As a parent, there are many important decisions that impact your child and your family. Some of the most overwhelming decisions are those that involve choosing caregivers. When it comes to comparing preschool/daycares, there are some great reasons to focus on a Montessori environment.
What Is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori method was created by Maria Montessori, who was a doctor in Italy during the early 1900s. She was highly interested in human development and drew inspiration from her observation of children from many different backgrounds to develop her educational approach. One of the key points of the Montessori method is that play is the child’s work. In Montessori schools, children direct their daily routines, choose their activities, and are allowed to “work” uninterrupted for large chunks of time.
Can Play Really Be Work?
The Montessori schoolroom isn’t just stocked with toys, however. The teachers focus on five areas of curriculum: practical life, language, math, culture, and sensorial. The centers of the montessori school daycare are often split according to these curricular areas. Rather than running the school based on time frames, children move from one activity to another based on their own interests, facilitated by the teachers.
Isn’t Play Rowdy?
The first time you step into a Montessori classroom, you may notice the carefully maintained atmosphere of tranquility. The classrooms tend to be calm and quiet with subdued colors and a lack of cartoon characters. This environment is the perfect backdrop to allow children to move to their own rhythms and at their own pace. It also helps the child become skilled at self-regulation, which is an important indicator of success later in life.
How Does Montessori Impact the Family?
Sometimes when parents first put their children into a Montessori environment, they, the parents, experience a shift. Much of the time, society expects children to adapt to adult norms and adult schedules. However, by focusing on what the child sees, loves, and discovers in their world, parents often take a step back and become more willing to adapt to their children’s schedules and expectations. Because Montessori prepares children for practical life, daily chores that draw upon child-appropriate practical skills naturally become part of the daily routine and transfer easily from school to the home environment.
Is Montessori Right for You?
Is the Montessori method most appropriate for your child? This depends on your child’s learning style, your family goals, and the personality of your child. When you visit the daycare with your child, does your child feel comfortable? Do you feel comfortable? The preschool guides may expect you to communicate consistently and actively engage in the processes of learning that your child values. Are you prepared to accept this active role?