Aside from home, school is the place where children spend the most time. If that school is a positive environment, it can have several benefits for students. But if the school isn’t a good fit for your child, they may suffer the consequences.
That’s why choosing the best Montessori school is crucial. But knowing what to look for can be a challenge.
If you want to make the right decision for you and your child, use these tips to pick a Montessori school.
Find Your Child’s Level
Some Montessori schools only offer certain levels. A quick way to narrow down your choices is to find your child’s level.
If they’re just starting kindergarten, choose a school that has a strong kindergarten program. Or if your child is older and looking to change schools, find a Montessori school that offers classes for their needs.
Choose a school that is well-equipped with the programs, level, and age group that fits your child. Click on this page for an example of a school offering classes from infant to elementary.
Tour the Classrooms
Before enrolling your child in any Montessori school, it’s best to tour the school and see the classrooms.
In Montessori schools, classrooms should feel warm and inviting. They shouldn’t have rows of chairs and desks like traditional schools.
Instead, there should be child-friendly furniture grouped into different areas. There shouldn’t be many toys, but the environment should still feel interactive. You should see colorful pictures and easy-to-understand materials, not stuffy rows of books.
Overall, the room should feel spacious, comfortable, and functional for children.
Observe the Teachers
When you tour the school, you should choose a time when classes are in session. This way, you can observe the teachers in action.
If you’re unfamiliar with Montessori education, you may be surprised to find that one of the benefits of a Montessori school is that classes are very collaborative. Teachers don’t teach in the traditional sense—they support while students explore their own interests.
That means that communication between teachers and students should be respectful and friendly. Discipline should still be kind and should give students an opportunity to fix mistakes on their own.
You likely won’t see a teacher standing at the front of the classroom. At a Montessori elementary school, teachers are typically found assisting individuals or working with small groups. They may even be on the floor helping small students.
Observe the Students
When choosing a Montessori school, don’t only observe teachers. Students can provide a lot of valuable information too, just by watching them.
Look at the students and their body language. Do they seem alert and engaged? Do they appear to be comfortable and relaxed? Or do they seem stressed, bored, or frustrated?
The best Montessori school for your child will be the one where they can be themselves. They should be able to explore and have fun in class. Look to the students and see if they match the experience you want for your child.
Ask About the Curriculum
Montessori schools don’t usually have a strict curriculum. Still, it’s important to ask about the type of subjects and skills your child will be learning.
Will they learn home economics skills like cooking? Is there an opportunity to learn foreign languages? Are there any required tests?
It’s important that your student learns the information and practical skills that are valuable both now and for their future.
Follow Your Gut
You know your child best. After learning about and touring different Montessori schools, follow your parental instinct to help you choose one.
There’s no one best Montessori school for everyone. But the right one for your child is the one where they can reach their full potential and build their confidence.
Follow your gut to help you choose an environment that you can envision your child thriving in.
Finding the Best Montessori School for You
The best Montessori school for you and your child is one that fits their level and provides a positive learning environment. Be sure to visit schools before making a decision, and trust yourself to make the right decision for your child.
For more on navigating motherhood, read our other parenting blog posts!