It might not be easy to find a Montessori preschool or daycare facility near your home, especially if you live in a rural area, but you shouldn't give up. You might be surprised to discover that many traditional facilities operate in a way that promotes independence and freedom of choice in little ways throughout the day. So, if you're touring traditional preschool or daycare facilities and you prefer a center that incorporates Montessori-style teaching methods, look for these things.
Allowing Children to Make Decisions
Montessori-style teaching promotes freedom of choice within limits. This means that children are allowed to make their own decisions throughout the day as long as it's reasonable — not that children are allowed to do whatever they want all day long. In a traditional preschool or daycare class setting, days are typically structured to ensure every child receives adequate care. However, by allowing the children to make a few decisions on their own throughout the day, freedom of choice within limits can be incorporated into a traditional classroom setting. For example, preschool-age children might have the option to choose between two different snack items at snack time or be allowed to choose between two different activities at least once a day. This way, the children are able to make age-appropriate decisions without disrupting the structure needed in the classroom.
Promotes Fun, Educational Activities
When you're looking for a preschool or daycare that incorporates Montessori-style teaching methods, you need to know what type of activities the teachers typically plan for the children. Montessori schools educate children by providing them with several fun, educational activities that encourage kids to get involved with their education. So, look for a preschool or daycare center that has:
- Hands-on learning stations
- Toys and/or costumes that encourage pretend play
- Educational toys that are appropriate for preschool-age children
- Arts and crafts projects for the children to complete several times per week
- Toys or materials that encourage children to learn a new skill
- Age-appropriate books for daily reading time
Encourages Children to be Independent
Many Montessori schools teach independence to children by giving them daily responsibilities that are age appropriate. So, when touring traditional preschools or daycares, look for ways that the facility encourages children to be responsible. For preschool-age children, independence can be taught by requiring children to help with cleanup at the end of the day or after an activity, teaching the children that they are responsible for their own actions, and having classroom pets.
The fact is, you don't have to send your child to a Montessori preschool or daycare center for your child to be exposed to Montessori-style teaching methods. As long as you find a facility that incorporates Montessori-style teaching methods in small ways throughout the day, your child will be prepared to attend a Montessori school when the time comes.
For more information, visit http://www.kidscountry.net or a similar website.