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Chesapeake Montessori School: The Best Choice in the 757

A toddler wearing a teal dress with cats plays at a white table. She is doing the kind of child-centered exploratory play taught at Chesapeake Montessori School.

If you are the parent of young children, like me, chances are education is top of your mind these days. As a former teacher (in both public and private settings) I can tell you that I have very high standards when it comes to my children’s education. Although public school teachers are wonderful, sometimes the public education system is just not right for a child. If you have found yourself considering alternative options for your children, Montessori may be worth looking into. And the top choice for Montessori education in the Hampton Roads area? Definitely Chesapeake Montessori School. Join me, as I take a deeper look at what Montessori education is, and how Chesapeake Montessori can serve you.

 

About Montessori Education

Born out of the research of Italian Physician, Dr. Maria Montessori, in the early 20th century, Montessori education has stood the test of time as one of the most beneficial ways to educate children. Founded on the idea that children learn best when choice is involved, Montessori education is a very child-led form of education. When you set foot in a Montessori classroom, certain things will stand out as being, perhaps a bit different from traditional education.

1. Multi-age Classrooms

In Montessori schools, children are placed together in groups with a large variety of ages. Generally, you will find birth to 18 months, 15 months to 3 years, 2.5 to 6 years, and so on in their ranges. Montessori schools believe that combining ages allows children to learn from each other, appreciate their own achievements, and succeed in their own time, without the pressures of same-age classrooms. The variety of ages also allows teachers to stay with children for longer, creating stronger student-teacher bonds.

2. Open Concept Classrooms

At its foundation, Montessori education believes that children learn best by choosing their learning activities. Therefore, in Montessori classrooms, you will find uncluttered environments and activities specifically designed to foster learning. Rather than direct students to specific activities, teachers allow students to explore at their own pace, only guiding them to continue on their learning path.

3. Non-Traditional Schedules

Since the focus at a Montessori school is child-led, you will not find the traditional daily classroom schedule. Instead of doing math at a certain time, followed by reading, followed by science, etc the day is more of a flow. Students are allowed to choose the activities that most interest them, when they interest them. Teachers will guide as necessary, but students lead the way.

Why Montessori School May be the Right Choice for Your Child

There is no doubt that Montessori education is very different from the traditional school setting. If you went to a traditional public or private school yourself, you may be unsure what the benefits of Montessori education will be for your child. This, like everything else, will be highly dependent on the individual child. Here are some of the more well-known benefits of Montessori education:

1. Social Skills

Multiage classrooms and free-exploration allow children to interact with one another in a very organic way. This fosters social development in a way that is almost impossible in the traditional classroom (except perhaps at recess).

2. Independence

The learning in a Montessori school is child-led. This self-directed learning gives children confidence in their decision making skills and allows them to grow their abilities in a way that works for them. In more traditional classrooms, teachers often have scaffold the learning for students who are not quite ready, making students more reliant on them.

3. Lifelong Love of Learning

The exploratory aspect of Montessori education rewards children for their curiosity. Learning is much more fun, and less of a chore. This likely leads to students connecting learning with enjoyment, making them more likely to become lifelong learners.

4. Inclusivity

The child-led side of Montessori education is often beneficial for children with special needs. Multi-age classrooms, and allowing children to learn and grow at their own rate takes the pressure off of students with special needs. They are not expected to be learning at the rate of their same-age peers, but rather at the pace that is best for them. In addition, the multi-age classrooms allow for children to become more familiar with their learning space and teachers, something many children with special needs benefit from.

 

Chesapeake Montessori School

Founded in 1991, Chesapeake Montessori School has been the staple of Montessori education in the Hampton Roads area for more than 30 years. Chesapeake Montessori school serves students ages 6 months all the way up to 12 years old. The school has grown to serve over 200 students and features a building specially designed with Montessori education in mind. Their classrooms are bright and open, and their teachers are trained in Montessori education, making it the epitome of what you would expect from a Montessori school. 

Cons of Montessori Education

Montessori education has been a popular choice for a very long time. As a result, many people are aware of its benefits when it comes to the education of their children. However, every child is different, and it is important to consider if this style of education is right for them. Here are some things to consider carefully.

1. Loose Curriculum

As stated before, Montessori curriculum is much more child-led than traditional school. This means that it could be possible for children to focus too much on some areas over others. (As a personal example, I attended a Montessori preschool and my mom used to get notes from the teachers that I spent the whole day at the bookshelf. Very on-brand for me, but perhaps not the greatest use of my time).

2. Lack of Structure

As stated above, Montessori classrooms do not follow a strict schedule the way traditional classrooms do. While this may be wonderful for student-led learning, there are some children who do better with routine and stability. If your child is like this, you will want to carefully consider if Montessori education is the right fit for them.

3. Access

Although wonderful, there is a distinct lack of access to Montessori schools. Chesapeake Montessori School itself is often full with a very long waitlist. In addition, if you are military and end up falling in love with Montessori education for your children, you may not be able to find a school at another duty station when that inevitable PCS comes.

 

Check out Chesapeake Montessori School for Your Child’s Educational Needs

If you decide Montessori education is right for your child, it is important to get in touch with your choice school right away. The best option for Montessori school in Hampton Roads is Chesapeake Montessori School. You can get in touch with them here to see if they have any openings in your child’s age range. 

 

And, if all this talk of lifelong learning has made you realize how fast your kids are growing up, now is the time to book a family session! Like Montessori schools, I believe in encouraging kids to be themselves during a session. I let the kids lead the day and help families come away from their session feeling happy and satisfied they will get photographs they love.

 

If it sounds like we would be a good fit, reach out to me today! I would love to chat about your vision for your family session.

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