One of the big obstacles to non-traditional public schools is the fear that these types of schools will not adequately prepare the student for life after graduation. As public schools (and, by extension, those making the call for who will or will not be accepted at colleges), this fear is one that we understand very well. Education is an important part of your child’s growth and development, but it’s also a stepping stone on a path to further success. If that education helps them develop but does not help them progress down the path they want to travel in life, it isn’t doing the job you’re relying on it to do.
Lake Montessori carries on the Montessori tradition by providing high-quality education that teaches students not only how to make the most of their experiences in school now, but in the years to come. Our programs do so in a couple of very specific ways.
Encourages Academic Curiosity
The biggest difference in a Montessori program versus a more traditional public school is an emphasis on allowing students to find their passions and then pursue them. In many ways, this is a boon for students when moving off into college, as it encourages students to reflect on what drives them to learn and what their interests are. College is the first time in many students’ lives where so many options and different paths are laid out in front of them, and those choices can be as overwhelming as they are exciting. Giving students more autonomy throughout their involvement in Montessori programs teaches them how to take these freedoms in stride.
Encourages Efficient Time Management
Another crucial piece of knowledge most Montessori students are instilled with early is how best to use their time; since Montessori students are not micromanaged the way they may be in other school systems, they’re forced to develop an effective sense of how to manage time in order to complete tasks and take an active part in their education. With instructors that are more guides than authoritative front-of-the-classroom teachers, students are allowed to explore the aspects of our curriculum that fascinate them while being held to a timetable that they must adapt to. In addition to the online courses or dual-enrollment courses that they may be taking (supplied through FLVS’s AdvancED program and Lake-Sumter State College, respectively), schedules can get busy, and it requires conscious planning and execution to get everything done in a day.
These lessons come into handy during those first college years where many other students are still reeling from both a lack of a mandated schedule and too much work to effectively juggle without a structured plan of action. Montessori students just starting out in college aren’t being thrown into the deep end of the pool so much as progressing to the next natural step of their education, both in the material they’ll be responsible for learning, and in how they have to direct their own learning as efficiently as possible. For students who have never had to take on this responsibility, going from a structured class schedule toa more free-form learning environment (not even counting the distractions and new experiences that may pull them away from homework or studying) can be a staggering amount of freedom that not everyone can handle. For Montessori alumni, the step is a smaller one and much more manageable.
Montessori Schools Don’t Just Focus on Education
An important part of every Montessori education is being able to navigate social situations as well as educational ones. What this means for your child is that the ability to navigate conflict, work together with others towards common goals, and conduct themselves in a responsible manner with others is instilled as well. This sort of prosocial focus throughout the course of their education means that your child will, once they head off to college, be ready and equipped to handle the challenges that face them socially as well as educationally. From learning to navigate new roommate situations in the dorms to making friends and working with partners in class, the empathy and social awareness schools adhering to the Montessori Method attempt to instill do more than help with their educational futures.
“But What About My Child’s Test Scores?”
An unfortunate reality is that our educational system can be as wonderful as possible, but if it doesn’t equip students with the ability to do well on their standardized tests, it’s not going to be of help to them as they move forward with their lives. Thankfully, there’s nothing to worry about here. While standardized tests are not a good judgement of a student’s overall capabilities, they are having increasing importance put on them to test measurement of the general knowledge students are expected to have, and Montessori-taught students have not been found to be deficient in this area; in other words, our students generally perform at least as well on average as students at other schools in the area, and often perform better! Considering the variety of programs available to us, it’s no surprise that our students are more well-rounded and learned than those who are only able to access one type of public school educational system that they may or may not efficiently and effectively learn from.
Still Have Questions?
It can be difficult to get over a mistrust of non-traditional schooling systems, which is why Lake Montessori is as transparent as we physically can be with potential new students and their families. If you’re curious about the Montessori difference, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about our program or to see our school for yourself!