When deciding where to enroll their young children in school, parents often have many of the same questions. One of the most commonly asked questions when exploring the idea of entering their child into a Montessori school is, “What is the best age for a child to begin a Montessori education?”
Several factors play into answering this question, from your child’s readiness to the methodology of the program when it comes to educating the whole child. Subtract the guesswork from your decision-making process by reading along to find out when the best time to begin a Montessori education is for your young learner.
The Best Age for Montessori Learning
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the period from birth to age six is when a child’s mind is most absorbent. The absorbent mind is one of the most essential concepts in early childhood education. Over a hundred years ago, Montessori said the concept of the absorbent mind is based on the child’s sponge-like capacity to absorb from their environment what is required to create their identity. By harnessing the power of the absorbent mind, parents can give their children an expansive and solid foundation from the start, when it is easiest for them to absorb information and learn from it.
Because of this, Montessori education options are available for infants, toddlers, children, and elementary and secondary education. Children are invited to learn the Montessori philosophy and practice Montessori learning methods at any of these stages, since there are different benefits at every level, although it may be easiest for children to absorb these new skills and concepts before age six.
Start With Montessori at Home
Students typically start their Montessori education between ages two and a half and four, as most Montessori schools are preschools or daycare programs. Nonetheless, some parents prefer to begin practicing Montessori methods with their children in infancy, between eight weeks to 18 months. Because parents are their children’s first teachers, parents of infants and toddlers can help prepare their children for a Montessori education before entering an early childhood program by creating a Montessori environment and implementing Montessori practices at home.
This may look like being conscious of the things your child is taking in in their absorbent mind stage, following their lead when it comes to playing, or providing a prepared environment for your child to explore and engage with their surroundings. Everyday activities like cooking, shopping, or going for walks provide a model that helps young children understand how to interact appropriately with others in their world.
How Montessori Works for Young Learners
In the first two years of a child’s life, they are building beliefs and making assumptions about the way the world works based on the connections and experiences they have had with their caregivers, whether caregivers are parents, guardians, teachers, siblings, or friends.
In addition to helping them learn to read or work with numbers, Montessori programs also place importance on developing the soft skills of the children who are enrolled in their institutions. In a Montessori program, young children are guided and nurtured to develop social skills and positive life habits by collaborating and working on activities with their class.
The ability to adapt to changing surroundings and being able to perform in social situations is also something that Montessori schools try to instill in young learners, as these skills will help children to succeed in their education and their personal life. Exposing your child to a Montessori education early on can help them in countless ways, from helping them to better interact with their world and those around them to guiding them to embrace their identity and having self-confidence.
Whether you are thinking of enrolling your infant or toddler in a Montessori school or are planning on switching your child from a traditional learning experience to the Montessori method of educating the whole child, remember that it is never too late or too soon to begin. Children of all ages can benefit from the type of exploration and growth that occurs in Montessori education.
Mission Valley Montessori is more than basic child care. We plant the seeds for a lifetime of learning for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. It is our aim to help your child reach their greatest potential. Visit our blog to learn more about our method, or contact us to schedule a school tour with Mission Valley Montessori in Fremont today.