As a mother of a soon-to-be preschooler, I have been reading about and visiting all kinds of schools. One of my favorites so far has been the Montessori style of education. Children that go through the Montessori educational system are more well-rounded, cultured, and independent than those that went through the public school system. Montessori education is NOT simply picking and choosing your subjects. Montessori education strives to spark an interest in its students to help them learn, rather than to force them to learn specific things so that they can pass the state’s standardized testing.
When I was in kindergarten, I had an immense love of Spanish. I was almost obsessed by the idea of speaking a foreign language. My kindergarten teacher gave me the opportunity to further explore this subject. My kindergarten was set up sort of like a Montessori school, with stations that the children could choose from. However, when I entered first grade, excited to continue my Spanish, I was crushed to learn that the structure of my new class prohibited me from exploring a foreign language. I had one opportunity, at a summer camp, to further my language development. After that I had no chance to learn Spanish until high school.
This is a perfect example as to the benefits of Montessori education. The preschool I visited offers a Spanish program once a week to students in the preschool program. There is also a music program in which these students can participate.