When considering different child care methods for your child, Montessori preschools and traditional daycares are two popular options. While individual classrooms can be different, even in the same educational system, there are several major differences between the Montessori method and a more traditional daycare method.
Children normally stay in a traditional daycare system until they are five years old and are then allowed to begin kindergarten. Kindergarten teachers focus on helping students learn necessary concepts such as reading, writing, and mathematics. Montessori children normally start their education at around three years old, giving them an additional two years to learn the necessary concepts that they will need to master in order to be successful in their future educational careers. Additionally, children in a Montessori school will normally have the same teacher for multiple years, allowing them to form a connection with their teacher. The teacher, in return, learns each child’s individual needs, allowing them to create an individualized teaching plan for every child in their classroom.
In a traditional daycare, structure is an important part of the daily routine. Teachers determine what activities the children in their classroom do, and all children do the same activity. The Montessori method focuses on flexibility based on each child’s unique needs. This gives children the freedom to advance at their own pace, work with other children, and learn through activities that they enjoy. If a child finds an activity that they love, they have the option of working on their activity for a longer period of time. This also allows children to fully understand a topic because they are learning at the pace most beneficial to them.
The Whole Child:
A daycare’s focus is on introducing important educational topics and entertaining children while their parents are working. The goal of a Montessori school is to develop the “whole” child, or a well-rounded and successful child with a deep love of learning. Children at Montessori schools learn to develop important social skills by collaborating with others in the classroom and learning life habits early-on. Older students are able to mentor younger students, which teaches them skills such as leadership, cooperation, and kindness.
In a traditional daycare, classrooms need instructor-directed discipline in order to function. Montessori classrooms, on the other hand, allow children to move around the classroom freely, giving them the opportunity to explore and learn through various activities. The stimulating environment of a Montessori classroom and the fact that children are free to explore helps children to develop a deep love of learning as they progress through their educational career. Instead of memorizing facts and concepts, students learn from their environment.
As they grow and mature, each child’s unique educational experiences and styles of learning will help to shape them. If you like the concepts of a Montessori education, enrolling your child in a Montessori school will no doubt be beneficial for their development and their future.