If you are trying to select the best preschool for your child, you may choose a Montessori school. Educational expert Dr. Maria Montessori first developed her blueprint for hands-on academic education back in the 1920s. Here are some guidelines about these programs that may help you decide if these special school programs are suitable for your child:

Montessori Schools are Private Schools

Because the Montessori curriculum doesn’t follow a conventional learning plan, Montessori schools are offered as private schools. According to CAPE, Montessori schools are only one of the types of over 30,000 U.S. private schools. These programs strive to allow each child to discover their capabilities and then use them as part of a group activity.

Montessori Teachers Act as Guides

A Montessori teacher doesn’t stand in front of the class and grill them on their ABCs or drill them with a specific list of spelling words. Each day, the children are given various materials to move toward the same eventual goal. For example, in learning the alphabet, one child may want to sculpt letters from sand, while another might make up their version of the alphabet song, and a third child could use paint to design stylized versions of each letter.

Montessori Celebrates Individual Learning Within a Social Structure

It may seem contradictory, but Montessori programs stress individual expression while simultaneously encouraging kids to find the ability to work as part of a group. Montessori foresees that, as these students grow into adulthood, they need to be confidently aware of the full scale of their abilities while being able to interact with groups of all types. Therefore, these programs will incorporate individual and group activities that teach cooperation, participation, and teamwork.

Montessori Customizes Each Student’s Path

Most of all, a Montessori student is encouraged to find the pinnacle of their abilities. This is why, according to Psychology Today, younger children in Montessori programs are given up to three hours to explore subjects they may have shown interest in. The teachers are tasked to observe and provide learning materials designed to stimulate interests previously shown by that child. Teachers must, therefore, make notes during each day’s activities of ideas for each child’s future learning paths.

Montessori Inspires a Love for Learning

Most of all, Montessori programs want the students to see learning as something they love and appreciate. The program believes that if students can enjoy learning activities, they will develop a desire for lifelong learning. This love comes naturally since most of a child’s day is selected by themselves. They are guided to appreciate learning as its reward rather than through grades or academic competition.

Montessori Can Begin in Preschool

Children as young as preschool can enjoy a Montessori program’s benefits. Children might be provided with many different learning stations to stimulate various concepts at that age. For example, finger painting is an excellent way for toddlers to express creativity in a sensory way. Scooping, shoveling, and pouring substances of different textures can open their imaginations and teach them how to use their basic skills.

Montessori Programs Can Prepare Kids for Unique Futures

With its emphasis on individual creative exploration, a Montessori program has a high potential for encouraging students to become expressive artists – either as a vocation or an avocation. Programs such as the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (which has a graduation rate of about 70%) are ideal places for Montessori graduates to pursue and exceed the boundaries of their self-expression. Many take these principles and forge unique careers in advertising, entertainment, film, or invention.

Montessori programs may not suit every child. Some parents or children may need the structure of a traditional classroom. You know, in your heart, what would best suit your child? When your decision is based on your love for your child, it will most likely be the perfect one for them.