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Which Preschool is Right: Combination

Which Preschool is Right: Combination

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - February 2nd, 2016

Today, in our final installment in choosing preschool, combination schools take the best from the other choices and create a mixture that fits the families it serves.

Combination Schools

Combination schools use a mixture of the approaches we have already discussed: Montessori, Progressive and Traditional

What does a combination school look like?

You might find a program using the best of Montessori, while also spending lots of time on separation and socialization, which a pure Montessori class wouldn’t.  Some very structured and traditional schools will throw a few elements of progressive and say they were a combination school.  That wouldn’t be a true combined approach unless the teachers are allowing the academic work to evolve out of the kids’ interests. 

How do you know which educational philosophy a school follows? 

Look at their materials.  Ask when you visit.  But most of all, observe when you visit.  Many schools are very clear about who they are and the philosophy they follow.  Other directors tell you that they are a mixture of progressive and traditional, but when you observe, you will clearly see they are one or the other.

Will this equip my child to get into private schools later?

Children attending a traditional or Montessori school are more likely to “graduate” with the types of skills NYC private schools will be looking for.  Traditional schools teach the skills and Montessori materials lend themselves to children learning these skills independently.  That isn’t to say that children attending progressive schools won’t acquire these skills through the program – many do.  But if your child doesn’t, you won’t be getting a call from the Director raising a red flag that your child can’t draw circles and squares.  They are more relaxed and believe that children will learn these skills when they are developmentally ready.

Which approach is better?

One approach isn’t necessarily better than another.  My recommendation is that you visit each type of school and try to determine which type of program feels right for your child.  You may decide that your child is best suited for either a traditional or Montessori education.  There are still other factors that you’ll want to consider (that we’ll explore later), but at least you’ll have ruled out progressive schools.  

All in all, choosing a preschool for your child is a personal choice.  It is worth the time you take to discover on the front end if the school’s style and approach suits your family’s goals in education and socialization.  I’m so glad you joined us for this series!


Preschool Series:

Which Preschool is Right for Your Child?

Montessori Schools

Progressive Schools

Traditional Schools

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