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Is Montessori right for your Black child?

Jan 22, 2023 03:00PM ● By Diamond Jones

Montessori could be a great educational choice for you and your child. It is a teaching approach that focuses on individualized learning and the development of self-discipline and responsibility. It encourages children to think independently, to explore their environment, and to be creative problem-solvers. This type of education is tailored to each child's unique strengths, interests, and needs, allowing them to progress at their own pace. 

Montessori was popular among middle and upper class families in the 90’s and is now making a huge comeback just in time for many parents who are looking for an alternative to traditional schooling. Many parents can tell you that raising a child with a Montessori approach isn’t just about the school you choose, it’s a lifestyle that continues and thrives at home.

Allowing your child to pick the activities he or she wants to do creates independent thinkers. In a traditional classroom, children may feel less welcomed to speak up, but in an alternative setting, you may be able to get a better idea of their interests and capabilities. Of course, an adult can intervene if they feel the child should move on or tackle something else. This can provoke open conversation and transparency between the adult and child. 

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For Black children, a traditional school may not be where they feel like they can thrive. To some Black children, school feels more like a prison than a place to learn and teachers may act more like a disciplinarian rather than a caregiver and an educator. Schools aren’t just a place we send a child to learn. We hope that schools will teach our children to be responsible, honest and successful adults. Schools haven’t been just about learning in a long time. It’s where children interact with each other to form friendships and learn some of life’s most important social and life changing lessons. 

For a Black child that is attending a traditional school, their chances of being disciplined for minor offenses are more than doubled than their peers of other races. This also often leads to more biases placed on the child that ultimately leads to a lack of empathy and/or interest in the child’s growth or development. This causes many Black children to be behind and overall have a negative experience with school. 

Many Black families want to avoid having to deal with a broken school system altogether. In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of Black families choosing to homeschool their children either by one parent or virtually. If homeschooling isn’t right for you and your little one then the Montessori approach is something you’ll definitely want to look into.

Fortunately, most Montessori schools accept children as young as 6 weeks, but many parents start their children around the age of two. It’s fairly easy to chat with current or former Montessori parents and teachers to get a better understanding of how it works. You can also visit a school and observe a few classes to get a feel of the atmosphere and determine if it is a good fit for you and your child but before you do either of the two, we have outlined five reasons to consider a Montessori approach to raise your child. 

  1. Montessori schools foster a sense of community and respect for one another. Students learn to work together and support each other as they explore and learn.  

  2. Montessori schools emphasize practical life skills, such as self-discipline, concentration and problem-solving, which can be applied to many areas of life.

  3. Montessori schools emphasize the importance of individualized learning. Teachers take into account the different learning styles and abilities of each student, allowing for a more tailored approach to education.

  4. Montessori schools promote an environment of exploration and discovery. Students are encouraged to experiment and explore their environment in order to gain a greater understanding of the world around them.

  5. Montessori schools focus on developing the whole child, not just academics. Social-emotional development, creative expression, and physical development are just as important as academic learning.

You’re not alone if you feel hopeless while trying to navigate through the U.S schooling system. The good news is there are better and affordable options. Montessori may be exactly what you need to start your little one off with a healthy, independent lifestyle. 

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 Diamond Jones joined the FunTimes family as an intern while earning her Bachelor's degree from Temple University. After graduating in 2018, Diamond decided to stay with FunTimes continuing her role as a writer and content creator for social media. In addition to writing, she also enjoys reading, traveling, and art. Working at a magazine has always been a dream. As a child, she would collect and study popular entertainment publications such as Word Up and Teen Vogue. Diamond hopes to continue to create content that will inspire and entertain.

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