Because of the way that Montessori works, the earlier you can get your child into private preschool, the more it will benefit her. This is backed up by over a century of research, which shows us again and again that hands-on, self-directed learning is as effective as it is intuitive. To show why Montessori should begin early, take a look at the 4 underlying principles the Montessori method is based on.
Respect for the Child
Preschool children are not different than adults, they are simply still trying to learn what adults have already covered. Montessori preschool kids are treated with care and respect, This teaches them to be happy with themselves and to interact fairly with their peers. As part of a well-rounded, whole-child education, the tenets of grace and courtesy are considered vital parts of early education.
Montessori activities are designed to be intuitive and self-correcting. This instills a healthy sense of self-esteem in children and gives them the impetus to become engaged in both the learning process and how it relates to their own interests, strengths, and questions.
Sensitive Learning Periods
Maria Montessori observed that people go through several distinct sensitive periods. From birth to age 3, children are a blank slate and busily engaged in absorbing information about themselves and their surroundings. From 4 to 6, preschoolers continue learning about their immediate surroundings, but they also begin exploring the larger world, and how they fit into the natural order of things. These first 6 years are the most critical period for development, and Montessori education during this stage of life helps children be better prepared for later education as they enter the phase of independence and individualism.
A Prepared Environment
Children thrive in an environment that is consistent. The Montessori prepared environment is designed to offer kids free movement but maintain order and predictability. Each activity has its own place, the area is built and furnished for the comfort and perspective of the children, and more. In this way, kids are able to take more control over their own learning experience and spend as much or as little time on activities as they please.
Even children who later move to traditional educational systems benefit from receiving their early education at a Montessori school. It teaches them self-control and responsibility and helps them attain developmental goals like motor skills, academic instruction, and social interaction. With proper early development, children will be better prepared for anything they are faced with throughout their education.