When it comes time to choose a school for a child, it can be a very difficult decision. It may be easy to simply send the child to the preschool offered by the public school system in the area and then continue on with a public school education, but this isn't necessarily the best choice for everyone. It makes sense to look into the other alternatives as well before making this big decision. One of the options is to start off with a montessori preschool.
Pro: Encourages Independence
A true montessori school following the curriculum developed by Dr. Maria Montessori involves students choosing what activities to pursue from the numerous stations set up throughout the classroom. The teachers help them with the activity when needed but aren't instructing them step-by-step on what to do. This allows the children to become more independent.
Con: Not As Structured
Some students and teachers do better with a more structured environment where the teacher tells everyone what to do and when to do it. For example, some kids may be overwhelmed by all the choices at first.
Pro: Some Students May Learn Better
A study found that students who received a Montessori education may do better than those at traditional schools. Montessori students were better at reading, math and creative writing and also sometimes better behaved than those who attended conventional schools.
Con: Potential Difficulty Changing to Conventional Schools
Some children may have difficulties transferring from a Montessori program, which allows so much more freedom, to a traditional school with a lot more structure. It may be better to choose this method and stick with it throughout the school years rather than switching somewhere in the middle.
Pro: Individualized Learning
This type of school may be good for those who don't learn as well with traditional teaching methods, as Montessori schools work with individualized learning plans to help students learn at their own pace and accommodate different styles of learning.
Con: Mainly Private Schools
Montessori schools are mainly private schools, although there are some public schools that use Montessori methods. This means you'll have to pay tuition and probably will have to give your child a ride to school instead of being able to put them on a bus.
Pro and Con: No Standardized Testing and Minimal Homework
This can be a pro or con depending on the person. Montessori schools usually don't have testing and grades, but instead evaluate a portfolio of the student's work. They also don't typically have homework, and, if they do, this homework isn't just the busy work of doing worksheets that often occurs in traditional schools.
For more information, contact Country Day School or a similar organization.