Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Is Preschool the Right Time to Enroll My Child in Montessori Education?

The Montessori Method works best when children begin in preschool. It is possible to bring children into Montessori as late as kindergarten, but kids are far more successful when Montessori is introduced as early in preschool as possible. Adapting from traditional classrooms to Montessori is more challenging for the child because it requires her to adopt a completely different approach to learning.

Early Development

Maria Montessori believed that early development was a crucial part of education because that is when children's minds and muscles are being nurtured. She called the period between daycare and kindergarten the Absorbent Mind in acknowledgment of the way children are eager to learn more about themselves and the world they live in. For small children, everything is new and interesting, and Montessori preschool can maximize that by encouraging curiosity and performance.

A Consistent Environment

A Montessori preschool tends to be quieter and more focused, and much of that owes to the prepared environment of Montessori. By keeping everything in the same place and teaching children to put items away when they are not in use, the classroom never becomes cluttered, and after a few days children learn that their favorite activities will always be in the same place.

Discipline is handled in much the same way, with classroom rules and etiquette clearly defined and always expected. Montessori avoids rewards and punishments, instilling children with internal motivation to do the right thing, whether that means participating in group activities, controlling emotional outbursts, or sharing a favorite toy with a classmate.

Montessori and Learning Challenges

Children with learning challenges such as ADHD or autism often respond to Montessori education positively. Because it is structured and consistent, children adapt readily to the Montessori Method. Additionally, the ability to move freely between activities means that children can move on to other activities rather than being forced to continue using one that no longer interests them.

The earlier a child begins learning with the Montessori Method, the better it will be for the child. If possible, children should begin in daycare, but the nature of Montessori makes it easier for children to begin when they are a few years older. In fact, it is typically more difficult for a child to adapt to more traditional educational systems from a Montessori beginning, than the other way around.

What Are The Philosophies Behind the Success of Montessori Daycare?

During the first decade of the 20th century, Maria Montessori developed the educational method that bears her name. Built from careful observation of children learning and playing, today's Montessori daycare centers are found around the world. Much of that popularity is related to the underlying principles of Montessori, including these important aspects.

1. The Absorbent Mind

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Montessori daycare is that it recognizes the importance of early development and the hunger of young minds to absorb new information. The idea is that children enter the world with an absorbent mind that is eager to discover this strange new world they have only inhabited for a short period of time. This eagerness is why the first 6 years are the ideal time to help children develop into dynamic individuals.

2. Auto education

Maria Montessori observed that children at play are working out new ideas and learning valuable skills. She made play-based learning the core of the Montessori Method, allowing children to play freely with activities that indicate whether it is performed correctly. This self-correcting mechanism feeds back into positive reinforcement for children and helps to create intrinsic motivation.

3. Respect for the Child

An important tenet of Montessori is that children are not lesser individuals based on their age or lack of physical experience in the world. Montessori children are treated with the same respect due to equals. In fact, Montessori education revolves around a contract between children and their instructors that is intended to encourage self-esteem and a positive outlook.

4. Sensitive Periods

Montessori early education focuses on the sensitive periods of education, including order, speech, movement, and sensory comprehension. Montessori daycares engage children through group activities like sing-alongs and physical games imparting vital sensitive learning, vocabulary, and perfecting fine and gross motor skills performance.

5. The Prepared Environment

A Montessori classroom is kept orderly as a matter of course. Children always know where to find materials appropriate to different skills, and are taught to return materials when they are no longer in use. But the prepared environment is more than orderly; it is also designed to match the viewpoint of children, providing them with a place that is scaled to children and adults seem oversized for the environment-- a place respectfully known as the Children's House.

The Montessori Method is a carefully laid out educational system that revolves around the development of many early skills. It uses unique activities and specially trained instructors who are experienced in social and emotional education to guide children into appropriate development..