Different Preschool Options Can Offer Your Child a Wide Range of Experiences

You did not imagine that you would be spending your summer researching the differences between different kinds of preschool curriculums. When you got the phone call explaining that the local public Montessori school had room for your five year old daughter, however, you were more than thrilled. Your excitement easily translated into a list of questions about how the Montessori kindergarten and preschool curriculum would differ from the experience that she would have had in neighborhood school. It did not take long to discover that this was an opportunity that you would want to ignore. The educational books indicate that Montessori is an educational philosophy that follows the child in a multi age setting where children are allowed to work independently and at their own pace.

Follow the Child. Dr. Maria Montessori was the first female physician in Italy and she created her educational philosophy after hours and hours of observation. By watching children who had been labeled as children who could not learn, Montessori observed that these children loved real work. They loved to wash their hands, polish their shoes, and brush their hair. These kinds of tasks eventually became part of the Practical Life work that is still a part of every Montessori preschool curriculum. In addition to these tasks, Dr. Montessori began experimenting with other kinds of works that the children would pull from the shelf. Wooden rods in various sizes, for instance, could teach the idea of length if they were beautifully arranged on the shelf. Through trial and error, Dr. Montessori put self created materials on the shelf that taught also the children math, language, sensorial skills, and cultural lessons.

Multi Age Setting. Academic preschool activities take on a whole new meaning in a classroom where there are children of various ages. Dr. Montessori believed that by grouping the children from three age groups together the students could always have the opportunity to see what lessons were coming next, as well as review lessons that were presented earlier.

Independent Work Time. Parents who are looking for an alternative to traditional preschool classrooms might enjoy the fact that Montessori learners are able to choose for themselves if they want to work alone or with a friend. In addition to deciding if they will work alone or with another classmate, these children also get to decide which areas of the room they want to work in. Do they want to complete a Practical Life activity first, or do they want to select a work from the math shelf?

Every parent wants a high quality educational experience for their children, and in many parts of the country the options can include a number of philosophies. If you think that a Montessori education might be the best fit for your young learner, schedule a visit to see this experience that follows the child in an independent learning environment where children of different ages get to discover the wonders of the world. Nearly 51% of the three to five year olds who were enrolled in preschool programs in 2015 attended full-day programs. Montessori preschool classrooms often have the added advantage of offering both full day and half day options, allowing you to select the option that works best for your child.

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