Ten Reasons You Should Choose a Montessori Preschool for Your Family
Montessori classrooms are focused on peace – peace within yourself, peace between each other, peace in your environment, peace in the world at large. When conflicts happen, in my experience not often, the children learn to resolve conflicts by themselves (assited by the teacher if necessary). By the time my children approached their third year, they knew how to calmly tell another child what they didn’t like about their behavior and what the consequence would be if it continued (i.e. I won’t play with you any more if you don’t stop throwing rocks). Mad skills for a four-year-old.
2. MIXED-AGE CLASSROOMS
My famIly thought I was nuts when I wanted to put my then-three-year-old daughter in a classroom with five-year-old boys. They warned me of how she would be bullied, never get a turn, be cowed by their physical superiority, etc. etc. etc.
They were SO wrong! Being with older children – and later getting a turn to BE the older child – did more for my daughter than any other experience I could have given her.
Montessori teaches your child to be independent. Did you know that your three year old can hang up their coat on a hangar, put on their own shoes, pour their own water, drink out of a glass? They can do all this and more – Montessori will prove it to them, and you.
Your children, starting at three, will be responsible for every aspect of their day. You may not understand the profundity of this at first, but your child makes decisions BY HERSELF about her entire day – when to work, when to eat, when to go to the bathroom. The profound sense of self that this imparts is PRICELESS, and produces confidence that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Are you surprised that this article doesn't talk about how Montessori will turn your children into geniuses?
It won't. But to read more how about Montessori's academic advantages check out my hub on Five Reasons Montessori is a Smart Choice (Academically Speaking).
And for further reading, Five Steps to Tell a "Real" Montessori School from an Imitation .
Children are expected to be respectful to their environment, their elders, their peers. Maybe more importantly, children in Montessori expect others to respect them. As a result, Montessori students are recognized for being mature beyond their years –check out the study results here.
6. CURIOSITY IS ENCOURAGED
In a Montessori room children are encouraged to ask questions – really, really hard questions. Since the Montessori approach is to enable the student to find their own answers, teachers are freed from being “the sage on the stage”. Complicated questions are not threatening to them, and instead are encouraged. The student and the teacher often learn together. Respectful, dignified, beautiful.
7. GLOBAL AWARENESS
From studying the globe to celebrating international holidays, from coloring flags to putting together puzzle maps, from studying foreign language to participating in multi-national drum circles, Montessori children are exposed to the concept that there is a big, wide world out there.
My children have made candles for Davaali, blown the Shofar for Rosh Hashannah, danced in the dragon parade for Chinese New Year… amazing opportunities for them. And they have learned tolerance and acceptance – if they notice differences at all. They refer to their Indian friends as “brown”, their African-American friends as “dark brown”, and themselves not as white, but “pink”. I love it.
8. NON-COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT
Montessori does not compare children, to each other OR to some manufactured standard. Your child works to their own pace, at work they choose and need to do. There are no tests, no measure against some “perfect” score. Your child will master things in their own time – and Montessori trusts that they will get (no matter how fast or slow) to where they need to be. Over the years, I have been made very aware of my children’s progress and success – and not once, ever, did anyone ever mention any other child or any age- or curriculum-driven-standard that may or may not have been met. My children are celebrated for who they are, and what they have achieved. Period.
9. GRACE & COURTESY
There is an entire tenet of Montessori education dedicated to “grace and courtesy”. Children are expected to be polite, shake hands, look people in the eyes when they speak and are spoken to. They are taught to move around the room without disrupting other children and their work. To push their chairs in so others don’t trip. To wash their dishes and glasses so the next person may have a turn. To keep their environment orderly so everyone has room to work. You get the idea.
In short, their Montessori school puts an emphasis on all the same things you and I do at home to make children polite, functioning members of society. Having this seamlessness between home and school expectations has helped my children become kids I am proud to take anywhere, and introduce to anyone. And maybe more importantly, proud to send to someone else’s house on a playdate!
My children are joyful children. They love their school, their teacher, their classmates, their work, their play. Montessori is about being happy, fufilled, present, joyful. And every aspect mentioned here, and so many more, work together to provide a place that makes my children happy. Every day. Isn’t that reason enough?
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