Starting school is an important milestone in your child’s education. If you have no idea where to send your kid, though, you’re likely curious about the schooling options open to your little one. If you think a traditional school setting is quite the right learning environment for your child, if you think that your little one won’t thrive in that setting, then consider other schools. What about Montessori?
What is a Montessori?
A Montessori is a school that believes in five foundational principles. These are:
- Respect for the child
- The absorbent mind
- The prepared environment
- Sensitive periods
- Auto education
There are some schools that also use a Montessori approach in their teaching style. You’ll want to consider these options when you look around for schools that are a better fit for your child.
Typical Daily Schedule
Many preschools have a different daily schedule. Some start at 9 am and end at 1 pm. Some run for longer than four hours, adding extracurricular or after-school programs to keep the kids occupied and entertained. Parents who are working during those times might find those programs helpful as they not only provide more learning experiences, the courses also help the parents manage their schedules better.
In-Person Vs Online
In some schools, parents are sending their kids back to in-person sessions. However, many are divided on this matter, with some parents only sending their kids to in-person classes twice a week and others are sending their kids every day. The challenge is to make sure the kids who aren’t attending in-person classes every day are caught up with the lessons. That’s just one of the many challenges that preschool teachers face right now. If you’re looking for a Montessori nursery school, decide what your level of comfort is. Will you send your kids back to school or let your little one try to go back to in-person classes? It would be prudent to discuss your options first.
More Time for the Kids
For many of the teachers, changes in the daily program mean more time for them. They can spend longer on interacting with each child in class and that’s meant a lot, allowing teachers to build a bond with every child.
The Role of a Teacher
In a Montessori school or learning environment, the teacher isn’t the one who drives the discussion. Teachers aren’t at the center of the discussions or activities. Instead, everything is all student-centric. That means the instructor is only there to provide support. Teachers encourage the kids to talk and delve deep into a subject, but let the kids take control of the conversation. They only step in when they think the kids can’t resolve an issue or if they need to demonstrate an activity.
The Prepared Classroom
The classroom is prepared with learning materials. Kids are free to choose what learning material interests them. The teacher then helps facilitate discussions around the room. Because the Montessori teaching style recognizes that there are different types of learners, the teachers don’t force students to all learn at the same pace or time. They allow the kids to pace themselves. That level of freedom might not seem effective, but kids at this point are capable of teaching themselves. Giving them the flexibility and freedom to choose what they want to study on helps them develop independence and agency.
Many preschool programs offer extracurricular activities. This usually involves sports. Playing sports helps the students stay physically fit and active. They also teach a lot of lifelong skills. For instance, sports lets kids learn resilience and discipline. It also helps them understand what commitment, collaboration, and teamwork mean.
Teachers at a Montessori school don’t believe in humiliating the kids. This stems from the belief that all children deserve respect. Instead, teachers remain calm and find ways to address any disruptive behaviour in class in a way that will stop the child from indulging in that behaviour again while still keeping the child’s spirit intact.
Kids are encouraged to clean up after an activity. That helps train them to be organized and to follow that same practice at home. An organized space will help them concentrate on their lessons instead of getting distracted.
Reflection and Transitions
In some schools, teachers encourage the kids to sit down for circle time. This is where all the kids in the class form a circle and then they reflect on the morning. The reflection helps the students go over some of the lessons or concepts that they studied, improving retention. That is followed by a game and then lunch.
These are one of the best opportunities to help the kids practice and learn about good manners, courtesy, grace, and more. Lunch times also power up the kids and help them receive the energy they need to continue with the class.
Preschool is a magical time in your child’s life. Know what that entails to help your little one get ready for the experience.