Your two and a half or three-year-old is almost out of diapers, is curious about everything, and seems ready to explore the world. But is he or she ready to start preschool?
“When I meet with parents of preschool aged children, they often ask me how they know if their child is ready for preschool,” said Jennifer Kendall, Assistant Head of School for Early School Education at The Grosse Pointe Academy. “Signs that your child is ready include an interest in being independent, a desire to play with other children, and the ability to follow directions.”
One of the benefits of a Montessori environment for a toddler or preschooler, according to Kendall, is the individualized nature of the program within a full classroom setting.
“The teachers introduce the materials to the children and then the children have the ability to choose work that is of interest to them,” said Kendall. “We call this self-directed work, and it is ideal for children who are new to a school setting. It provides just the right comfort level for children to explore and take risks under the guidance of their teacher.”
The classrooms have a Practical Life area, where children develop fine motor skills through a care for their environment, a Sensorial area, where children learn color, size, texture, and weight through their work, and the Academic areas of language arts, math, science, and geography.
An environment that builds independence and perseverance, while fostering creativity and critical thinking skills, has other benefits as well. Said Lars Kuelling, the Academy’s Head of School: “Montessori has produced some of the greatest entrepreneurs since Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, with the founders of Google, Amazon, and Wikipedia all having attended Montessori schools.”
Other attributes of a Montessori preschool include small class sizes, highly experienced teachers with Montessori certification, a program that supports key mechanics necessary for reading, writing and math, and weekly meetings with specialists in art, French, physical education, creative movement and library.
At The Grosse Pointe Academy, a child’s curiosity and desire to explore are met in a safe, nurturing environment. For more information or to arrange a tour, contact Katherine Thompson at 313.886.1221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.