So, you have decided to research Montessori education as a possibility for your child. You have attended parent information sessions, open houses, met with the director of admissions, had a tour of the Montessori school, observed in a Montessori classroom, spoken with other parents. It’s looking pretty favorable, but there’s one more step. Before deciding if Montessori is right for your family, you must ask yourself the following questions.
Am I. . .
- Supportive of an educational method which focuses on process v. product? (Doing rather than memorizing).
- Supportive of peace education, conflict resolution, community service, and environmental education?
- Comfortable with curriculum that includes multiculturalism?
- Comfortable with (and understand the complexities of) narrative progress reports and student work portfolios. Am I willing to leave numerical/letter grades and grade level comparisons behind for now?
- Comfortable with an educational method that believes that children learn best through intrinsic motivation, where there are neither rewards nor punishments, and that competition hinders learning?
- Supportive of real-life learning situations?
- Supportive of the belief that children learn best when they have control over their own learning?
- Recognizing that objectives are usually met in a three-year cycle, as opposed to standardized grade levels?
By exploring a Montessori education, you will find that it’s not just about the education of your child. It’s a commitment to educating the whole person and family. It’s about knowing there’s something better and seeking it out and being comfortable in knowing you have made the right decision.
I thought this may be useful as I plan to follow this post with ideas about ways to bring Montessori home. As parents we bridge the gap between school and home; bringing elements from the Montessori classroom into your home helps your children become life long learners. Remember you are your child's first teacher!