In previous articles, we’ve told you about the most obvious reason to send your child to a Montessori school for their early childhood education. After all, according to many studies, kids who engage in Montessori education tend to be better performers throughout their time in every grade of school, whether they stay with Montessori or head to public school. Their math skills are higher, they understand the basics of science, and they tend to write in a “significantly more creative” way.
But those are the headlines. Those are the aspects of Montessori education that most parents want to hear, and once they hear them they’re more likely to enroll their child in a school that uses Montessori curriculum. We’re happy to tell you that a better-educated child isn’t the only benefit that comes from sending your child to this special type of early childhood education. Let’s take a look at some of the hidden advantages a child can pick up at our Montessori learning center.
THEY’RE BETTER-PREPARED FOR THE NEXT GRADE
One interesting aspect of Montessori education is that, once children experience Montessori, they are better prepared for their next grade level. It really doesn’t matter if they’re heading from a Montessori preschool to public school or from one level of Montessori to the next. That’s because Montessori is about preparing kids to be prepared, to learn how to learn. This means that, no matter what grade they’re going to, they have the skills necessary to adapt.
You might think that Montessori teaching leads to kids only being better at Montessori testing and that kids would have a hard time moving to a non-Montessori school. We’re happy to report that kids do better no matter what kind of school, and what kind of testing, awaits them in their next classroom.
While kids might not be grabbing the teacher every second in order to explain something, that doesn’t mean that they’re working alone. Kids are working together in order to problem solve. In fact, studies show that Montessori kids showed a “greater sense of community.” This continued interaction between kids means that the children are getting to know everyone in class, not just the few select kids they sit next to or have the most in common with. This is good not only for the kids but also for their worldview when interacting with those who are different than they are.
THEY’RE MORE SOCIAL
As we just talked about, kids have a greater sense of community when they use Montessori curriculum. That community comes about through the mixed-age classroom you’ll find in Montessori daycare, and working cooperatively with other ages means that they understand the importance of working with people of various ages.
How does this help? Well, this understanding helps them work with people of all ages, which makes them more social in just about every circumstance. It doesn’t matter whether they’re playing sports or interacting with adults or trying to solve a puzzle, Montessori children are almost universally more outgoing when it comes to social interactions. As this article put it, “Montessori children displayed a greater sense of ‘justice and fairness’, interacted in an ‘emotionally positive’ way, and were less likely to engage in ‘rough play’ during break times.
HELPING AROUND THE HOME
As we discussed in this article, there are many advantages of having a child when they come home from Montessori daycare. Because so much of our teaching style is practical, kids are interested in helping out the practical aspects of housework. How does the vacuum work? Let’s use it and find out. How does water get into the kitchen sink to wash the dishes? Open up the cabinet doors and let’s see what’s under there. While it’s important that kids play as much as possible, their interest in being responsible and helping out can also lead to improved learning opportunities…and less housework for you!
KIDS DON’T NEED THE LATEST TOYS
If you’re like most parents, you’re tired of kids always asking for the latest toy. Not only are the toys cheaply made and liable to break soon after they’re out of the box, but it also reinforces the idea among children that materialism beats all.
Montessori schools tend to use the simplest materials available, those that have been shown over the years to best stimulate children’s minds as much as possible. Our classrooms aren’t filled with televisions and iPads and the latest Swedish toy that’s much more complex than it needs to be. They’re using tried and true classroom supplies that help kids discover what they really enjoy and how they best learn. Trust us, kids will learn to use a smartphone no matter what; they certainly don’t need them in the classroom as well.
THEY INTERACT WITH THE WORLD
First of all, it’s pretty obvious that it’s a good thing when kids get up and move. They’re full of energy, and most children just aren’t getting movement they need.
More important is the mind/body connection that scientist are just now beginning to understand. For most of history, people thought that the connection between the mind and the body was a one-way street, with the brain telling the body what to do. But that ignores all of the information that the body is giving the brain. Studies have been done where kids are given a word problem to solve, then broken into two groups. The children who acted the word problem out were much more likely to get the answer right because they had involved their bodies and their mind. Maria Montessori knew this early on when she wrote “Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement, we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”
Montessori education is certainly about education, but the added benefits that come from it would almost be worth it in their own right. Time and again science shows just how beneficial Montessori curriculum can be, and we’d like to prove it to you first hand. Contact us so that you can set up an appointment to tour our learning center!