Choosing a Montessori Education
Montessori schools have been a hot-button topic for years as they’ve become more popular in the American schooling system. While there are countless reasons to send your child to this alternative type of schooling, you may still need more of an understanding of how Montessori schools work. Of course, every child has unique and individual needs, but let’s look at the features of Montessori schools and how your child may thrive in a Montessori environment.
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori method was founded by an Italian physician named Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907. She observed that children in her care were able to teach themselves by taking the lead in hands-on activities, such as solving puzzles or preparing their own food. From these observations, she derived a method of teaching that aims to “follow the child”, allowing them to set their own pace for learning. While most conventional schools follow a curriculum set by teachers and administrators, the Montessori method entrusts the child to lead the way in their own education.
Montessori schools usually run on a set of 5 principles set forth by the Montessori method:
1. Children are shown respect
2. Kids have absorbent minds
3. Sensitive periods are critical for learning
4. Kids learn best in a prepared environment
5. Kids can teach themselves through auto education
The Looping System
Additionally, some Montessoris run a “looping” system, meaning that students learn in multi-age classrooms or stay with the same teacher for two or more years, allowing teacher and student to build a strong bond and understanding of one another. Montessori also prides itself on the physical learning setting, and they consider the classroom environment to be just as important as the teachers and learning materials.
High Test Scores
The reward of attending a Montessori school is worth it for many families. The research surrounding the effectiveness of the Montessori method is still ongoing, but many studies indicate higher test scores and performance of Montessori students compared to students in traditional schools, especially low-income students. Across the board, students who attend a Montessori school score higher on social-emotional scales than their non-Montessori peers.
So, for whom exactly is Montessori the right choice? Many parents choose this method for their child-led education and may know intuitively that their child may benefit from working at their own pace. The method of child-led education and allowing a child to set their own pace and curriculum can be incredibly beneficial for students who struggle with the structure of traditional schooling. Students who are neurodivergent or have a learning disability may also thrive in a Montessori environment. Additionally, the method shows encouraging results in helping underprivileged populations get ahead in their education and Montessori pride itself on racial and economic diversity.
The Montessori method has been around for more than 100 years, and its expansion in the US education system shows no sign of slowing down. If you’re interested in Montessori for your child, check out our Montessori directory to learn more about the choices available!
Psst… Check out Thriving at Camp in the arts, sports, and STEM/STEAM Programs
Montessori Schools in New York
364 Argyle Road, Ditmas Park/Flatbush
Located in the historical Victorian section of Beverly Square West, this is a Full Member School with the American Montessori Society, for preschool and kindergarten children who will be 3,4 or 5 years old by 12/31 of the year they’re enrolled. EAM has a small class size of only 12 children per session with 2 Montessori teachers, offering a warm, nurturing and stimulating environment with an emphasis on individual attention for every child.
237 Park Place, Brooklyn
A warm and welcoming community serving children ages two to five. At MDS, they encourage every child’s natural curiosity and readiness to learn and create a nurturing and fun atmosphere that promotes independence and self-esteem, and creates life-long learners. They work to ensure that their school community is as richly diverse as the city we live in. Their tuition assistance program provides access to an MDS education for all children. Applications open up on September 1, 2023 and the deadline to apply for the next school year is December 31st. Please reach out with any questions about admissions.
277 3rd Avenue
718-499-5667, ext. 14
A Montessori pre-primary school providing a respectful, inclusive community helping children feel powerful and confident as learners and as social and emotional beings. Toddler, half day and extended day programs are available (2 through 6 years). Offering beautiful Montessori classrooms, an excellent, student/teacher ratio, and a warm, cooperative atmosphere where children learn to work and play.
Countryside Montessori School
354 Lakeville Road, lower level, Great Neck
Countryside Montessori School offers children, 18 months to 6 years, a well-balanced and enriched curriculum which includes traditional subjects, art, and music. They are located on an estate-like setting with an outdoor playground and nature walks. Classrooms are fully equipped and spacious. Countryside Montessori is offering in-person camp for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. There are morning academics for the older children and playtime for all children.
347 E. 55th St., Sutton Place, Manhattan
A multi-faceted program that inspires curiosity and develops a love of learning! Classes are equipped with didactic Montessori materials that encourage absorption of concepts through hands-on activities, leading children to become well-rounded and confident. Program includes science, music, foreign languages, musical theatre, swimming, dance, yoga, chess, and cultural events!
Twin Parks Montessori
Central Park Montessori – 1 West 91st street
Park West Montessori School – 435 Central Park West
Riverside Montessori School – 202 Riverside Drive
Twin Parks Montessori School serves families with children from 3 months to 5 years old. We are an authentic Montessori school, with three campuses on the Upper West Side. We are an accredited school, across the street from Central Park or Riverside Park. We offer summer and late-day programs.
Forest Hills Montessori School
67-04 Austin St, Forest Hills, NY 11375
Located in the heart of Forest Hills accessible to public transportation, the school has been in existence for over 45 years and services children ages 3-12. 3–5-year-olds are taught in the traditional Montessori philosophy and methodology. The elementary students (6-12 years) also follow the Montessori philosophy along with the New York State education curriculum. All classes are small (12-15 with 2 teachers in each class). The students work at their own pace and level. Extra-curricular subjects are also included.
340 Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle, NY 10804
Hudson Country Montessori School inspires and promotes innate curiosity and a love of learning through our progressive Montessori pedagogy. Striving to help children grow into respectful, socially-adept and compassionate leaders. The curriculum is designed to empower students to become independent, creative thinkers and confident achievers. Private, co-educational school, toddlers (18 months) through 8th grade. Schedule a private tour today!
1415 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham, New York
Upholding a “tradition of excellence” since 1992, this school firmly holds to the principles of child development devised by Dr. Maria Montessori. Children ages 3 to 5 work with Montessori materials and exercises in a prepared environment progressing at their own rate, developing confidence, independence all while gaining a love of learning which is the hallmark of Montessori. Their small class sizes make it easy to find out how to best cater to a child’s unique learning needs. Prepare your child for a lifetime of learning. Call or email to schedule your personal appointment.