If you are a parent of a child who is finally getting ready to go to preschool, you may be stuck deciding where to send them. And when deciding where to send your son or daughter, you not only have to choose which school to send them to, but you also have to consider what kind of preschool you’re going to send them to.
For many parents, the choice is between a Montessori daycare and one that’s more traditional. If you find yourself facing the same conundrum, it’s a good idea to take a look at why you should choose one over another. Let’s take a look at the differences between a Montessori preschool and traditional preschools.
A Montessori education is based on the natural stages of human development. These schools offer a curriculum that is child-directed, self-paced, and focused on individualized learning. Children are able to take a self-allotted amount of time to work on one activity until they feel as though they understood and completed it. The teachers in the room will moderate and facilitate the use of their educational materials, all without interrupting the child’s path of learning. The idea is to help kids develop their own problem-solving skills alongside traditional academic skills. In addition, children learn vital social skills.
A Montessori preschool tends to focus more on providing different curriculums areas instead of scheduling precisely when these lessons are going to happen throughout the day. While it may sound chaotic, the Montessori method actually provides a highly structured space for learning, even if the time is extremely loose. These classrooms are also extremely quiet and calm compared to a traditional preschool, which is good for a child who finds themselves being overwhelmed by many people in one place. They also have a smaller amount of students in each classroom, so each student is able to have a more individualized relationship with their teacher. In fact, as of 2013 the student-teacher ratio in private schools was just 12-2. If you want to help your child become a self-directed individual with a love of learning, sending them to a Montessori preschool may be the best choice.
In a traditional preschool, the learning is based on play. Playtime is often both open-ended and unstructured, but the time is more teacher-directed. Children will work with their teacher and other students to learn different educational lessons through the use of blocks, games, and music. Their environment, like Montessori schools, is supportive and also carefully designed.
Unlike a Montessori School, a traditional school is very focused on time. Each day, a child will go to the class and learn about a specific thing at a specific time. Once that time is up, the group moves on. The classrooms tend to be larger as well, which may mean the teacher might not have the opportunity to sit down with your child to focus on things they are struggling.
Montessori schools are a perfect place for a child to flourish in terms of developing their independence. Think about what you want from your child’s education and find which school would work best for you both.