One of the most frequent questions we get from prospective parents for our Toddler Community and our Children’s House is whether we have a part-time program. This usually comes from parents that don’t have a need for full-time classes. Many parents often wonder “Is it best if I enroll my child part-time? They are still so young and there is plenty of time for school. I don’t think they really need to go five days a week, it is better to stay home with them a few days during the week and just go every other day?”
At Sprouting Minds Montessori School we have both a full-time program and a part-time program for children in our Children’s House classroom. Our part-time program is from 8:15 – 11:45 Monday through Friday. If you would like a full-time program, your child can stay until 2:45.
We do not have an option for children to attend for only two or three days a week. The next question is usually about why this is, so I’ll explain the rationale from Dr. Montessori.
In our experience the students need the consistency of attending school every day to benefit optimally. The primary goal of Montessori involves a culture of consistency, order and independence. Part-week students do not get the full benefit from the environent as they never truly feel settled in a consistent routine.
When children are working on a task, they are very excited to come back the next day to work on it some more. When there are gaps between the days they come to school, it is more difficult to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and excitement about their work. The change in routine from day to day is quite difficult for children at this age. They adapt more quickly when they have the same routine, five days in a row. Young students thrive when their daily lives are full of consistent routines and can predict what is going to happen next.
Part-week students have a harder time transitioning to school, and often need to re-adjust after three of four days away. Part-week students usually spend their first day in class for the week relearning routine and procedures. It can be a tough transition every week.
There can also be a social distance between part-week student and full time students. There is usually a very close classroom community at Sprouting Minds Montessori School. When students are missing for part or half of the week they lack the strong bonds the full-week students have with each other. The full-week students have experiences together that the part-week students were not a part of. Imagine when you miss a day of work and a coworker talks about something that happened while you were gone.
Full-week students go through an initial adjustment period and transition into their school routine every morning with no separation anxiety quickly in the school year. They come into class confident, and are motivated to chose their work on their own and be prepared to work throughout the day independently. The full-week students quickly feel at home at school because they know the routine, and quickly become a part of the classroom community. On the other hand students who attend part of the week can often feel a tough transition with the lack of routine and consistency.
The full week schedule enables students to feel safe and relaxed in the classroom and aids them in forming strong bonds with their teachers and friends. We realize it may be challenging for you as a parent to let your child attend school every day. We encourage you to support your child in this new phase of life and give them the consistency and community they need to flourish.
If you have any questions, please contact our Head of School, Sammie Trent, by email or call us at 716-805-7658.