Finding the most suitable Montessori school for your children is a very important step to ensuring high-quality early childhood education.
But another thing that confuses most parents and guardians is the best age to enroll a child in a Montessori.
Enrolling your children in Montessori education at the right time can significantly affect their learning and cognitive development.
So what age does Montessori start? Montessori education offers several options for a wide range of age levels from daycare to secondary classes. Around 2 ½ to 4 years of age is best to enroll your children in Montessori schools. Some parents or guardians opt to start the education as early as the infancy stage, between 8 weeks to 18 months old.
Read on to learn more about Montessori environment, the right age to enroll, and the most appropriate Montessori age group for your child.
The Montessori Method Multi-Age Classrooms
Although a majority of the Montessori academies are focused on preschool and early childhood education, it also offers curriculum for primary and secondary education.
The Montessori method is mainly focused on an individualized and child-centered approach to learning.
It specializes in creating an environment for children to gain independence and widen learning opportunities in terms of practical skills in the early years of a child’s life.
As you read along, you may discover that each age range lasts a full three years beginning with children three years of age.
This is designed so that children can experience a full 3-year cycle during which they can explore, experiment, and become experts.
Montessori does this by using mixed-age classrooms.
Children within the age ranges are grouped together to foster the growth of strong social and cooperative abilities.
The older students learn to be role models for the younger students and younger students can learn from older students as well.
Enrolling in a Montessori institution will help your children learn to work at their own pace and establish not just their foundation in sensory learning but also in the cognitive and practical aspects.
What is the age grouping in Montessori schools?
- Infant (8 weeks to 18 months)
In some institutions, options are available for infants to begin Montessori learning.
Starting your child’s Montessori education early may cause several people to argue its use and benefits, but this is actually the time when you can help your child assimilate information in their environment.
This is the time when babies can be raised and taught at the same time about how the world around them operates.
Some aspects of Montessori learning plans for infants include trust building, personality development, learning about care, daily routines, and the first few stages of language learning.
As the child starts learning, the foundation of excellent learning opportunities can also begin.
- Toddler (18 months to 3 years old)
Another age level offered by Montessori education is the toddler program.
During this stage, the curriculum is designed to help the kid transition from home to school.
It also seeks to foster the physical dependence of Montessori toddlers on their parents or primary guardians.
The activities of a child in a Montessori school often focus on objective exercises such as self-care, coordination, and respect for others as well as social and physical coordination.
Further, most of the students during this time tend to be very active when it comes to playing.
Luckily, Montessori classrooms allow toddlers to explore the environment and create a connection with nature, which is very important in instilling the idea that they can explore the things they want to.
- Children (3yr to 6 years old)
The ability to make connections with peers and classmates of different ages at this point allows the children to be influenced by younger or older children.
This creates a learning environment that is heavily anchored to the principle of empathy and being of help to others.
Placing your kid in Montessori at this age may benefit their development of math and language skills, as well as their enjoyment of “freedom within limits.”
They also develop the ability to work independently and in small groups.
Children learn to respect others, practice hygiene, and clean up after themselves as they develop socially.
At this age, school is more than just a daycare facility; it is an educational institution that can result in some of the best learning outcomes.
- Montessori Elementary Level (6 years to 12 years old)
At this point, a child is in a prepared environment at school for reading, math, science, geography, art, and sensory learning as well as practical experience.
Children participate in projects, research, and discussions, and are aiming to develop their independence of thought, which sets it apart from desk-based learning.
In these stages, the teacher informs the students about the material before assisting them as they explore it further.
- Middle School (12-15 years)
In-depth study of physical sciences like chemistry and physics is a major component of the Middle School curriculum.
These topics are taught to students through practical laboratory exercises, research, and supervised exploration.
They draw inspiration from the historical growth of these scientific disciplines throughout their study, with particular attention on how the physical sciences relate to contemporary human endeavors.
Aside from this, Middle Schools in Montessori setups delve into the study of language arts, literature, mathematics, history, and geography.
At this stage, they are also exposed to doing community work and child-directed goal-setting and assessment.
- High School (15-18 years)
The foundation of Montessori secondary programs is experiential, hands-on learning.
Students are given the chance to launch a business or work as an apprentice for a pro in a sector they find fascinating.
Additionally, the Montessori secondary curriculum offers difficult advanced courses in science, math, language arts, and social studies.
Along with taking specialized classes in subjects like global languages, the visual and performing arts, health and fitness, and field studies like apprenticeships, students also participate in service learning.
Moreover, service is taught as a way to take care of the school community and the world outside the school because Montessori recognizes the need for teenagers to serve others.
Students also get to learn so much about the world as well as the importance of effort through service.
What Age Does Montessori End?
Normally, preschools last until ages 4 or 5, although upper Montessori programs last until ages 12-18.
The Montessori method encourages students to have completed high school.
However, if a parent decides to stop the Montessori program before the secondary level, they should be aware of the changes their kid can experience when transitioning to a new learning environment.
If a child transfers to another school where there is less educational freedom and more of a desk emphasis, the instruction provided through the Montessori way may seem excessively lax.
If you are still wondering what age to start Montessori, the simple answer is as early as possible, although 2.5 to 6 years old is the most popular age span for starting Montessori. The Montessori principle of education is ageless as it seeks to welcome children of all ages.
You must remember, nevertheless, that young children’s minds are incredibly perceptive.
Children can develop astonishingly quickly when placed in a setting that leads them and supports their interests and passions.
Because of this, Montessori schools prioritize younger children, beginning with toddlers.
Even newborns who are 8 weeks old and their moms can already enroll in some Montessori schools.
When to start Montessori at home? Montessori learning can be learned at home or in the classroom. Don’t wait till your kids are older to start implementing Montessori concepts in your home. In fact, a Montessori atmosphere at home benefits even young children. As simple as showing them how to do a task around the house and assisting them in practicing it is a good start.
Can Montessori accommodate gifted children? For gifted children, Montessori is the best learning environment. According to research, the most productive setting is one that caters to each child’s intellectual and emotional needs.
Do Montessori students take standardized tests? Unlike traditional schools, standardized testing is only required for students in grades 6 and 8. The Gates-MacGinitie test, which measures reading proficiency, is given in grades 1 and 2.