When to begin my child in pre-school?
The time from birth to three goes by so fast! So much dramatic change takes place during those foundational years. It is difficult for our minds and hearts to keep up with all that development, and it is common to think of the young child as still weak and dependent. But they are far from that! Maria Montessori observed early on, and throughout her life, that children from 3-6 years of age are capable of profound learning and hungry for help in achieving independence. “Help me to do it myself.” She also discovered that there are sensitive periods, during which the child is best able to make optimum progress and after which it becomes very difficult to acquire a skill.
Montessori Children’s House is a three year, unified curriculum designed to engage children from preschool through kindergarten. When children start Montessori school at age 2 ½ or 3, they receive the important benefit of two full years of practical life and sensorial preparation, and integration with their developing academic skills. They are introduced to important materials and activities when they are most attractive to children, and when they have the most beneficial effects on future development. Gradually, and at his own pace, a child’s manipulation of Montessori materials forms important mental and physical impressions of abstract concepts, making it easier to learn in later years.
This is also a time of important social development. Most 2½ to 3-year-olds are ready to spend time away from their nuclear family. They are eager for the company of other children, though their work may remain independent in the beginning. The opportunity to see older children at work is a powerful motivation for the younger ones. They are keen observers and imitate precisely the work they are shown and see others doing. Children are also introduced to lessons in grace and courtesy in a community of children, providing many opportunities to practice those important skills.
At The Way of the Shepherd, we trust children, helping them on their journey of self-construction. By starting at 2½ or 3 and remaining in the classroom community for three full years, Montessori children have an inspiring educational experience.