The concept of Montessori schooling is slowly catching up in India with more and more Montessori schools being set up in major cities. Parents weigh the pros and cons of this new type of schooling to ascertain if they should choose Montessori or regular school for their kid.
Back in the day, Montessori schools were synonymous with kindergarten and playschools. However, one must note that there is a significant difference between Montessori schooling, which is a more active process where kids can get hands-on in their everyday learning, and traditional schooling, where the learning is more passive and mostly entails listening to a teacher in a typical classroom set-up.
Read on to learn more about Montessori schooling, how it is different from regular schooling and which one is best suited for your child.
What you need to know about Montessori schooling
Montessori schooling creates a completely different environment for kids when compared to the loose space structuring in Montessori schools.
Montessori schooling focuses on the learning and development of each child in the classroom and the curricula are decided based on each child’s needs. In a regular school, on the other hand, lessons are prepared in advance and all children are expected to learn at the same pace. Montessori system enables kids to feel their own sense of pride in achieving a milestone instead of relying on external judgement based on their performance.
Teachers impart lessons through activities. The teachers observe how each child progresses and makes future lessons plans accordingly. In schools that follow the traditional system, teachers teach kids orally and children learn from listening and memorising.
Each child in a Montessori is given undivided attention by teachers who guide the students through lessons. Children are individually mentored and are allowed to take their own learning path, with assistance always available. Regular schools may not promise complete attention to each and every student.
Children in Montessori schools can take their time to complete a lesson and go on to the next lesson after they fully learn what was intended to be taught. At regular schools, on the other hand, there are specified periods within which a child is expected to finish the lesson.
The traditional classroom is common and has restricted space for interaction. Teachers usually address the students while standing in the front end. At the end of the period, the children move on to a new subject. Montessori classrooms are prepped in advance as per the needs of individual students. There are no time limitations and the child is not made to move on to the next lesson until he finishes the first one.
Questions to ask before you choose your kid’s school
Here are a few questions you could ask yourself before you choose whether to send your school to a Montessori or regular school:
- Is there a Montessori in the neighbourhood?
- How are the relationships between teachers and students in the school?
- Can the Montessori accommodate new students?
- What are the fee differences between Montessori schools and regular schools?
- Is the school clean and well organised?
- Is there space in the school for games and outdoor activities?
- Does the school conduct extra-curricular activities?
Find answers to these questions and pick the best route to educate your child.
Did you attend a Montessori school as a child? Do you have any thoughts on Montessori vs KG (kindergarten) or regular school? Let us know in the comments section below!