Montessori education is unique and set apart from programs that are based on other educational philosophies. In a Montessori program, every element – from the layout of the classroom to the content of the curriculum – is thoughtfully and intentionally chosen based off of the core tenets of the Montessori Philosophy. Despite all of the differences, there are some elements of a Montessori program that align with other programs. One of these elements is the timing of the semesters. Many Montessori programs follow a traditional schedule that includes a fall semester, spring semester, and summer programing for families that want to continue throughout the year. Understanding what to expect from a Montessori program – the differences and similarities from other programs – will help you and your child make the most of each semester.
The fall semester is always an exciting time because it marks the beginning of a brand new school year. Your child will feel some excitement and possibly some apprehension as the fall semester approaches. One way to make the most out of the fall semester is to help your child focus on the excitement of starting fresh. There will be a new schedule, new things to learn, and possibly some new faces. Remind your child that the Montessori classroom is designed so each student can work at his or her own pace. This means that your student does not have to worry about falling behind or needing to slow down. The individualized nature of a Montessori program allows for stress-free and unimpeded learning. You can also capitalize on the excitement that comes with the fall semester by looking at the schedule with your child. Identify things that your child is excited to learn about so your student can focus on those elements instead of worrying about the unknowns.
By the spring semester in Montessori school, your child will be an old pro. The winter break is a time to rest and renew (hopefully) so your child can come back to school in the spring ready for more learning. Some of the apprehensions that were present in the fall will likely be gone by spring. Your child will know what to expect from the teacher, school, and other students. To make the most of the spring semester you need to focus on helping your child keep up the momentum. There is typically a lot going on for kids outside of school during the spring semester. Continue to do the things you started in the fall for a great school year. Keep up with the nightly bedtime routine and continue to provide your child with high-quality nutrition at home. The things that happen outside of the classroom during the spring semester can have a big impact on how your child does inside the classroom for the rest of the semester.
The summer term at Montessori school typically looks a lot different from the other two semesters. At Fountainhead Montessori School, for example, summer includes two four-week sessions. These sessions are highly individualized and allow for hands-on learning. You can make the most of the summer term by enrolling your child in a Montessori summer program instead of sending them to a different type of child care during the summer.
There is a natural flow to the school year based off of the timing of the semesters and the type of program. You can make the most of each semester in Montessori school by using what is unique about that time of year to guide your child’s expectations. Fountainhead Montessori School offers an example schedule online for each age group that you can explore if you are considering Montessori school for your child.