Reading this article about the lasting benefits of preschool once again affirms Maria Montessori’s approach to educating young children. A study in North Carolina followed nearly 1 million students from preschool through fifth grade. The results showed that when children attend a high-quality preschool program, the benefits last. High quality is defined as “small class sizes, student-directed learning, and lots of open-ended play.”
At Wilmington Montessori School, we take pride in the quality of the education we offer at all levels. Following the Montessori Method allows us to establish classroom practices that support exploration and learning for all children. The prepared environment is set up for children to succeed. They are gradually introduced to each item on the shelves and how they are used. The social environment is safe and welcoming; children learn to care for each other through positive interactions as well as the predictable challenges that occur while building relationships and sharing spaces.
We encourage enrollment at young ages in order to help provide that strong start in school. Play is the work of children. They need to explore. Their success in the Elementary Program is built on the foundation of the Toddler and Primary classroom practices. Children know how school works. They know how to care for their classroom and each other. They learn how to solve problems and watch others as they learn. They are not confined to learning only the lessons they are ready for, but can also observe the learning of others, discovering what comes next, igniting the sense of wonder and expectation. As the NPR article states, preschool is worth it. Its foundation provides a lasting effect for learning well through elementary school and beyond.