Choosing a Montessori Education
Montessori schools have been a hot-button topic for years as theyve become more popular in the American schooling system. While there are countless reasons to send your child to this alternative type of schooling, you may still need more of an understanding of how Montessori schools work. Of course, every child has unique and individual needs, but lets look at the features of Montessori schools and how your child may thrive in a Montessori environment.
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori method was founded by an Italian physician named Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907. She observed that children in her care were able to teach themselves by taking the lead in hands-on activities, such as solving puzzles or preparing their own food. From these observations, she derived a method of teaching that aims to follow the child, allowing them to set their own pace for learning. While most conventional schools follow a curriculum set by teachers and administrators, the Montessori method entrusts the child to lead the way in their own education.
Montessori schools usually run on a set of 5 principles set forth by the Montessori method:
1. Children are shown respect
2. Kids have absorbent minds
3. Sensitive periods are critical for learning
4. Kids learn best in a prepared environment
5. Kids can teach themselves through auto education
The Looping System
Additionally, some Montessoris run a looping system, meaning that students learn in multi-age classrooms or stay with the same teacher for two or more years, allowing teacher and student to build a strong bond and understanding of one another. Montessori also prides itself on the physical learning setting, and they consider the classroom environment to be just as important as the teachers and learning materials.
High Test Scores
The reward of attending a Montessori school is worth it for many families. The research surrounding the effectiveness of the Montessori method is still ongoing, but many studies indicate higher test scores and performance of Montessori students compared to students in traditional schools, especially low-income students. Across the board, students who attend a Montessori school score higher on social-emotional scales than their non-Montessori peers.
So, for whom exactly is Montessori the right choice? Many parents choose this method for their child-led education and may know intuitively that their child may benefit from working at their own pace. The method of child-led education and allowing a child to set their own pace and curriculum can be incredibly beneficial for students who struggle with the structure of traditional schooling. Students who are neurodivergent or have a learning disability may also thrive in a Montessori environment. Additionally, the method shows encouraging results in helping underprivileged populations get ahead in their education and Montessori pride itself on racial and economic diversity.
The Montessori method has been around for more than 100 years, and its expansion in the US education system shows no sign of slowing down. If youre interested in Montessori for your child, check out our Montessori directory to learn more about the choices available!
Psst Check out
Choosing a Montessori Education for Your Child in New York