates), children in preschool will play in groups—both small and large. Even though the Montessori classroom fosters independent exploration, your child will also have the chance to interact in group activities.
- Communicate with others. While your child doesn’t have mature communication skills yet, they can verbalize their emotions and thoughts. A full-day/full-week preschool program provides your child with more time to practice communication, use language skills, and develop socially.
- Engage in pretend play. Does your child live in their imaginary world? This is common during the preschool years. A longer school day/week offers more opportunities for your child to get creative, use their imagination, and pretend through play.
Not only will full-time pre-k help your child to develop new skills, but it also builds a close community. The longer school day or week allows your child can forge close bonds with their classmates and teachers. This type of community-building takes time, consistency, and the closeness a full-time program often offers.
Social development isn’t the only skill area your child will build in the Montessori classroom. As your child spends more time at school, they’ll build cognitive, emotional, and motor skills too. Like with social development, the more time your child spends in the classroom, the more chances they have to grow as a learner.
While a young child can surely build skills across all the developmental domains in a part-time program, full-time preschool provides extra hours to:
- Develop cognitive skills. Through self-directed exploration and prepared material use, your child will build critical thinking skills and creativity. They’ll also develop basic math, literacy, science, and other academic type of content area abilities.
- Develop emotional skills. These skills go hand-in-hand with social abilities. The longer the pre-k day, the more chances your child has to learn about their emotions, express their emotions effectively, and understand that other people have emotions.
- Develop motor skills. Your child will get the chance to practice physical skills through art activities, manipulating small items/materials, and more. Again, an extended day or week offers extra opportunities to grow and develop these budding abilities.
The skills your child develops during the preschool years are ones they can use now and for years to come. Whether your child will stay in their Montessori program for kindergarten or not, a full-day or full-time preschool can help to prepare your child for the future.
Is your child ready to start preschool? Contact Miniapple International Montessori School for more information.