25 Reasons To Choose A Montessori Preschool

Most parents know that Montessori education is better, but few understand the key reasons to choose a Montessori preschool for their child. With so many options available for early childhood education available, what is it about Montessori education that gives it an advantage over traditional education? Let’s begin to explore some of important aspects of the Montessori method that have earned it global recognition for helping children reach their full potential for growth and learning.

Part of success of Montessori preschool education comes from Dr. Maria Montessori’s recognition of “sensitive periods” for growth, which are times during a child’s life when they’re far more capable of learning new skills, such as language and mathematics. Modern science has only recently begun to understand the mechanisms of brain plasticity that Dr. Montessori identified over a century ago, and contemporary preschool education still hasn’t embraced the methods to build off of natural brain development that’s a core component of Montessori education.

Montessori preschool excels in helping children master basic skills such as language, mathematics & culture studies, but goes far beyond that to inspire their natural curiosity and help them become self-directed problem solvers with a lifelong love of learning. Rather than spoon-feeding children information and asking them to regurgitate it on demand, the Montessori Method is built around freedom and independence, and helps children identify and solve challenges without being told what or how to do it.

Montessori preschool isn’t simply a collection of “best practices” for early childhood education, however. It is a complete, self-consistent philosophy of learning and development built around the careful study of children’s growth and development. The result is a complete system of education used in the Montessori preschool environment that provides children with tremendous educational benefits beyond what is provided in a traditional preschool.

25 Reasons To Choose A Montessori Preschool

Here is a collection of 20 reasons to choose a Montessori Preschool for your child’s educational experience, with a focus on how the Montessori approach to education not only helps your child learn, but also develops strong social connections and builds self-directed learning skills to better prepare them for life:

  1. The Prepared Environment: A Montessori preschool is a “prepared environment” to meet the developmental needs of young children. Throughout the day, Montessori teachers will work to ensure that the right materials are accessible at the right time to meet each child’s developmental stage and level of skills mastery. The materials in a Montessori classroom are well-designed, durable, and attract children to the lessons. Materials are also designed to be inherently self error-correcting to encourage independent learning and mastery by children.
  2. Learning Avenues: In a Montessori preschool, subject material is broken down into the Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics & Cultural learning avenues. These were specifically designed based on decades of research by Dr. Montessori, and contain learning materials to guide children through the various stages of preschool learning using materials that enhance learning, employ self-correction of errors, and facilitate a self-directed approach to learning that helps build intrinsic motivation and independent problem-solving skills.
  3. Cross-Avenue Reinforcement: Not only do the learning materials in a Montessori preschool specifically help children to master basic skills, they also reinforce learning from other avenues, which helps children to develop a more robust understanding of the concepts and ideas involved. The sensorial reinforcement on sandpaper letters helps children remember letter shapes. Phonic reinforcement in counting helps children master numbers. The arrangement of beads & number boards helps children to visually understand mathematical concepts. In other words, while each of the learning avenues helps mastery of a specific focus area, all of the learning areas reinforce each other in various ways to assist holistic mastery of the material from different perspectives.
  4. Hands-on Learning: Children in a Montessori preschool learn in a hands-on manner, by engaging in tasks and developing skills competency as they master them. The independent nature of the Montessori classroom allows children to choose their area of focus, engage in learning with developmentally appropriate materials, and learn from their success or failure to see whether they have mastered each task or not.
  5. Teachers & Guides: The teachers in a Montessori preschool act in the capacity of guides for the children, moving around the classroom to answer questions, demonstrate materials and lessons, and assist each of the children in an independent learning path. One important difference between a Montessori preschool and a traditional school is that teachers do not simply stand in front of the class to give lectures, and they don’t interrupt children who are focused on independent learning activities.
  6. Individual Learning Paths: Every child in a Montessori preschool arrives with different strengths, needs, and learning preferences. Learning is individualized for each child by reviewing both their interests as well as the needs of their developmental stage. In certain developmental stages, children show a strong preference for particular lessons or learning materials, which teachers ensure are available to facilitate grow & development.
  7. Self-Directed Learning: By providing freedom within limits, the Montessori preschool allows children to to pursue their own interests and maximizes their ability to acquire knowledge and master new skills during the sensitive periods. The freedom in a Montessori preschool gives children the choice to pursue the lessons that interest them the most, and helps them develop skills as motivated “self-starters”, which will be valuable long past preschool.
  8. Independence: The Montessori classroom is designed to encourage children to be self-motivated and independent. The prepared environment, freedom of choice, and self-correcting materials nurture the child’s sense of accomplishment and confidence. Children work to satisfy their own curiosity and inner need for achievement, and gain genuine inner confidence through their own successes.
  9. Mixed Age Classrooms: In a Montessori preschool, the ages of children typically range from 3 to 6 years old, and children often work in groups with other students of different ages. Interest and developmental level guide student engagement, not segregation by age or test-score. Montessori programs are designed to appeal to the child’s natural desire for knowledge, to encourage independence, and to help create lifelong learners.
  10. Montessori Creates Self-Starters: The self-directed learning environment in a Montessori preschool helps children to develop effective time management skills, as well as preparing them to make their own choices about which direction to take for each learning task. Teachers assist to provide guidance and help children establish achievable goals, but it is the children themselves that manage their time & effort. This self-directed, self-motivated learning style helps children to take action to solve challenges in life without waiting for prompting from others, which is a valuable leadership habit.
  11. Montessori Encourages Responsibility: In a Montessori preschool, children clean up their own messes, put away their own learning materials, and put on their own coats & shoes. Montessori encourages children to take ownership & responsibility for themselves and the environment around them, which leads to thoughtful, helpful, and more responsible children.
  12. Montessori Preschools are Child-Focused: The independent and small-group activities in a Montessori preschool are child-centric, which stands in contrast to the teacher-led activities in traditional education. Students work independently, with monitoring from teachers but without interruption, and they are allowed to focus on a particular activity without being rapidly pulled away to participate in another.
  13. Montessori Preschools Are Not Production Lines: The role of a teacher in a Montessori preschool is to observe, guide, and help their students growth and achieve. Montessori preschools do not use standardized testing, but instead employ a variety of other methods to see see students demonstrate what they have learned. Examples include teaching other students, discussion with the teacher, completing projects, or delivering presentations on their knowledge to the class.
  14. Montessori Moves From Concrete To Abstract: In a Montessori preschool, learning begins with concrete examples of concepts such as blocks or cutout letters, and gradually moves to more abstract concepts from there. This helps lead the child from easily tangible ideas to less readily apparently concepts, and helps the to better understand the basis for those concepts. Children are able to interact with ideas rather than simply memorize facts. The child quantifies a number in math, understands place value by having a visual representation of ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands, develops their senses by tactile experiences with rough and smooth boards, sound cylinders, color boxes, and learns land and water forms by pouring water into miniature land and water formations.
  15. Montessori Fosters A Lifelong Love Of Learning: Children lack the fundamental knowledge to readily adapt to demands that we place on adults – which is why they’re in preschool in the first place. Rather than attempting to force them to live as miniature adults, the Montessori method embraces the idea of following the child, which allows them to naturally explore, grow and learn at their own pace. A Montessori preschool is truly a “no child left behind” environment, in that the child determines when they have achieved mastery and is driven by their own inquisitive knowledge, rather than being forced to swallow and then regurtitate facts without necessarily understanding them. The Montessori methods naturally engages the inquisitive nature of the child and allows them to think of new ways to do things. It helps the child learn for themselves, and more importantly, fosters a natural love for learning that stays with them for a lifetime.
  16. Montessori Seeks To Educate The Whole Child: Montessori takes the child’s education outside the classroom. It affects how they interact with others, the freedoms they have in the home, teaches them to care for their self, their environment, and others, and teaches them how to be an active participant in their learning and environment. Montessori equips the child for everyday life, giving them practical skills which gives them purpose and enables them to be a contributing member of their family, classroom, and community. Montessori sees the child not just as a miniature person, but as able-bodied and capable person.
  17. Montessori Abstains From Rewards: Traditional education contains a heavy Pavlovian component, which was originally introduced as a way to reinforce positive  learning outcomes, but has the unanticipated side-effect of making children dependent on rewards in return for good behavior or high test scores. By externalizing reward, the child’s self-motivation is undermined and the focus on meeting external standards of recognition in return for praise rather than actually seeking out new knowledge to solve problems. Reward based education fit well with the production-line educational mentality of the 20th century, but the workers it produces are a poor fit in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.
  18. Montessori Avoids Punishment: When children understand the natural consequences of their behavior, they learn to make responsible choices on their own. Traditional education avoids this by relying on punishment as a negative reinforcement for unwanted behaviors or below-par performance, which again creates unintended consequences by teaching children to avoid punishment rather than developing a understanding of cause and consequence. Punishment for below-par performance specifically is punishing the child for a failure to comply with a broken educational model, which isn’t the child’s fault in the first place. The Montessori preschool environment recognizes that children are all unique learners, and that by engaging them and helping them understand the consequences of their behavior they will naturally learn to make good choices rather than doing so in order to avoid punishment.
  19. Montessori Focuses On The Individual: Traditional preschool education has an established curriculum based on the child’s age, and it is taught with the expectation that all children will the material in an identical manner. This ignores the individual strengths and challenges that each child has, and has the effect of leaving many children behind who next extra help in a particular area. An unexpected side-effect of this approach to education is that overworked teachers are motivated to pass students along who are struggling in order to demonstrate their educational competency, rather than spend the extra time to focus on actual learning. Montessori preschool education understands that no two children are at the same place in their development.
  20. Montessori Inspires Engagement: In the same way that traditional education fails to support children who are struggling to learn, it also fails to engage children who have already mastered subject material. Trying to teach children material they already know through repetition leads to bored, and they lose interest in the subject material and often get into trouble. In a Montessori environment, children can set higher goals and grow to meet their full potential without having to wait for the children around them to “catch up”.
  21. Confident Lifelong Learners: Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of Montessori education. As children progress through the Montessori Curriculum, they learn to look critically at their work, and correct their mistakes. By providing children with the freedom to question and make connections, students learn to become confident and independent learners.
  22. Highly Skilled and Passionate Staff: The qualifications for working at a preschool are minimal – but Montessori preschool teachers typically undergo a rigorous training and certification process in Montessori and early childhood education and care. Teachers don’t simply “end up” in Montessori education, they pursue it as a career choice because they’ve seen the results it produces and want to participate in a higher level of preschool education. As a result, Montessori preschool staff are highly skilled, passionate about their work, and deeply committed to helping children achieve their full potential.
  23. Complete Learning Environments: The Prepared Environment of the Montessori preschool contains a complete learning environment, designed to fit the philosophy and needs of the Montessori Method. Traditional preschools are often lacking in various learning materials because they aren’t driven by a complete philosophy to benchmark their tools, materials, and curriculum against. In Montessori preschools, the design of learning programs, facilities, and classrooms is to create a complete and holistic learning environment that is supportive of children’s interests and development needs as they grow.
  24. Parent Satisfaction: Survey after survey has shown that parents are more satisfied with their children’s learning experience in Montessori preschools than in the traditional preschool environment. Despite frequent obstacles with admissions wait lists, longer commute times, and higher tuition at many Montessori schools, parents consistently say that they’d never go back to traditional preschool after the Montessori Method.
  25. Montessori Preschools Are Fun: Last, but definitely not least, Montessori preschools are a dynamic, fun-filled environment where children develop rich social relationships with their peers, caring learning relationships with their teachers, and have the freedom and flexibility to pursue learning in an exciting and dynamic way. Montessori preschool isn’t about fitting children into a mold, it’s about giving them the freedom to explore and learn within designed educational limits, which lets them grow and achieve while having fun each and every day!

Montessori Preschool Is The Right Choice

By now it should be obvious that Montessori preschool offers a wide array of a benefits that make it an obvious choice to help children reach their full potential. From learning materials based on a philosophically structured approach to child development to a self-directed approach to learning that develops problem solving and leadership skills, Montessori preschool education offers many important advantages for early childhood education.

Simply put, traditional preschool curriculum is no match for Montessori education, which focuses on self-directed exploratory learning around the four avenues of Montessori learning. One of the biggest benefits of online learning programs is that kids’ get access to the highest quality curriculum available, developed by professionals – which ensures that your child is receiving premium quality preschool education to help them grow and achieve.