It’s that time of year again when families are thinking about enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year, and our own thoughts turn to the parents of next year’s kindergartners. Through this article, we encourage parents to consider keeping their child enrolled for the full cycle, including the crucial kindergarten year, to ensure that their child develops not only a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, but also important social and emotional skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

The Montessori 3-Year Cycle

Montessori education is a unique approach to learning that focuses on a child’s natural curiosity and desire to explore their environment. At Pearlily, we offer programs for children ages 3-6 years, which follows a 3-year cycle. We believe that completing the cycle is crucial for children to get the full benefit of a Montessori preschool education.

The Montessori curriculum is designed to “spiral” through a child’s learning experience. This means that concepts and skills are introduced and revisited in increasing levels of complexity and depth over time. The spiral approach allows children to build upon prior knowledge and skills, and develop a deeper understanding of concepts as they progress through their education.

For example, in the Montessori approach to math education, children are first introduced to concrete materials, such as counting beads or rods, to help them understand the concept of numbers and quantity. They then move on to more abstract materials, such as the golden bead material, which help them understand place value and addition and subtraction operations. As they progress through the Montessori curriculum, they continue to revisit and build upon these foundational concepts, applying them to more complex math operations and problem-solving activities.

Similarly, in language education, the Montessori approach uses a progression of materials that builds upon a child’s phonetic knowledge, reading, and writing skills. Children first learn letter sounds and then move on to blending and decoding words. As they progress, they learn grammar rules and sentence structure, building their writing and communication skills.

The Montessori curriculum also spirals through other areas of education, including practical life skills, cultural studies, and the arts. For example, in practical life, children first learn simple skills, such as pouring and sorting, and then progress to more complex skills, such as cooking and sewing. In cultural studies, they learn about geography, history, and science, building upon prior knowledge and exploring topics in increasing depth.

The spiral approach in Montessori education ensures that children develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, and also enables them to apply their knowledge to new and more complex concepts. The repetition and reinforcement of concepts over time allow children to internalize the knowledge and skills, and to develop a deeper understanding and mastery of the subject matter. The spiral approach is a key element of the Montessori approach to education and contributes to its effectiveness in fostering a love of learning and developing independent, self-motivated learners.

The Kindergarten Year

It’s important for parents to understand that children do not get the full benefit of a Montessori preschool education when they leave before the cycle is over. The third year, which is commonly known as the kindergarten year, is an especially crucial year. During this year, children solidify their understanding of key concepts and skills, and they also develop important social and emotional skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

The kindergarten year offers many benefits to children who complete the full 3-year cycle. Here are some of the ways in which the kindergarten year in a Montessori preschool can benefit children:

Leadership and Role Modeling: Children who have completed the first two years of the Montessori cycle and have returned for their kindergarten year are often the older children in the mixed-age classroom. This gives them the opportunity to practice leadership skills and to serve as role models for the younger children in the classroom. By assuming leadership roles and helping younger children, older children develop a strong sense of responsibility and self-confidence, which can be beneficial throughout their academic and personal lives.

Mastery of Concepts: By the time children reach their kindergarten year, they have built a strong foundation of knowledge and skills through the Montessori curriculum. During this year, they get to apply what they have learned in the previous years to more complex concepts and projects. This allows them to achieve a deeper level of understanding and mastery of concepts, which can be beneficial as they move on to more challenging academic pursuits in the future.

Social and Emotional Development: Montessori education places a strong emphasis on social and emotional development, and the kindergarten year is no exception. During this year, children continue to develop their social skills, such as learning to work cooperatively with others, sharing, and taking turns. They also continue to develop their emotional intelligence, learning to identify and express their emotions in a healthy way.

Preparation for Elementary School: Finally, completing the Montessori cycle, including the kindergarten year, can prepare children well for the transition to elementary school. By the time they leave the Pearlily Montessori, they would have developed a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, as well as important social and emotional skills. They’re well-prepared to succeed academically and socially in the next phase of their education.

Making the Decision

At Pearlily Montessori, we encourage parents to consider keeping their child enrolled for the full 3-year cycle. We understand that some parents may be tempted to transition their child to public school because it’s free, but we believe that the benefits of completing the cycle are worth the investment.

Kindergarten in Montessori is both enriching and empowering for children. During this year, children get to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in previous years to real-life situations. They have opportunities to practice leadership skills, master concepts, develop social and emotional skills, and prepare for the transition to elementary school. We strongly encourage parents to consider keeping their child enrolled for the full cycle to ensure that their child develops a strong foundation for success in the future as they build independence and self-confidence, which will serve them well as they progress through their academic journey.

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Prepare your child for life.

Is your child a dreamer? A builder? A thinker? A storyteller? An explorer?

At Pearlily Montessori, we educate children 3-6 years old and support them in becoming independent, responsible students who love to learn. Learn more about:

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Our Early Childhood Program

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