Children can begin attending a Montessori program as young as 18 months old. Each level of Montessori education – starting with toddlers and going up to elementary age – is thoughtfully designed to provide students with an excellent experience and education. If you are considering a Montessori program for your child, his or her age will determine which part of the program is appropriate. Some parents have concerns that students have to start in a Montessori program as a toddler to be successful in the upper levels. Fortunately, the Montessori Method of education is beneficial even for students who come in at the kindergarten or elementary level.
Montessori toddler for children from ages 18 months to 2 ½ years old
Toddlers can benefit from time spent in the Montessori classroom. The toddler program is designed around helping students have a positive first exposure to the classroom and providing opportunities to engage in activities of practical life. The toddler years are a great time to introduce your child to the Montessori classroom and can help lay a firm educational foundation.
Montessori prep for children from ages 2 to 3 ½ years old
Montessori prep is designed for children who are between the ages of 2 and 3 ½. The goals of this program are to provide a positive school experience and help students develop independence and self-confidence. Children with no previous Montessori or school experience will find this program to be a smooth transition from home to the classroom.
Montessori kindergarten for children from ages 4.9 to 6 years old
Montessori kindergarten provides students with the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills through a prepared environment that is full of materials appropriate to their grade level and development. Instruction includes multicultural, multi-sensory, and integrated curriculum as well as opportunities for cooperative learning. Montessori kindergarten does build on the instruction students receive during the primary years. But, a student without previous Montessori education can still succeed in Montessori kindergarten because the classroom is designed to meet the individual needs of each child.
Montessori lower and upper elementary for children from ages 6 to 12 years old
The lower and upper elementary Montessori programs provide students with a variety of learning and enrichment opportunities. As students get older, the size of the classroom shrinks and the number of individualized instruction increases. The overarching goals of the elementary program are to provide students with everything they need to succeed in their next level of education and life. The approach to learning and instruction is much different in the Montessori classroom when compared to the traditional classroom. It will take some adjusting to jump into this type of program at the elementary age, but the small teacher to student ratio can help ease that transition with individualized instruction.
The fullest benefit of a Montessori education will be realized by starting as a toddler and continuing through upper elementary. However, students of any age can benefit from enrolling in a Montessori program. The unique design of the Montessori classroom can meet the needs of each student and allow growth even without any previous exposure to the Montessori Method.