5 Reasons to Enroll Your Child in a Montessori Preschool
Can you identify your first memory? Many of us don’t consciously remember much, if anything, before age 3, but remarkably, the first five years of life can form the foundation of who you are for the rest of your life.
A 2015 study from the University of Washington suggests that by the time children head off to kindergarten, their self-esteem is significantly developed and much like that of an adult.
That’s why choosing the right preschool for your children can be critical to their development. Many parents have found Montessori preschools to be exactly what their children need.
The Montessori Method of education fosters the fullest development of each child through self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.
Here are five reasons to consider a Montessori preschool.
- Your child will learn decision-making skills – In Montessori classrooms, teachers carefully observe each child and preset several activities suited to each one’s level. Children then choose their activities, enabling them to discover what they enjoy most at their own pace. Children who make choices for themselves learn to trust and are often quite proud of themselves. Life is full of decisions. Why not start learning how to make them early?
- Your child will develop a sense of purpose and belonging – Montessori classrooms are organized so that children learn to take care of themselves and are able to contribute to the classroom, as well as to their families and communities. For example, children learn how to use buttons, zippers and ties with dressing frames. Food prep and clean up teach practical life skills like handwashing and sequencing, while enhancing fine motor skills. Sewing work teaches skills like stitching on buttons and hemming, and increases concentration and focus.
- Your child will experience and understand the value of cooperation – Montessori classrooms consist of children of different ages such as those between two and five. This allows children to both learn from and teach one another, while growing and gaining confidence at their own pace. It also gives them an opportunity to relate to people at different stages of life than them—a skill they will need throughout their entire lives.
- Your child will learn in the way best suited for him or her – We all learn in different ways. Some of us are visual learners, while others are auditory. Montessori classrooms accommodate all learning styles. Special Montessori materials that are loved by children and which are designed to teach a single concept fill the shelves of Montessori classrooms. Each child can pick the materials they are drawn to and learn in their own unique way.
- You and your child will become part of a close-knit community – Because children in Montessori classrooms are of different ages, children usually have the same teacher for at least three years, as well as many of the same classmates. This creates a strong sense of stability and community. Teachers come to know each child very well and are able to guide development in a personalized manner.
At the West Chester Area YMCA, full and half-day Montessori programs are offered for children ages 2½ to 5, with extended care available from 7 am – 6 pm. Full-day care is also offered on most West Chester school district holidays.
Montessori preschool at the West Chester Area YMCA includes swim lessons, yoga, gym activities, music and Spanish language instruction. In addition, all lead teachers are Montessori-credentialed.
Limited spaces remain for our fall Montessori program. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. For more information, contact Amy White, Senior Director of Youth Development, at 610-431-9622, ext. 2209.