Montessori schools are rising in popularity with now more than 4,000 schools across the country, and this number is increasing as well. However, many parents may not know what makes a Montessori school stand out from other schools. In fact, there are a number of things that help set these schools apart from traditional ones, and they are things that all parents should be aware of.
1. Student-Centered Learning
Montessori schools differ from traditional schools in that they focus on student-centered learning that caters to every child and their inherent curiosities. This allows all students to have their individual needs met in a way that helps them learn better so that they can absorb the lessons much more readily. In traditional schools, lessons are crafted to be much more teacher-centered, which can limit the ability of each student to adequately explore their preferred methods of learning.
2. Active Not Passive
Montessori schools also take an active approach to learning rather than a passive approach. This means that students are encouraged to discover things on their own and follow their curiosities. In traditional schools, students are instead instructed to passively listen and memorize lessons, which can diminish a child’s ability to learn and absorb information meaningfully.
3. Grade Flexibility
Another way that Montessori schools differ is in their grade flexibility. This means that children are placed in classes based on their developmental range as opposed to their ages. For example, ages 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-15, and 15-18 are the standard ranges of ages that are often found in the same classrooms. The benefit of this is that children are allowed to develop in a way that is conducive to them instead of forcing them into grade levels that they may be either too advanced for or not ready for yet. By doing this, children are less pressured and able to learn at their own pace.
4. Flexible Curriculum
Lastly, Montessori schools have a flexible curriculum that is based on the needs of the students in the class and not a predetermined lesson plan. This ties into student-centered learning, and it allows for lessons to be much more flexible depending on what the class needs most. In a traditional school, lessons can be much more rigid, and some are often sped through in order to stay on track. This diminishes effective learning and forces kids to have to cram a lot of the information for tests.
If you are the parent of a school-aged child and would like more information about Montessori schools, contact your local school and set up an appointment to learn more. With so many benefits of the Montessori method, it’s no wonder that these types of schools are growing in popularity across the nation.