The Montessori method of education is based on self-direction and discovery. Students are given the opportunity to choose their own activities from within a prescribed range of options. Many children flourish in this kind of environment, while others find it overwhelming.
The biggest disadvantage to Montessori education is that without an adult to guide them, students may lack the self-motivation required to learn.
But, should you put your child in a Montessori school? Is it worth the investment?
Well, in this article, I will answer your question and also help you decide whether putting your child in Montessori is a good idea or not.
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An Overview of Montessori?
Developed by Maria Montessori, Montessori education is a child-centered educational approach that celebrates and nurtures each child’s intrinsic desire to learn. It is based on the observation of the child (and not on the subject matter to be covered).
Montessori observed two features of children: First, she found that children are naturally interested in their environment, and want to learn about it. Second, she found that children are active learners: they want to do things rather than just hear about them.
This learning model encourages a child’s natural curiosity and creativity. Children explore their work through all five senses rather than relying solely on listening or watching.
Teachers act as facilitators or guides, rather than as lecturers or instructors. Every child learns at his or her own pace in a manner that is appropriate to his or her interests and abilities.
The approach also emphasizes learning materials that are designed specifically to foster creativity, socialization, and independence in children.
With guidance from trained teachers, children and young adults explore complex subject matter at their own pace, making it a popular system for gifted learners.
Montessori schools may be private, public, or charter schools, or maybe incorporated into another school such as a preschool wing of an elementary school.
Programs may be full-day, half-day, or school/home-sharing programs for infants and toddlers (birth – age 3).
6 Reasons Why Montessori Is Bad
1. Inconsistent implementation
One problem with Montessori is the inconsistency of its implementation. Although the learning method has been around for over a century, most schools that call themselves “Montessori” are not very good.
This is a common problem with educational fads, and there are many reasons for it. But perhaps the biggest is that when something has worked for a few people, it’s tempting to assume it is universal.
If you meet one child who seems to learn better from Montessori methods than from others, it is easy to imagine that all children do.
At first glance, the method has many desirable qualities: It’s a child-centered curriculum that emphasizes creativity, self-esteem, progressivism, and project-based learning. But inconsistent implementation is a challenge: The methods are largely dependent on parents and teachers who implement them faithfully.
And since there are no specific standards to follow for implementation, a high-quality public or private elementary school (with highly trained teachers) is vastly superior to Montessori.
2. It promotes independence instead of collaboration
It is a method of educating young children that emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological progress and the development of peaceful coexistence.
All good things. But not only are these values unoriginal, but they are also dangerous.
The problem with Montessori is that it encourages independence over collaboration. Children in such schools don’t work together much, and when they do it tends to be on narrow tasks. They have individual projects and individualized learning plans.
This sends the wrong message to kids. It teaches them to be independent instead of interdependent.
The world needs people who can work together to achieve common goals, so why send kids a signal suggesting the ultimate goal is to be independent of others?
If you ask a Montessori teacher what the school is trying to teach kids, she’ll probably say “independence”.
In fact, the first thing that happens when a kid makes it into a Montessori classroom is that he/she quickly becomes independent enough not to need the teacher anymore.
3. It can be quite expensive
Another major disadvantage of the Montessori method is that it can be quite expensive. It is not a cheap educational system.
Most schools are privately run and unregulated. So, there is no price ceiling on the amount they can charge for your child to attend.
Though there are also a few public schools that follow the Montessori approach, there is a waiting list to get into these schools.
Another thing is that if you are a parent who wants to be part of your child’s learning journey, you may feel like you don’t know enough about the Montessori method to help your child with his/her other lessons.
You can find teachers who will tutor your child, but this adds to the cost of your child’s education.
So what’s the catch? The catch is that Montessori preschools are usually quite expensive. A full day of Montessori care will cost around $1,000 per month (and often more). That’s more than most families pay for college tuition.
Why does Montessori cost so much? There are a few reasons:
- Montessori schools have low student-to-teacher ratios. This means that it costs more per student to pay for the staff members operating the school.
- Montessori equipment is expensive. High-quality, durable materials for all ages must be purchased and maintained.
- Montessori schools do not receive government funding to offset expenses (and usually don’t want it).
You cannot run a Montessori school on the same scale as other schools. And If a school wants to keep its costs down and still offer quality education, it has to increase class sizes and cut corners elsewhere—in teacher pay or building upkeep or materials.
4. It is not easily accessible to everyone
Montessori schools are also often difficult to find. There are far fewer Montessori schools than there are traditional public schools, and you can’t find them in every town or city.
As a result, parents who want their children to attend such schools may have to move into a community that has one.
For example, a parent who lives in a rural area in the United States and there are no local Montessori schools will have to drive over an hour to get their child to the nearest school.
Many people live in areas where no Montessori school exists, or where the parents don’t have access to a car.
5. It is a learning model with a loose structure
The Montessori Model is a learning model with a loose structure. The students are in charge of their own education and the teachers are there to guide them through it.
There is no competition within the classroom and because of this many students tend to slack off and not work hard.
The learning model is great for children who have the self-motivation to learn and have an interest in learning. But it isn’t so great for most children who don’t care about their work.
No one learns how to teach, how to learn, or how to be a student in Montessori. It is a model of learning that is very loose and allows individualism (the kids can do what they want).
This is contrary to the model of learning that most colleges and universities use. There are also many different types of Montessori schools.
For example, some don’t have tests in their curriculum, so you may not know if your child is learning something, or if your child is even going to school.
Since there are no tests, it would be very hard for the college you go to when you are older to tell if you learned anything. This can cause problems with your child advancing in his/her education. This is not to say Montessori doesn’t work, but that it lacks structure.
6. It requires a student to learn self-motivation to be successful
Montessori education is not for everyone. It requires a student to learn self-motivation and self-discipline. This can be difficult for some students, especially those who have been in traditional classrooms where the teacher is the primary source of motivation and discipline.
Students don’t have direct instruction and motivation on what to do, unlike traditional education where instructors guide them all throughout the lesson. If a child lacks self-motivation, then they might not be able to catch up with other students.
Some students need guidance and directions from a teacher when doing certain activities. If teachers are not around, or if they cannot provide the necessary guidance, then the students will definitely fail in doing those tasks correctly.
Also, students at a very young age need to be guided and motivated by an adult on how things should be done the right way so they can develop their skills early on.
Is There a Good Side to Montessori Learning Model?
Montessori is best known for the self-directed activity or work period. The self-directed activity allows children to learn at their own pace and choose their own work from activities presented by the teacher.
The materials used in a Montessori classroom are hands-on and often self-correcting or are designed to teach through all of the senses, with an emphasis on tactile learning.
The teacher typically serves as a guide, moving around the room and observing each child’s progress. The teacher’s role is to provide individualized lessons based on each child’s needs, developmental level, and interests.
The Montessori learning model approach also encourages children to develop social skills by working together in small groups instead of in large groups or as a whole class.
Are Montessori schools free?
Montessori schools are one of the schools with high tuition fees. In fact, the majority refer to it at school of people with high income. A Montessori preschool can cost around $1,000 per month or even often more.
Does Montessori do homework?
In most Montessori schools, there’s nothing like homework in their curriculum. It’s a learning model that promotes the idea of leaving students alone to do whatever activities they choose to do.
Therefore, homework in the Montessori understanding is work done at home by the child as an extension of his or her educational journey.
Can you implement Montessori in a Public School?
Any public school can implement the Montessori learning model. However, you must have all the necessary materials specifically designed to help your student learn in Montessori’s way. And these materials can be quite expensive most of the time.
Conclusion: Should You Put Your Child in Montessori School?
While not necessarily a disadvantage, it’s important to note that a Montessori education may not work for every child or family. Because it is so different from traditional education, it may not be the best fit for some children or families.
However, for those who the learning model is suitable for it, the results can be outstanding. Montessori works best when students are self-motivated and able to learn independently.
Students who are used to being guided by teachers every step of the way may find it difficult to adjust.
Likewise, students who have not yet learned to read will not be as successful in a Montessori classroom since individual instruction is not provided.
Finally, if a student has difficulty adapting to a Montessori environment they may also find it difficult to adjust back to a traditional school setting as well.
So, the best you can do is to be sure it will work for your child before committing to the expensive cost of a Montessori school.
Articles I would recommend that you read to help you make the right choice for your child are the guide to Homeschooling for parents and children, why parental involvement is important in a child’s education, and homeschooling vs traditional schooling.
I hope you found this article helpful.
Thanks for reading.