Thinking about your child’s education can be overwhelming, particularly if you have decided that you would like your child to have the Montessori experience. You may be wondering if a Montessori education is worth the cost.
Is a Montessori education just for wealthy families or is this something we can all provide for our children? Is there any difference in the test scores of Montessori children and their public school peers? Let’s take a look!
Are Montessori schools expensive?
National statistics on the cost of private Montessori schools
It’s no secret that Montessori schools cost a pretty penny. Through my research, I’ve seen Children’s House (years 3-6) tuition range from $6,900/year in rural Mississippi to over $24,000/year in cities like Chicago and New York. The price range I have found in most of the schools I’ve come across online is from $12k-$18k/year for the Children’s House years and up.
That’s a lot of money to spend for pre-school and primary education. Is it worth the money? Do Montessori educated children have an advantage over children educated in public schools?
The answer seems to be an astounding “yes!”.
Are Montessori schools good?
A longitudinal study of Milwaukee public high school graduates showed that the students who received a Montessori education from ages 3 to 11 outperformed their non-Montessori peers on math/science scores.
Montessori manipulative materials may be to thank for these student’s scores, as they provide hands-on learning, which can lead to greater understanding of the subject material.
According the the Lake Mary Montessori Academy, not only do Montessori students score better in reading and math skills, they also tested better on “executive function” (planning, organizing, developing strategies, and paying attention), which is an indicator of future success.
As far as social skills, Montessori children in all age groups earned better scores on behavioral and social tests. They displayed greater justice and fairness and were more likely to interact positively with their peers.
Many of the ‘famous’ people who attended Montessori school at some point in their academic careers credit their time at Montessori as an important factor in their success. The list is seemingly endless, but I’ll drop a few names:
Famous people that attended Montessori school
•Marc Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook)
•Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Founders of Google)
•Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com)
•Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nobel Prize winner for Literature)
This list really does go on and on, and includes some brilliant people.
The early years of a child’s life are critical in shaping how they learn. Their brain cells are constantly making connections brought on by experiences. Montessorians believe that these early years, more than any other time in their lives, it’s important for children to learn through their senses; to learn by doing.
What is a Montessori classroom like?
In a Montessori classroom, it’s not a group of students at their desks, looking to the teacher for answers. It’s children moving about, exploring, using their hands to manipulate materials and their environments, and essentially, learning without being taught!
Montessori: private, public, or at home
While the results seem to be worth the cost, Montessori school is still out of the question for many of us. It would cost more than my full-time salary as a nurse to send both of my children to a private Montessori school. While public Montessori schools do exist (There are about 400 of them in the U.S.), most of them use the lottery system, which won’t guarantee your a child a spot in the school even if you live right next door.
Can’t afford Montessori school?
My take? If you can afford it, go for it! What a wonderful gift to your child, to spend their days in a beautiful Montessori classroom, surrounded by other intrinsically motivated youngsters!
If private and public Montessori are not options for you, Montessori-themed homeschooling might be right for you, or if homeschooling is not an option or a desire, there are many Montessori-inspired activities you can set up for your child for after school and weekends!
Montessori isn’t out of your reach!