The Difference Between Montessori and Traditional Schools

You’ve probably read that the first five years are the single most formative years of your child’s life. We’re sure this Freudian belief has instilled fear and anxiety in the hearts of millions of parents worldwide. So, how do we proceed?

The first step you need to take is to understand which type of schooling is the best fit for your style and your child. Understanding the core differences between different types of schooling is essential concerning your child’s education and development. To ease your tension, we’ve compiled a list of differences between Montessori and traditional schools for you to go through.

Montessori Schooling is Child-Directed

A traditional school setting is one where all the students are facing the teacher: a panopticon ideal. The teacher is responsible for the schedule and activities throughout the day. The teacher makes sure that the children follow the school’s guidelines and meet the curricular standards.

A Montessori, however, has a more child-centric approach. The teachers follow the guide of the students—the children are allowed to learn and participate in activities at their own pace. The teacher is supposed to equip the classroom with activities and create an environment that appeals to the child. Although the child can choose whichever activity to participate in, she reinforces their interests and invites them to new activities through different materials. Montessori’s have a more hands-on approach, where the teacher is seen as a guide rather than the leader. This approach also allows the child more independence and curiosity, which is linked to developing positive personality traits later on in life.

Montessori’s Are Flexible

Although Montessori’s follow specific guidelines, the curriculum is more flexible as compared to traditional schools. Each age-group has a learning objective, and the teachers carefully observe the child’s progress.

On the other hand, children in traditional schools are not free to explore activities and materials on their own and are made to conform to the curriculum at hand. A traditional school environment is also stricter—there are designated areas for certain things such as blocks, toys, puzzles, and will be made to rotate through each area. Montessori’s encourage a more open environment where the child is free to participate in any activity that piques their interest.

Montessori’s Follow A Hands-On Approach

Traditional schools depend on visuals to appeal to children—the classrooms are often full of bright posters, toys, puzzles and the likes. A Montessori appeals to the child’s cognitive abilities—it’s divided by subject areas. Learning is based on a mix of physical exploration and cognitive stimulation, and there are mixed age groups, which encourages socialization.

The environment also encourages self-discipline, whereas, in a traditional school setting, the teacher is the disciplinarian. This encourages the child to develop independent thinking skills, better self-esteem, and increased awareness of their environments.

If you’re looking for an award-winning, high-rated Montessori in Katy, TX, visit us at Centerra Ranch Montessori. We offer several programs and focus on a child-centric approach to help your child develop independent thinking abilities. Our team of trusted professionals focuses on fostering a sense of responsibility, community, and co-operation in your child.

For more info, contact them at 281-693-CRMS (2767) or email them at

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