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Bolstering My Children's Education

Once we started homeschooling our kids, I noticed that they started to struggle more with concentration. In addition to making it hard to get through a lesson, they also lost interest in some of their favorite subjects--presumably because we weren't teaching them as well as their favorite teachers. Fortunately, a friend of ours told us about some great homeschooling educational tools that might be able to help. We invested in some new textbooks and a few updated visual aids, and it made a tremendous difference. Read this blog to find out how to bolster your child's education, even if you teach them at home.



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Bolstering My Children's Education

Think Your Young Child May Have Autism? They Can Benefit from Montessori Daycare

by Fred Peters

If your child has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, or if you suspect that they might be based on your observations, you may be having difficulty finding a daycare or preschool that is the right fit for your child. The following will explain how you can identify if your child may be on the autism spectrum and how a Montessori daycare or early childhood school might be the perfect fit for them.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a brain development disorder that currently affects roughly 1.5% of children around the world. A child on the autism spectrum will generally repeat the same action or behavior over and over (a self-stimulating or self-soothing attempt), have trouble socializing with others, and often have trouble communicating. While not usually diagnosed until a child is two, there can be signs as early as eighteen months old. Specific signs you can look for in your young child are if they won't cuddle, make eye contact, or play with others. If you suspect your young child has autism, see your doctor to get them tested. Whether your child has autism or simply shares some behaviors with children on the autism spectrum, consider enrolling them in a Montessori school.

What Is a Montessori School?

A Montessori education focuses on the child as the learner and as in charge of their own education. As such, children are allowed to choose where they want to focus their time each day and explore more deeply the subjects that interest them. The Montessori method focuses on hands-on learning in groups with children of different ages and ability levels instead of a single teacher directing the class. The Montessori classroom is open with materials in plain view, allowing children to see the different options available to them on any given day.

How Can a Montessori School Benefit a Child with Autism?

  • It's not rigidly structured: Children with autism often need to take their own amount of time to prepare to attempt a new task. In a traditional school, this can be a problem because the whole class may only be alloted twenty minutes for the entire task and your child may not be ready to try it. At a Montessori school, your child can watch the other children at the various stations or groups and decide when they're ready to join in. Because Montessori learning is kinesthetic, this period of observation can also serve as learning time, as your child can pick up concepts simply by watching other children perform them.
  • Your child won't feel trapped: Montessori education doesn't take place in a single desk, but in an open environment that encourages self-directed learning. This allows your child a feeling of independence and a chance to make their own choices, a valuable life skill. The opportunity to make their own choices can lead your child to feel capable and improve their self-esteem.
  • Improved ability to interact socially: A traditional classroom with a teacher or teachers in front of the class using materials like chalkboards and workbooks leaves little time for genuine social interaction between the children. In a Montessori classroom, children work in groups at various learning stations to teach and learn from one another. This interaction can be valuable to your child's social development. Much like the process of learning academically, your child can learn from observing the natural social interaction between classmates and then choose to engage when they feel good and ready.

As you can see, if you suspect that your child may have autism, or if they simply share some behaviors with autistic children, the freedom, openness, and social interactions of a Montessori daycare or early childhood school could be the right fit for them. Contact a Montessori school in your area through a website like http://miniapplemontessori.com to find out how to enroll your child today.