Can Montessori Curriculum Be Taught Online?
The World of Online Montessori Preschool
When it comes to the world of preschool, there have never been more options available to parents than there are now! Your little one’s early childhood educators have been hard at work over the past few years, doing their best to develop online and at-home options after the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, there are so many new forms of early childhood education, many of which are just as viable as in-person learning options for your preschooler! There is even a version of online preschool that fits in with the goals and techniques made popular by the Montessori method of preschool.
What is the Montessori method? Montessori learning was developed to help little ones nurture their intrinsic sense of curiosity and desire to learn by helping them to develop cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically. Hallmarks of Montessori programs are lots of sensory learning, and an encouragement of inquiry. Typically, preschools that follow the Montessori method have lots of instruments, toys, and hands-on materials, all of which are there to help your little one explore their natural creativity and instill an early love of learning. Equally as important as school materials are the school’s educators. Most Montessori learning programs have well-trained teachers who are there to support your little one as they discover, and to gently encourage them to take control of their education. Learning can be individualized to each little one, and Montessori programs allow little ones to grow up to become self-driven individuals who are excited about the potential that learning holds.
So what are the drawbacks, if any? One of the biggest challenges that families run into when seeking out Montessori schools for their child is actually just a lack of availability. Montessori preschools are highly specialized, and depending on the area where you live, it can be difficult to find a Montessori preschool with availability. Additionally, because of the specialized nature of the program, they do tend to be a bit more expensive. The materials needed to run a successful in-person Montessori school means that Montessori programs can be out of some families’ price range. Some programs offer an affordable rate, but it unfortunately isn’t very common.
Because of the combined challenges of the pandemic coupled with some of the difficulties stated above, there has been a push to make Montessori preschools more accessible. With online Montessori preschool, families can access the same tools that are offered in-person, at a fraction of the price! You may still have questions about online preschool, as it is a relatively new form of early learning. There are no doubts that Montessori learning is beneficial to the development of young children, but how does it work at-home? How can parents be supported in choosing an online Montessori preschool versus an in-person one? Making the choice about which e-learning program will work for your little one can be tough! Each online preschool comes with its own set of pros and cons, so it ultimately comes down to what is best for your family and your child’s needs.
We’ve delved a bit into in-person Montessori learning—so what makes online Montessori preschool stand out as an option for homeschool preschool parents? For starters, let’s take a look at why it might be a good choice for you! Online Montessori preschools are favorable for parents who want to be extremely involved in their little one’s early learning experience. If you consider yourself to be a very hands-on parent, online Montessori preschool might be a fantastic option for you. You’ll get a major say in how your child goes about their daily learning, and you’ll get to spend lots of time together. With online Montessori preschool, you can help your little one focus on their strengths and address their weaknesses in a supportive environment. Online Montessori preschool also comes with a lot of say in when you begin your child’s education. Experts recommend that little ones begin their Montessori learning anywhere from ages two and a half to six years old. By choosing an online preschool option, you get to plan out your child’s educational journey yourself, without the restrictions of state guidelines and age requirements for early learning.
Online Montessori preschool developers have been doing their best over the past few years to work past setbacks, and to make online learning something that can work for even the busiest of parents. Teachers are helping to determine which parts of Montessori learning are crucial to the goals of the program, and which parts can be adapted for an online platform (with independence still being a priority). New online Montessori preschool programs have made it so that the massive amount of materials previously needed to create a Montessori environment at home are not required. Because independence is prioritized, the actual online portion of Montessori homeschool programs is limited in favor of allowing little ones to learn on their own, using videos of real teachers as a helpful guide to learning rather than animations and games utilized by other homeschool preschool and online preschool programs. This of course depends on the school, but the best online preschool programs have well under an hour of online learning modules or lessons per day, with the majority of the curriculum being delivered via hands-on worksheets and activities.
No educational path is 100% perfect, and there are potential drawbacks to choosing an online Montessori preschool. To begin with, the costs can stack up faster than one might expect. While it’s true that online preschool programs are usually significantly more cost effective than in-person programs, the materials needed to make the experience complete can cause the price to add up. Items like water pitchers, movable alphabets, and wooden toys are incredibly helpful for building the Montessori experience at home, but can be pricier as well as difficult to find at times. Another potential downside is how time consuming homeschooling can be for parents. A great online Montessori preschool will have teachers available to help, but if your child’s program doesn’t provide you with access to teachers, homeschooling your preschooler can sometimes feel like a full-time job.
Some of the biggest challenges of online Montessori preschools simply can’t be fixed by an online platform. To start, there is no real replacement for the interaction provided at an in-person preschool program. There are a combination of activities and interactions that occur in-person that can’t be replicated by the online environment, no matter how much effort is put in. Additionally, home learning can occasionally present distractions that wouldn’t be found in an in-person learning environment. This is why it’s especially important to help your child by doing school together, rather than just plopping them down in front of a computer with no adult guidance.
Despite the potential cons, there are still so many pros for online Montessori preschool. They are an exceptional choice for parents who want to help their little ones have a positive early education experience at-home. One such place is Playgarden Online! Following nearly identical curriculum as our in-person Montessori learning, our online preschool offers a variety of learning objectives and activities to help your little one grow in a positive way. Our teachers create Daily Lessons and Live Classes in a wide variety of subjects, with learning staples like reading, writing, and math, as well as movement, music, and more. Our team of early childhood educators have worked tirelessly to hop over the hurdles of transferring Montessori curriculum to an online platform, with great success! While our school is based in New York City, the online program makes our curriculum accessible to folks living anywhere in the world, and will make sure your little one stays safe, healthy, and educated.
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Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!
Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!