Montessori vs Public School What’s Best For Your Child?


Private elementary schools

Every parent wants the best for their child, but when it comes time to enroll their young child in school, parents are often unsure what the best option is. While traditional public schools are the option most people are familiar with, there are also private and Montessori schools to consider as well. But who wins the debate of private versus public schools?

The Montessori philosophy of education was developed by pediatrician and psychiatrist Dr. Maria Montessori in Italy back in 1897. Dr. Montessori opened her first school, a daycare center, in a low-income neighborhood in Rome. The first Montessori school opened in the United States in 1911, but there are now over 8,000 Montessori private elementary schools around the country.

Montessori schools take a bit of a different approach to education than your standard public schools. Montessori schools offer mixed-age classes, usually 3-to-6-year-olds, and 6-to-12-year-olds. Students work in uninterrupted 3-hour blocks of time, often on projects they have chosen themselves from a prescribed range of options. Another one of the advantages of private schools is that there is more freedom and movement around the classroom than in traditional public school.

A big difference in Montessori private versus public schools is that Montessori schools do not use grades or tests to determine a student’s progress. Public schools, however, use standardized testing and grading as the sole method of gauging a student’s progress. This can obviously not always be an accurate method of determining a student’s success, as there are a lot of factors that can effect a student’s performance on an exam.

A big argument in favor of public elementary education is the financial aspect. Some people argue that their taxes are already going to support public schools, why would they pay additional money to send their child to a different school? While private elementary schools are tuition based, children often qualify for elementary school financial aid, and there are private school grants and scholarships available as well.

Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision, but putting aside the private versus public schools debate, the most important thing is that you make the decision that is right for your child. You are the best judge of your child, and what is best for him or her, so make sure you keep your child’s best interests in mind when making your decision. Learn more.

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