Montessori philosophy is well supported by scientific research and the popularity of Montessori education and its child-centric approach is evident from it’s presence of preschools in all the countries of world. Yet, every child is different; you know your child and can gauge if this education approach is the right fit for your child.
Foremost, know your child and environment that would suit him/her the best. Each Montessori school also differs in its Montessori model, its way of teaching, experience and personality of teachers, makeup of children etc. However, Montessori approach is very structured, there is definite focus on independence and real life work is paramount. Some parents may feel Montessori has less playing and more structured but for some it structured is good and academics is prime focus; so it’s just a matter of individual choice and preference. It’s always better to visit the school personally as well as online, and check details and observe the environment as per your child’s needs.
Some of the pros and cons of the approach being:
Montessori children are more focused, socialize, respect each other, and are able to solve social problems.
They are able to write with more imagination and depth as compared to their peers in other public or private schools.
The children are free to choose their activities and work on it independently or with the help of the teacher.
Montessori children usually master reading skills earlier.
These children show greater intrinsic motivation and undivided interest while performing activities.
The school does not focuses on grades or any rankings but strives on helping each child develop their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.
The school has an “open-door” policy for visitation, as well as observation windows into each classroom
The children are encouraged to use Montessori materials and not worksheets or workbooks.
The name and methods of ‘Montessori’ were never patented or trademarked, so anyone can open a Montessori school without having to adhere to standard policies or curriculum.
Though there is the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), formed in 1991 to train Montessori teachers and provide common standards but there is no formal definition of the curriculum and no standards of assessment or guidelines.
Due to its lack of academic assessment, it is largely neglected by scholars.
Some schools may offer Montessori until kindergarten and some till primary or middle school level. It’s better to enquire about the details of the curriculum and what comes next and how a child will cope up if there is a transition.
Additionally, it’s always recommended to consider your budget, location of the school, transport facility and other needs before opting for any school.