Montessori-Style Teaching Methods to Look for When Choosing a Daycare
Looking for a daycare center that fits all of your child's needs isn't always easy—especially if your child isn't old enough to attend school but needs to be at the center all day. It's a good idea to find a daycare center that incorporates teaching methods that are similar to your child's future school, and if your child will be attending a Montessori school in the future, that may not be simple. Fortunately, there are several things that you can look for in a traditional daycare setting that promote freedom of choice and independence in a similar way that a Montessori school would.
Does the Daycare Give Children Freedom to Make Decisions?
In a traditional daycare setting, the day has to be fairly structured in order to ensure all of the children are cared for properly. However, there are ways that daycare centers can allow children to have some autonomy. So if you want to make sure your child has some freedom of choice throughout the day, ask the facilitator if the children are allowed to do things like the following:
- choose their own side dishes at lunch time
- choose their own snack
- choose at least one activity throughout the day
Keep in mind, Montessori-style teaching promotes freedom of choice within limits. So even though it's not likely that you'll find a daycare center that allows complete freedom in choice—such as allowing children to choose exactly what they want for lunch—your child is still making a choice if the center gives them a few options and allows the child to decide between them.
Does the Center Provide Educational Activities?
Montessori teaching is known for promoting a variety of fun, educational activities for children to encourage them to become involved with their own education. While many Montessori schools do this by providing children with hands-on activities, it might not be easy for a daycare center to incorporate multiple hands-on learning stations for the children to enjoy. However, when you're looking for a daycare center that incorporates Montessori-style teaching methods, you should look for a center that
- encourages children to complete arts and crafts projects, learn a new skill during the day, or read.
- purchases educational, age-appropriate toys for the children.
- purchases a variety of costumes, clothes, and props to encourage pretend play.
Does the Daycare Encourage Independence?
It isn't difficult for a daycare center to encourage children to become more independent. After all, children—even young ones—aren't completely helpless. To determine whether or not your child will learn to become more independent in a daycare setting, look for a daycare that encourages children to do things on their own, such as putting away toys when playtime is over. You can also ask the daycare workers how involved older children are in cleaning the classroom at the end of the day. Asking older children to help wipe down tables or sweep the floors at the end of the day is a great way to teach them to be more independent.
While a traditional daycare setting is bound to be more structured than a Montessori school, it doesn't have to be difficult to find a center that promotes Montessori-teaching methods throughout the day. By asking the right questions, it's easy to determine what type of experience a daycare center provides. Start your search for the right daycare by speaking with a representative from an establishment like Youthland Academy.