Starting a child off on the path to joyful discovery and a lifelong love of learning starts young. The sooner your son or daughter experiences educational success, social development, and appreciation for their environment, the more likely they are to excel. No wonder parents take such care to choose the perfect school for their pre-Kindergarten aged son or daughter.
At Primary Montessori Day School, we understand the importance of preparing children for a future full of accomplishments, academic achievement, social graces — all the elements that produce a successful life and future. Our Montessori accredited school and experienced, caring teachers create a nurturing space in which your child can explore their world and grow in their appreciation for learning.
Of course, not all Montessori schools — or traditional schools, for that matter — offer the same high level of educational experiences. As you tour various educational options in Rockville, Maryland and surrounding areas, keep an eye out for these 10 areas where a superb school will rise to the top. You should definitely expect to see all these elements at play in a school that is truly, authentically Montessori in its approach.
1. Mixed Age Classes
A true Montessori environment draws upon the enjoyment that children gain from working with others their own age, as well as mentoring those who are younger. So, you can expect to see children from age 3 to 5 years old together in one class, with a teacher acting as the guide for their discoveries.
2. Attractive Environment
Children flourish when they are spending their time and engaging in studies in an environment that invites creativity and new ideas. So, as you tour a school, consider how it is laid out and decorated. Look for elements such as these:
- Wide, open spaces where children can freely move about
- Bright walls and clear windows that draw in plenty of warming sunlight
- Comfortable, clean hardwood floors friendly to a child’s feet
- Paintings, photos, globes, and other decorations that intrigue children about the world
3. Caring, Skilled, Certified Teachers
No classroom is complete without its teacher, and a good educator can make all the difference in the world for establishing a desire to learn in your child. At any preschool you’re considering, find out the qualifications of its staff. An authentic Montessori school will have well-trained, energetic, certified Montessori teachers who care deeply about creating a space that invites children to learn and grow.
4. Multisensory Materials
In a genuine Montessori preschool, you’ll notice that the educational tools and materials that students use are a cut above the average. You’ll see natural, appealing wooden blocks, open shelving easy for children to access, comfortable seating fit for little bodies, and other materials that appeal to all five senses.
5. Individualized Learning
Montessori teachers are specifically trained and experienced in helping young children discover their natural bents and passions. In addition to encouraging everyone in the class to learn practical skills such as math and reading, each child enjoys opportunities to explore areas that particularly grab their attention and spark a love for their studies.
6. Attention to Social Skills
As a parent of a preschool child, you know that this is an age where practicing social graces and developing emotional intelligence is important. The right preschool will nurture those skills, and that’s where a Montessori classroom really shines. At our school, we provide opportunities for students to practice kindness, consideration, generosity, and more.
7. Neatly Kept Spaces
A simple, practical yet extremely key question to ask as you tour a space is, “How clean is the environment?” A clean space promotes a child’s health and well-being, assuring you that germs are minimized. Neatness also is a sign that the Montessori teachers, staff, and students all care about their school. And it’s easier for students to concentrate in a space that is well-kept.
8. Cooperation and Teamwork
A true Montessori approach doesn’t feature a teacher lecturing kids from the front of the classroom. Instead, you can expect to see individual and group work areas where students can gather and help each other learn. You’ll see small group activities, times where everyone comes together to share and have fun, older students coaching younger ones, and a spirit of collaboration rather than competition.
9. Enthusiastic Discovery
Children learn best when they are encouraged to notice and take pleasure in the little joys of discovery that happen every day as they come to know more about the world. At Primary Montessori Day School, our preschool academic program features plenty of hands-on activities, arts, music, and other fun educational opportunities. And you’ll notice big smiles on our students’ faces as they come to love learning.
10. Calm, Joyful Students
As you step into a preschool class, you may be expecting to see a small version of chaos. But not so in a Montessori school. While children are encouraged to be enthusiastic about their learning, experienced Montessori teachers guide students not just in developing academic skills, but also self-awareness and confidence. The school you select should feel peaceful, upbeat, safe, and nurturing.
To make it even easier for you to make comparisons as you tour different schools and find a balanced choice that fits your family, we’ve created a handy Comparison Guide and Worksheet, “How to Find an Authentic Montessori School for Your Child.” Request your free copy, and we’ll email it to you so you can get started right away in choosing an appropriate school.
Discover for Yourself the Primary Montessori Advantage
The best way to ensure you’re happy with your choice in your child’s school is to visit in person, meet the Montessori teachers, ask questions, and get the overall feel of the school’s environment. As you visit Primary Montessori Day School, you’ll see why so many parents give us rave reviews about the difference we’re making for their sons and daughters.
Take a step right now toward setting up your preschool aged child for lifelong success. Schedule a tour of our school, and let us show you in person the advantages your child will enjoy by attending and studying here.