As the parent of a young child, you have to make many decisions every day. You have to decide what your child is going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, how they’re going to dress, and how you’re going to respond when they “forget” to pick up their toys. Of course, every so often, you also have to make one big decision, a decision that could affect their lives for years to come. That’s why many parents feel a lot of pressure when choosing preschools for their children.
When it comes to choosing a school, there are a lot of options out there, from basic daycare programs to academic preschools that focus on age-appropriate learning and active play. For parents who want their kids to learn independence, social skills, and confidence, preschools that follow the Montessori teaching method are often at the top of the list.
If you’re unfamiliar with Montessori preschools, you’re probably unaware of their benefits. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why Montessori preschools are a great option for parents and students alike.
It’s a Hands-On Environment
One of the most beneficial parts of a Montessori preschool or daycare is that the environment is extremely hands-on. Students are able to learn the standard subjects of math, reading, and science, but they are also taught many life skills along the way. The Montessori method of education is centered on self-directed activity, wherein children are allowed to make creative choices as they engage in hands-on learning and active play. The teacher is there to offer age-appropriate guidance. Thanks to this approach, children don’t just learn to memorize numbers and shapes. They learn age-appropriate subjects while also cultivating essential skills such as social awareness, confidence, and creativity. Teachers also take time with each child and make sure that every task is completed and mastered before moving on to the next. Students are also discouraged from interrupting each other so everyone is able to get a good grasp on the lesson. The class sizes are usually smaller in Montessori schools, giving the child the chance to really learn. Compare this to the typical public school, wherein the student/teacher ratio is 16.1 on average (as of 2013).
Learning is Based on the Needs of the Child
In many schools, students are taught according to a specific and strict lesson plan. While this Socratic approach may work for highly disciplined young adults, it has nothing to do with the way young children think, feel, develop, and behave in the real world. In Montessori schools, the learning is based on what the child needs. As such, a variety of learning tools are always at the child’s disposal.
Students Find Positive Role Models
In a Montessori pre-kindergarten program, young students have the opportunity to learn from older students as well as teachers. That’s because the older students in the school are encouraged to form bonds and relationships with the younger children as a form of mentoring. This enables the children learn from more role models than just the teacher.
Teachers Don’t Rule
In a Montessori school setting, teachers aren’t there to dictate what goes on within the curriculum. Instead, they act more like a guide and are there to help the child with whatever they may need. Teachers will observe the students and take cues from them. Yes, they are the adult in the classroom and are there to make sure everything goes well. However, they don’t dictate how the children are going to learn and when.
Many parents believe the Montessori method is the ideal way to teach toddlers and young people just beginning their educational journey. Young children are creative by nature, and this unique educational setting can help them channel that energy into learning. Montessori schools are perfect for parents that are looking for a more hands-on and intimate learning experience in a preschool. As a parent, getting them started at the right school right from the start can help them succeed in the future.