Montessori Education – A Good Fit for Your Kiddo?

Montessori Education – A Good Fit for Your Kiddo?


Before I had kids if you would have asked me what Montessori Learning was all about I would of had no idea.  Sure, I had heard the term Montessori before, but I really just associated it with the names of preschools or day cares.  Did I realize it was a method of learning?  No.

Fast forward 5 years from then and now I have a 3 year old and 5 year old.  Now I can tell you that the Montessori Method of Education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori,  and is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood.

I really like the Montessori approach of giving my daughter freedom in exploring her own interests while still giving her structure.  I want her to be the unique individual that she is and the Montessori method really encourages that concept.  Plus I really can’t see my daughter just sitting at a desk for long periods of time.  She really needs the freedom of movement.

Anyways, the point of this post is not to say that the Montessori Method is better than Traditional Methods of Education.  I just want to encourage parents to research and explore all options out there to find the best fit for your child.  Whether it’s a traditional school, home school or a Montessori school find the one that will help your kiddo thrive.

Montessori versus Traditional Education

Montessori Traditional
Emphasis on Cognitive and Social Development Emphasis on Rote Learning and Social Behavior
Teacher has guiding role Teacher controls classroom
Environment and method encourage self-discipline Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Mainly individual instruction Mainly group instruction
Mixed age groups Same age groups
Grouping encourages children to teach and collaborate Teaching is done by teacher; collaboration is discouraged
Child chooses own work Curriculum structured for child
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials Child is guided to concepts by teacher
Child is allocated time to work on and complete lesson Child generally allotted specific time for work
Child sets own learning pace Instruction pace set by group
Child spots own errors from feedback of material Errors in child’s work highlighted by teacher
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by repetition, rewards and punishment
Child can work where he chooses, move about and talk at will (yet not disturb work of others), group work voluntary Child usually assigned seat; required to participate during group lessons
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration organizes program for learning care of self and environment No organized program for self-care instruction – left primarily up to parents

Thomas Brogan

Thomas Brogan, a native of Des Moines, was the original founder of Des Moines Parent and is a father to an 8 & 10-year-old. In his free time, he likes to explore nature, try new local restaurants and enjoy life as best as he can. Check out more of Thomas at www.broganlist.com.

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