Online vs. In-Person Learning Montessori
As a parent, you are constantly making decisions with your child’s best interest in mind. What should their bedtime routine look like? How much screen time should they have? And now, do you send your child to Montessori school or opt to keep them home for online learning? This decision looks different from one family to the next. Some find that online learning suits their family’s particular needs, while others feel that balancing work and school is a challenge. Whether online or in-person learning makes sense for your family, the influence of the Montessori Method ensures that your child’s development continues.
Your family has flexibility with online learning. The many recorded lessons enable students to participate anytime of the day. When your child is older, they will be more independent and only need parental support to encourage focus and follow through on lessons. Younger children require more assistance. For Primary age (3-6 years old) Montessori students, this means parents become co-teachers to support their child’s online lessons, as the Montessori teacher guides and observes.
Your child uses technology in a different way. Through the use of live video lessons, children become familiar with the basic components of applications such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. In the Montessori environment, the introduction to technology begins early with practical life activities such as pouring and scooping. These activities develop the concentration that is fundamental in future technological work. As your child reaches the elementary age, this introduction expands through real life experience such as searching online for a post office to deliver a piece of mail, finding a recipe that they can then take to the store to purchase ingredients for, or researching and typing papers.
Online learning lowers the risk of spreading Covid-19. Additionally, online learning lowers illnesses that are more common in schools, such as pink eye, lice or cold and flu. To lower the risk within Montessori schools, extra measures ensure the environment is clean and safe. Groupings of children are smaller, high touch surfaces are sanitized and many states require that children five years and older wear masks while in school.
Your child experiences important peer to peer and student to teacher interactions. These interactions lead to a deeper development of your child’s social and emotional well-being. The relationship your child develops with their Montessori teacher is especially valuable because this teacher spends three continuous years getting to know your child and learning how to best serve their educational and emotional needs. Daily interactions with the other students in the classroom provide an opportunity to develop problem solving and communication skills that are necessary for life beyond school.
Your child enjoys hands on experiences while in school. Hands on learning is a fundamental component in Montessori education, as your child uses physical materials that are designed to be self-correcting. These materials not only build dexterity and coordination, but also encourage the development of independence. An independent child enthusiastically chooses activities that interest them, are academic and challenging.
In-person learning preserves the ability to maintain concentration. Montessori classrooms are carefully prepared with a rich selection of activities that are specific to your child’s interests, age and abilities. Your child chooses activities that captivate their absorbent mind and hold their attention throughout the three hour work period.
Research, Evaluate, and Reevaluate Online vs. In-Person Learning
During this period of uncertainty and continuous change, your best course of action is to research, evaluate and reevaluate your options as time goes on. Offer yourself grace as you attempt to navigate this difficult decision and consult with friends, family, or school staff members when you are needing additional support. More than anything else, remain hopeful that this is a temporary situation, and know that your child and your family will always have the support of their Montessori school. Call the educators at Living Montessori today at (425) 373-5437 to schedule a consultation.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Operating schools during COVID-19: CDC‘s Considerations
- Living Montessori – Private Preschool & Kindergarten (Primary)
- Living Montessori – Montessori Method.