Letter: Local Montessori school owner speaks about education in a post-COVID world

What are your neighbors talking about this week?

  • By
  • | 2:00 p.m. April 17, 2023
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Opinion
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A glance at education after COVID

Dear Editor:

The Children’s House Montessori Academy has been serving students for 28 years here in Ormond Beach. Over the last few years, we have seen large emotional and academic differences in children who did not attend school during COVID. So, as we are coming to the end of another school year and quickly preparing for the next one, I often ponder the thought: What do parents look for when planning their child’s education especially after the impact that COVID had on children? Are they focused on the developmental needs of the child, or do they rely on society to determine what is acceptable, especially if there are academic delays after covid?

Many parents who are interested in a Montessori hybrid program inquire about the difference between Montessori and traditional education. The question leads me to describe the type of education that I believe allows a child to fully develop.

The philosophies and methodologies used in traditional education are man-made guidelines that dictate what and when children should be taught without any regard for the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. Material is presented to the whole class on a fixed schedule, giving students little time to absorb and process the information. This type of cookie-cutter format can often set children up for failure. Are they truly learning or simply memorizing facts for temporary advancement?

The Montessori method engages the child during their sensitive period of development. The apparatus in the classroom foster hands on learning through concrete experience before the child is presented with concepts in the abstract. The Montessori classroom has mixed-age grouping that creates many opportunities for children on an emotional, social, and academic level. When children are given the time to observe, converse, and understand, a lasting love of learning is instilled.

So where do parents go from here? In my opinion, an alternative choice of a hybrid program blending the two methods and philosophies facilitates and stimulates a passion for knowledge and prepares the child for success in life. In the end, isn’t that what we want for our children of the future?

Julie Harper 

Co-Owner of The Children's House Montessori Academy

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