Montessori vs. Childcare Center

childcare centerChoosing a daycare or childcare center for your little one can be a very daunting task. After all, it’s one of the first decisions you’ll make towards your child’s future academic success.  Along with considerations like class size, teacher/student ratio, illness and safety policies, and community reputation, the teaching method should be paramount, because it can help determine your child’s approach to academics in years to come.

Montessori Schools are a popular choice among discerning parents because they offer a distinctly different learning style and environment from daycares, one that is aimed at developing the whole child through individualized methods that contribute to emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth.

Traditional Daycare

Whereas a traditional childcare center present a structured, teacher-centered learning approach, Montessori Schools are uniquely child-centered, with the teacher acting as a guide to assist students in reaching their true potential through specially designed activities uninterrupted by a preset schedule mandated by group curriculum.

Students are hands-on and actively learning in a Montessori classroom instead of impassively listening from their seats at tables in a traditional classroom.

Montessori Method

The Montessori method of self-directed learning allows children to advance at their own pace, in groups or alone, limited only by their own curiosity. And unlike traditional preschools, which typically divide children based on age alone, Montessori students interact with peers of different ages, allowing the younger ones to learn from their older classmates, and giving the older children the opportunity to develop leadership skills.

Teachers guide students in child-centered learning of social skills and daily living skills, as well as traditional subjects such as math, reading and language. In focusing on individual student progress instead of that of the group, no one “falls behind,” but instead, is allowed to pace themselves with curriculum that changes as their individual need and interest level does, instilling in each student a sense of pride that comes from realizing his or her own accomplishments.

In addition, because the Montessori approach appeals to a child’s natural curiosity and hunger to learn, children learn to love the process of learning, which will benefit them throughout their lives.