Sending your child to Montessori school is a great step for their education. However, choosing the right Montessori school is important, especially if you want your child to have good results. Here are a few ways in which you can make sure that you pick the right place for your child to spend their preschool years.
1) Tour the Environment
One of the first things you should consider is whether you actually like the environment where your child will be spending their time. Whether on your own or with your child, take the time to drive down to the school and walk through the interior. Think about things like layout, lighting, and general atmosphere. What will your kid see when they walk into the school? What does their classroom look like? Is the cafeteria comfortable? Where do students wait to be picked up by their parents?
Another important consideration is how far away the school is from your house. An hour-long commute is only worth it if your child will have a genuinely good time at their new academy. Otherwise, you might prefer to send your kid somewhere close so that their friends will also be their neighbors as they get older.
2) Talk to the Teachers
Teachers make a Montessori environment. Spend a good amount of time talking to the principal, the administrative staff, and the teachers who will actually be supervising your child’s classroom. Students see every adult in their life as a role model, so it’s important to choose caretakers who will actually instill good values and look out for your child’s wellbeing.
If possible, consider attending a class session so you can see your child’s teachers in action. Attitude is just as important as philosophy, and there’s nothing wrong with making sure your child will actually be comfortable and learn good lessons.
3) Check the Course Material
Montessori schools don’t have grades or tests, but they generally have a course structure that helps students progress over their years at the academy. The teachers at the school will often be happy to help you explain which subjects and learning objectives they will be covering. Don’t just ask about the upcoming semester; find out what kind of skills your child will have by the time they graduate.
4) Call the Next School Over
Most Montessori schools offer the equivalent of a preschool and kindergarten education. As part of your research, consider calling the local elementary school to get their opinion on the students who graduate from the Montessori academy. Ask if the students are prepared for their new classes and social environment or if they often need extra tutoring to keep up with their peers. Most Montessori peers are ahead of the game, but this kind of research can help you confirm that your child is getting the best education possible.
Austin Children’s Academy is one of the premier Montessori schools in our local area. Feel free to contact us to discuss what our school can do for your child.