Even if you are a Montessori fan, you may wonder if Montessori is the right approach for your kindergarten student. After all, Montessori was developed for a preschool population, which leads many people to think that Montessori only works for younger kids. However, Montessori’s emphasis on independent learning makes it a perfect fit for kindergarten, which is when kids usually begin to transition from the play-oriented approach of preschool to the more education-focus of primary school. At Alpine Montessori, with convenient locations serving Summit and the surrounding areas, we think that our kid-centered, child-directed approach to education, is perfect for kindergarten. It allows children to develop at their own pace, which is important for kindergarten age children, because that one-year span of ages for kindergarten students can translate into very differing ability levels. Child-driven education prevents the pigeon-holing that can occur in more traditional educational environments and helps keep children from getting frustrated with the learning experience.
We think that Montessori is the perfect approach for kindergarten because kindergarten is not just about learning basic skills and getting the building blocks for an education; it is about learning social skills and how to interact with peers. The Montessori emphasis on individuality does not discourage kids from forming great friendships, instead, it gives kids the freedom to make friends without feeling like they have to abandon their individuality. Some people misinterpret this emphasis on individuality as a lack of structure, but being child-driven does not mean that there is no structure. Instead, it means that the students get to help shape their structure. This means that kids who are struggling in an area will not hold back other students, while kids who are advanced can explore at their own pace. Because the kids are never put in competition with each other, Montessori eschews the traditional educational emphasis on labels, which tend to follow students over a lifetime, even if any early challenges that led to the labeling have actually disappeared.
While we think that Montessori is right for every child, we encourage parents to schedule a visit to one of our schools, conveniently located in Millburn, Sparta, and Oak Ridge, and see for themselves if Montessori is right for their child.