The Difference Between Montessori and Preschool

difference between preschool and montessori

If you have a young child, you may be starting to think about preschool for them and wondering which one will be right for your family. Maybe you’ve heard about Montessori school and wondered what it entails. Perhaps you’re super familiar with Montessori, and now you’re trying to decide which one to choose for your little one. Maybe you’re not completely sure what the difference between Montessori and Preschool is, so it’s hard to decide where to send your child. We understand choosing the right preschool for your little one is important. You want to make sure they’re safe, loved, and cared for when they’re away from you while also ensuring they’re learning so they’re ready for kindergarten when the time comes. It can be a lot for a parent to figure out.

So how do Montessori and Preschool differ?

The reality is there is a lot of similarity between Montessori school and preschool. The children are generally ages 3-6; they go to learn the skills they’ll need to be successful in elementary school and beyond, they go for socialization and a chance to grow.

Children enrolled in a Montessori preschool program will be in a Primary classroom with other kids between 3 & 6. The Primary classroom has children of varying ages, and kids can stay in the classroom for up to three years, depending on when they join.

Children first enter the Primary classroom around age 3 and begin working on practical life skills and early academics. The first year of Primary is often exploration and learning, familiarizing themselves with the new environment and growing from toddler to big kid.

The second year of Primary is where kids tend to delve into the materials and learn as much as possible. They are better able to communicate; they’re familiar with the environment because they’ve been here a year, and they’re now some of the bigger kids and can help teach the new classmates about how the class works.

Our oldest children are the classroom leaders in their final year of Primary (which is often kindergarten). They help teach lessons to their younger classmates, which allows them to master the lessons at hand and develop great confidence in their abilities. They tackle more challenging works and are fully prepared for elementary school.

Children in the Montessori Primary classroom spend all three years with the same teacher, so they develop a strong relationship, and this also allows the Guides (teachers) the chance to get to know the child well so they can help guide them to works that they need to ensure they’re ready for elementary. Montessori guides are specialized and often are certified in early childhood education and are professionals. Many of our guides at Klein-Spring Montessori have been with us for years.

Children in a Montessori school are encouraged to be as independent as possible in age-appropriate ways. They take care of themselves; they take care of their environment; they set the tables for lunch and clean up after themselves when things spill. They also spend a lot of time outside playing and exploring, taking nature walks, going on picnics on the school property, or simply enjoying being outside.

If you’re looking for childcare or preschool in the Spring, TX area, we’d love to have you visit and see if Klein-Spring Montessori is the right fit for your family. Contact us today to schedule a tour.

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