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.

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