Deciding which preschool to place your child into is a nerve-wracking decision for any parent. You want to select a place that both you and your child feel comfortable in, that your child thrives in and that teaches your child the skills he will need when it is time for kindergarten. However, what is best for one child may not always be ideal for another. Learning about different types of preschool programs will help you select the one that is ideal for your child and his learning style. Here are some questions you may have about Montessori preschools.
What Exactly is a Montessori Preschool?
A Montessori preschool is a school that practices a teaching approach that is based on observing each child and tailoring a plan based on their actions and how the teacher thinks they will learn best. This allows your child to think and work independently, giving them the freedom to problem solve in a method that makes the most sense to them. This type of free-thinking environment is thought to spur individual growth and learning at a child's own path based on their brain development.
What Are the Pros and Cons to a Montessori Preschool?
Learning about the pros and cons of sending your child to a Montessori school will help you decide if this type of learning environment is right for your child. One of the biggest benefits to sending a child to any school is that it will teach the child independence and how to interact with other children. It will also give them a head start on learning, helping to prepare them for elementary school.
However, in addition to this, the major benefit to Montessori school is that your child will have the opportunity to learn at their own pace. Children all learn at different times and in different ways. Some children learn numbers faster while others learn how to spell quicker. Just because one child picks up on something slower or faster than another child doesn't necessarily mean the child has learning problems or is gifted; it just means their brain is ready to learn what they are being taught and that they understand how it is being taught. Montessori doesn't have rigid guidelines, which grants the program the freedom to teach at the child's personal pace.
As with anything, there are cons to a Montessori program. One of the biggest downsides to this program is that the program is only as good as the teachers who are supervising and coming up with lesson plans. The teachers must monitor the children for individual growth and tailor programs to fit each child. If the teachers aren't keeping up, not every child may be challenged, or some students can fall behind.
How Can a Parent Tell if a Child Will Thrive?
One of the best ways to determine how well a child will do in any preschool situation is to allow them to sit in on a class. Watch how they interact with the teacher and the other students. If the child feels uncomfortable, this may not be the best environment for them. Also, you as a parent know your child best. Some children thrive on structure and routine. These types of children may not enjoy the freedom of a Montessori school. Other kids love freedom and creativity. These kids are well-suited for this type of program.
Ultimately, keep in mind that you should always evaluate your child's progress once they are in preschool. If the child is struggling, having behavioral issues or isn't making any progress, their current learning situation may not be ideal for them.
Selecting a preschool for your child is a big decision. As such, it is important that you take the time to learn about different programs and let your child sit in at different schools. This will help you to make an informed decision about what is best for your child and what type of school will best suit his needs. For more information, check out local preschools like Sammamish Montessori School.