If you have a child getting ready to enter kindergarten, you are probably asking yourself the same question that thousands of Montessori parents ask themselves every year. Should you allow your child to continue in a Children’s House for the third year (kindergarten) or should you enroll them in a more traditional public school program?
Many families grapple with this question and although there are many factors to consider, cost is usually pretty high on everyone’s list. Why pay for kindergarten when you can attend a public option for free?
While we completely understand that each family has to make the decision that is best for their household, we also think there are some pretty compelling reasons to stay at Heartwood.
The Montessori School of Silicon Valley compiled a comprehensive list that we thought was pretty spot on. These are some of our favorites:
- Does your child love school and can’t wait to go every day? If so, consider yourself lucky. Why tinker with a winning school situation when so many families are frustrated and disappointed?
- Your child has waited for two years to be one of the five year old leaders of her class. The kindergartners are looked up to as role models for the younger students, and most children eagerly await their opportunity to play this role.
- The third year, the kindergarten year, is the time when many of the earlier lessons come together and become permanent part of the young child’s understanding. An excellent example is the early introduction to addition with large numbers through the “Bank Game”. When children leave Montessori at age five, many of the still forming concepts evaporate, just as a child living overseas will learn to speak two languages, but may quickly lose the second language if his family moves back home.
- Montessori students develop self-discipline and an internal sense of purpose and motivation.
- In Montessori, your child can continue to progress at her own pace. In traditional kindergarten, she will have to wait while the other children begin to catch up or will be pushed forward before gaining understanding of a topic.
Observing both the traditional and Montessori kindergarten classrooms is another wonderful way to help make this sometimes difficult decision. If you would like to observe in one of our classrooms, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. You can also check out our school’s calendar. We have several informational parent nights coming up in February that may help to answer many of your questions. We would love to see you there.
(I would like to thank Kendall Macaluso for inspiring this post through the newsletter she produces as a room parent in one of our preschool classrooms. Thank you for your service!)