23 May Montessori Kindergarten Fosters Critical Thinking Skills
Choosing a kindergarten for your little one is an important decision. It is his first step in formal education and sets the stage for his school career. While some public schools provide an excellent kindergarten program, you may find a Montessori kindergarten, like the one at Sugar Mill, a better alternative for your child. Following the Montessori principles of multi-age groupings, uninterrupted blocks of learning time, and guided choice for learning activities foster the critical thinking skills vital to success in school.
Whether your child has already attended the early childhood program at Sugar Mill or is joining for the first time as a kindergarten student, he will be grouped with other children from ages 3 to 6. As a kindergartener, he will be in a position to help younger students and become a role model and leader in the group. This fosters critical thinking skills as he works to help others solve problems and makes choices about which activities he will participate in.
Uninterrupted Learning Time
When children are free to pursue their own interests in learning, they learn faster and retain more information than when the teacher directs the learning activities. Uninterrupted learning time means your little one can pursue his interests in depth and explore similar concepts. This fosters critical thinking skills as he experiments with the concepts he has learned and moves forward to a deeper level of understanding.
You may worry that your little one won’t learn the important skills necessary for school success if he is allowed to choose his learning activities on his own. That’s where guided choice comes in. Trained and certified Montessori teachers monitor your child’s progress carefully and guide him in learning activities to strengthen his understanding of key concepts. While one child may explore math concepts by sorting and sequencing cute teddy bear manipulatives, another may use tiny dinosaurs to take advantage of his interest in dinosaurs. Other activities may include reading and writing about dinosaurs and exploring the world they lived in.
Montessori trained and certified teachers ask open-ended questions that require your child to think, such as “What would happen if all dinosaurs could fly?” or “Why couldn’t dinosaurs make nests in trees?” instead of traditional questions that require repeating the information learned. They also encourage children to predict an ending to a story, discuss other choices a storybook character could have made, and to imagine how the characters feel. These all develop critical thinking skills.