Robert Thompson, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. is the owner/principal of Willowglen Montessori School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, established in 2000 and providing Montessori education for Toddlers through to grade 6. We are delighted to welcome Robert as a guest contributor to the NAMC web blog, and to share an article from his Principal’s Corner:
I am planning to enroll my son in a preschool program next September. Is part time or full time better? Ideally 2 full days a week would give me time to get my work done while he was at school but is this too much or too little for him?
Montessori Parenting: Full Time or Part Time Preschool?Dear Mrs. Gonzales,
Children, even more than adults, need routine in their lives. While a full day program is probably not too much for most four year-olds, attending 2 or even 3 days a week is difficult. Attending school Monday through Friday allows the child to develop the routine of going to school every day.
As adults we know how hard it is to come back to work on a Monday after being off Sunday. It is equally difficult for children to come to school every other day. Attending every day means children make friends quicker, learn the classroom routine quicker and generally feel more at ease in school.
Although five half days is about the same number of hours in school as two or three full days, attending daily is an important component in adjusting to school life.
The schedule of many working parents requires children to be in school all day. It is actually easier for children to adjust to 5 full days as compared to 2 or 3 full days.
If full time care is needed, it is better to keep the child in school all day. If 3 year-olds can be at home for half the day, then half-day attendance at school is best. Four-year-olds are usually ready for full day schooling.