Parents ask: Won't it be easier for my child to make the adjustment to public or private school at the kindergarten level rather than at some later date?
The goals of a Montessori classroom seem to be more closely related to those of a traditional first grade class than those of a traditional kindergarten. In most traditional kindergartens, the primary emphasis is on developing social skills with some preliminary work in cognitive readiness.
In a Montessori environment, the emphasis is on individual growth, which allows for cognitive development based on a firm foundation of sensory and motor skill training, and which makes the transition into academic work so much easier for the child.
This transition occurs naturally during the third year in a Montessori environment and it occurs without stress, pressure, or praise. At this point, a child who is ready will begin reading and working with math materials, in addition to other activities. Few conventional kindergartens are geared to do this or have children who have been prepared for such work, and so it is not introduced until first grade.
One father's reason for preferring to stay with a Montessori education was:
"We considered the school years ahead. Children usually do their best if they have good learning habits, a sound basis in numbers and math, and the ability to read. We realized that our child had an excellent two year start in this Montessori school. Transferring now to Kindergarten, the child will go no farther, whereas staying in Montessori ensures reaping the benefits of all past work under the enthusiastic guidance of teachers who share the child's joy of learning."