Choosing Montessori: Why Parents Opt Out of the Public System
As Montessori educators, we often speak with parents assessing or reconsidering the educational path for their child. We share in the priority of your child’s growth and development and understand the many questions parents have about alternatives to the public school system.
If we could share one concept to help illustrate the unique Montessori philosophy to inquiring parents, it would be that Montessori is child-centred. This means that the student is the heart of the learning process and rather than receiving instruction, a Montessori learner will have the freedom to use discovery and exploration to gain insight and understanding. A child-centred approach ensures each child’s needs are treated individually and supported, and students are able to reach their potential more readily.
At Kendalwood, our curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking skills while fostering independence, confidence and self-esteem. Learning how to learn is an essential skill set gained through active questioning, exploration and self-expression. Independence is the hallmark of Montessori education and we help our students to “do it themselves” at every stage of their development.
This time of year we find ourselves meeting with parents looking for options following a discouraging September start, frequently as a result of class size, rigid curriculum that is not meeting their child’s needs or a lack of classroom support. If you feel that Montessori may be a better fit for your child, the following comparison of some of the key differences between Montessori and public school may be helpful as you work through the alternatives.
New families are welcome to tour and observe our classrooms during the instructional day to get a better sense of how Montessori education works and learn more about our school. Drop in or book a tour to see us in action! We are located in Whitby, Ontario in the heart of Durham Region.
|Kendalwood Montessori||Public School|
|Class Composition||Classrooms enjoy 3 year mixed age groups. Students are placed based on level of readiness.||Students are placed based on date of birth.|
|Teacher to Student Ratio||1:15 max for Casa and up. Each classroom has a qualified & experienced Montessori teacher and a dedicated assistant.||Full day kindergarten classrooms are not subject to a hard cap on class size.|
|Curriculum||Individually developed for each student based on their individual progression.||Mandated set curriculum does not provide for variation.|
|Learning Materials||Students learn through a wide variety of resources and experiences both in and outside of the classroom. Peer mentoring and 1×1 learning is frequent and common.||Rooted in lecture style and textbook lessons.|
|Student Assessment||On-going throughout the year. Teachers constantly observe and assess students and share with parents. Open and on-going dialogue.||Set to Government mandated requirements. Primarily test based.|
|French Language||Introduced at the toddler age and provided on a daily basis.||Introduced at grade 4 – once/twice a week|
|Extracurricular||Lunch and afterschool programs are included in cost of tuition, offered to families at NO additional cost||Extracurricular may be inconsistent (based on individual school administration), programs are often canceled year to year|
Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.