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This article was contributed by Teresa Muehlemann, a parent from Villa di Maria, one of our sister Montessori schools.  Teresa welcomes your questions by email at tmuehlemann@sbcglobal.net  

Here are my thoughts on Montessori Education – staying for kindergarten. I am speaking from my perspective as a Catholic parent of two children, daughter and son.

We never considered moving either of our children from the Montessori environment for kindergarten. We had come to understand they would benefit most from staying. It’s the time when they are the oldest in the class. They benefit from being a leader in the classroom rather than moving to the bottom of the ladder in a new school. They would miss a year to develop new skills and serve as role model, teacher to younger classmates and working more in a group with peers. It was an invaluable time for both of our children. Our daughter, became more caring, something she has always been but realized she could actually help others with their lessons. For our son, it was his first opportunity to really shine and develop as a leader. He was no longer under the wing of his older sister and he matured by accepting responsibility to help others, work more with others and provide guidance to his peers and the younger children in his classroom.

I do not think my children have missed out by staying in their Montessori school. For me, Catholicism begins at home. It is a part of our daily life and it has not changed. Montessori places emphasis on respect for others – in all aspects of life as well as our environment. I was educated in Catholic schools from 1st grade through high school. In comparison, I feel our children have a greater knowledge of the world and reality being in a Montessori vs. a Catholic school. I believe the combination of what our children learn at home, in school and in their PSR program gives them a solid base for their faith. The three are intertwined and reinforce one another rather than being 3 separate directions in life.

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