The Montessori Early Childhood program consists of a three-year cycle, from age three through six years. During these three years, a fantastic transformation occurs. Gradually, the child develops confidence, which leads to understanding their abilities and purpose.
Eventually, the child transforms into a confident and valuable leader! It is a truly remarkable transformation, very similar to the process of metamorphous, from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
Benefits of the Leadership Year
The child who is five or six years of age begins to understand who they are and what they are good at doing. With this understanding, they know what they want to achieve in their Leadership Year. They grow wings and begin to fly – giving back to their community.
The same community nurtured their younger self. By the end of their final year, they are soaring! They take such pride in being the leaders of their community, mentoring younger children, and having greater responsibility.
Parents of Montessori early childhood students have a decision to make as their child approaches the age of five. The decision is whether to allow their child to complete the cycle and experience their Leadership Year. The other option is to make a change to public school kindergarten to begin the conventional educational system.
The time to begin a new educational system would be after completing the Leadership Year. Why take the bread out of the oven before it has the chance to rise?
Parents often ask a common question: ‘if my child is one of the oldest in the classroom, won’t they get bored in a class with younger children?’ Of course, the simple answer is no, which is the beauty of the Montessori early childhood and mixed age group curriculum.
There is no ceiling for academic growth, and with a mixed-aged classroom, leadership opportunities are endless!
Why You Should Choose the Leadership Year For Your Child
Most Montessori early childhood parents do not understand the immense value of leadership from a five or six-year old’s perspective, so here’s an explanation that may help:
Imagine yourself working in the corporate world, and you know that you have a promotion ahead. Your upcoming promotion results from years of hard work, learning from mentors, and honing your skills. You anticipate the rise with great enthusiasm, only to discover that the promotion will go to someone else, a very dear colleague instead.
Another way to visualize this is to imagine you are climbing Mount Everest. You can see the summit ahead, and you are within reach. You finally feel you are on solid ground and can’t wait to see the magnificent view from the top. But, then, suppose you learn that it’s time to change mountains and start a new climb.
These examples would feel like tremendous lost opportunities. Not having the chance to finish what we start or bask in the joy of accomplishment is an enormous loss. It is difficult to quantify a lost opportunity such as this.
Every child gifted with the opportunity to start the Montessori early childhood program deserves to reach their top, to experience the fruits of their labor, and bask in the joy of accomplishment!
The Benefits of Learning Leadership Skills in Montessori Early Childhood Education
When we search the internet for ‘qualities of a leader,’ we find the descriptions shown in the pictures below. Children in the Montessori early childhood program are organically practicing leadership skills and much more. There is an old saying: practice makes a man perfect. Every minute spent in the Montessori classroom, children practice these life skills. Then, in their Leadership Year, they put their skills into action!
Teacher for the Day Tradition at Montessori House in Richmond, Texas
At Montessori House in Richmond, Texas, our early childhood students in their Leadership Year have plenty of opportunities to fine-tune and showcase their skills. Towards the end of the year, each child has a special day assigned to be the teacher for the day. On this particular day, the child assumes almost all of the responsibilities usually held by the teachers.
The teacher for the day enters the classroom extra early with pride in their eyes. They prep the classroom and patiently wait for their friends to arrive. They give large-group, small-group, and individual lessons to their eager classmates. They take this job so seriously that most choose not to play outside. Instead, they decide to monitor their friends and keep everyone safe. They have been preparing for this day for all these years. Every child in the Montessori early childhood program eagerly anticipates being teacher of the day!
Is the Leadership Year Right For Your Child? Schedule a Tour to Learn More!
If your child is already in a Montessori early childhood school, please talk to your child’s teacher to learn more about the importance of the final year and completing the three-year cycle. Then, schedule an observation to see the beauty unfold.
Now it’s up to you to decide to let your child experience being on the top of the summit or pull them out right before they reach it. Before making the decision, imagine yourself in a child’s place. Would you like to slide down the mountain right before you reach the top or push yourself higher to enjoy the view?
To learn more about the Montessori early childhood curriculum at Montessori House in Richmond, Texas, contact us today to schedule a tour.