Often times, parents must make the major decision in their child’s life on whether to keep them in Montessori for kindergarten or to send them off to public school. While there may be several reasons that a parent might choose a local school over Montessori, such as financial reasons (free vs. a tuition), it’s important to weigh the decision carefully, and determine which school closely fits with your own educational and developmental goals for your child.
Little Flower Montessori would like to provide you reasons on why you should continue your child in Montessori for kindergarten.
One reason that you should keep your child in Montessori is because moving to a completely different educational system can be a big change. For the first few months, your child will need to make major adjustments to the new class, teacher, and a whole new system of different expectations. Furthermore, many kindergarten classrooms have a much lower set of expectations for five-year-olds than most Montessori programs, thus, decreasing the learning opportunities for your child during the most crucial years of their lives.
Also, by the age of five, most Montessori children will have a higher academic understanding than their American kindergarten school counterparts, as many have already began to read and will have been introduced to multiplication and division. Montessori students already have a high understanding of the decimal system, mathematical operations, and other similar information. Most of this information becomes reinforced, internalized and permanent as they grow holder. However, if they leave Montessori before these experiences become solidified, this early learning will quickly diminish.
In addition, children who transfer to a Traditional school must get accustomed to learning at the instructional pace that is usually set by the group norm rather than setting their own learning pace as the teacher assists, such as is the case in a Montessori program. A key concept in Montessori education is the child’s interest and readiness to advance in learning. If they child isn’t developmentally ready to move forward, she isn’t left behind or made to feel like a disappointment.
The second, and most important, reason to keep your child in Montessori for kindergarten is in the differences in teaching and learning techniques. The Montessori approach is based on several decades of research on children’s cognitive, neurological and emotional development. It has also been acclaimed as the most developmentally appropriate model currently available by some of America’s top experts on early childhood and elementary education.
Montessori is focused on teaching for understanding, while Traditional schools tend to focus on rote drill and memorization. In public schools, children do exercises and workbooks without any real comprehension. While it may seem like they have learned the material, in many cases, most of what they have “learned” won’t be retained in the future, nor will they be able to use those skills and knowledge in new situations. Research has found that simply memorizing correct answers doesn’t necessarily constitute as deep learning.
In a Montessori school, students learn through hands on experience, investigation, and research and are actively engaged in their studies. In the classroom, three and four-year-olds learn in a sensorial prepared environment. This type of setting provides experiences that allow a child to garner mental pictures of abstract concepts, such as mathematical operations, and it will provide a basis for lifetime comprehension.
Every year, a Montessori parent must make the decision on whether to keep their five-year-old in a Montessori program to transfer them to a Traditional public school. While public schools are less costly, Little Flower Montessori provides an enhanced and optimal learning structure that creates and abounds your child’s natural curiosity to learn.
Be on the lookout for our next blog post as we discuss even more reasons why you should continue Montessori education for your five-year-old.