Montessori kindergarten is about more than just academics; it’s about nurturing the emergence of your child’s whole self at exactly the right time.
Your little one just blew out five candles. Now he needs a whole hand to show how old he is!
For the past two years, you’ve observed his joyful growth at Montessori Center School. But now he’s not the same person he was when he started Montessori. He’s physically bigger and stronger, and also more confident and outgoing.
He’s already learned so much at Montessori Center School. Maybe he’s ready for a new experience. Does he really need to stay in Montessori through kindergarten?
Here’s why so many families answer that question with a strong “Yes!”
6 Benefits of Montessori Kindergarten
1. The Right Education at the Right Time
You may already know Maria Montessori’s “four planes of human development”:
- Birth to age 6: Early childhood
- 6 to 12: Childhood
- 12 to 18: Adolescence
- 18 to 24: Maturity
The third year in Montessori falls at the crucial transition from the first to the second plane. This is when the intellect evolves from relying on concrete materials to thinking and reasoning abstractly—but it hasn’t arrived at full abstraction yet. The Montessori materials are a crucial bridge from concrete to abstract thinking. In Montessori kindergarten, your child has access to these materials just when his brain is poised to make that leap.
Five-going-on-six-year-olds instinctively work hard for the understanding they crave. They love large, multi-day projects. That is why kindergarten at Montessori Center School is full day. The afternoon three-hour work period doubles kindergartners’ opportunities to immerse themselves in big intellectual work.
Montessori kindergarten is the only environment uniquely designed to facilitate the transition to the second plane of development.
2. An Advanced Curriculum
The Montessori program is scientifically sequenced, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Third-year lessons consolidate and extend learning well beyond what a conventional kindergarten covers. Plus, children in Montessori kindergarten reinforce their knowledge by teaching and coaching their younger classmates.
Seeing the three-year-olds “begin at the beginning” reminds kindergartners of everything they themselves have mastered over the past two-plus years. They realize they already know a lot! A third year in Montessori bestows this boost of confidence just at the right time in a child’s emotional and intellectual development.
3. Individualized Instruction
Not every kindergartner is at the same developmental level. A given child’s development is also not necessarily even in all areas or at all times. A highly verbal five-year-old may be reading chapter books while still needing more fine motor practice to master shoe tying. In the Montessori mixed-age classroom, there is no need to be embarrassed about being at a different stage than someone else in a particular skill.
Each child becomes attracted to, works with, and masters materials at his own pace. Staying in Montessori through kindergarten gives him a full additional year to grow at the pace that is natural to his brain’s unique wiring.
As a trained scientific observer, your child’s teacher has noticed and recorded your child’s strengths and challenges for two years. She has met with you about his progress and development. She tailors every lesson plan to the unique personalities blossoming under her care.
4. The Chance to Be a Leader
Children at Montessori Center School are welcomed and initiated into a learning community by the leaders of their class—the kindergartners. And they anticipate taking their own turn in this important role.
The Montessori kindergartner feels ownership of the classroom environment and belonging within the social community. That foundation makes this child a natural leader. Montessori kindergarten offers a child this role just at the time when positive people skills, responsibility, and a “can-do” attitude can take root and grow in her character.
5. A Firm Social-Emotional Foundation
During the transition between the first and second planes, children begin to turn their attention outward. They want to work with classmates rather than merely alongside them. The Montessori kindergarten environment promotes social, emotional, and intellectual growth by offering the freedom to work with peers on self-chosen projects.
After a year of being one of the responsible “big kids,” your child will enter first grade sociable, confident, and eager to make new friends.
6. Skills for Tomorrow’s World
In the 21st century, facts and figures are at anyone’s fingertips. Memorization is less important than knowing where to find information, how to judge its reliability, and how to make and disseminate new knowledge—the very skills Montessori graduates are renowned for.
Montessori children check their own work and are responsible for their own learning. They master not only the academic concepts but the skill of learning itself. They deeply understand that all knowledge is connected. They manage their own time within open, three-hour work cycles every day. These “soft skills”—and more—come to fruition in the Montessori kindergarten year.
As You Decide on Montessori Kindergarten
Besides these benefits, a third year at Montessori Center School allows your child to continue participating in our extracurriculars as well as before- and after-care. Montessori kindergarten is the happy ending of the story that had its beginning and middle in your child’s first two years here.
Only you can decide what is right for your child. As you weigh your options, remember the many advantages of keeping your child in Montessori through kindergarten. Remember, too, that your child is a five-year-old only for a short time. Giving her the gift of Montessori kindergarten is a decision you will never regret.