Montessori classroom entrance is best between the ages of 3 and 4 depending on when the child can be happy and comfortable in a classroom situation. Beginning exercises are based on activities in Practical Life, which all children enjoy. Materials used at ages 3 and 4 help the child to develop concentration, co-ordination, fine motor skill development, and working habits necessary for the more advanced activities which the child will perform later on. The entire learning program is purposefully structured. Each child is met where he/she is and encouraged to develop to the next level in all areas.
Montessori education is a unique cycle of learning designed to take advantage of the child’s sensitive years, when the child absorbs information from an enriched environment. A child who acquires the basic skills of reading and mathematics in this way, has an advantage of beginning his/her education without drudgery, boredom, or discouragement. Preschool students gain an early enthusiasm for learning when introduced to lessons in the carefully prepared classroom environment that incorporates structure with freedom of choice.
Readiness Checklist for Preschoolers
- Your child is out of diapers completely (day and night), and can manage his/her own trips to the bathroom. Sterling Montessori School does not accommodate diapers and/or pull-ups. We are not a certified diaper changing facility, thus our staff can only offer minimal assistance to your child if he/she has an accident. If accidents persist, you will be called to attend to your child. Ultimately, a request for withdrawal may be necessary.
- Your child can properly feed him/herself with utensils and will remain seated in a chair (unrestrained) to eat.
- Your child can play with or near other children, or alone, for at least 15 minutes without requiring constant adult intervention.
- Your child will follow directions given by other adults.
- Your child can tolerate small levels of frustration without exploding into a temper tantrum.
- Your child will separate from you.
- Your child is reasonably healthy. Exposure to a group of children every day will almost certainly mean your child will get more colds and other respiratory ailments. It will happen in preschool, or, if you wait, in kindergarten. If your child is very susceptible to respiratory problems, discuss the issue with your pediatrician.
- Your child has the stamina to spend several hours a day interacting with small and large groups of children. Some children find early socializing exhausting.
- Your child can pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks.
- Your child has begun to share with others.
- Your child can follow rules.
- Your child can talk in complete sentences of at least 5–6 words.