Finding a local summer program that uses Montessori teaching methods might be easier than you think. The program you choose doesn't necessarily need to be a program that's run by a Montessori school in order to teach similar values. However, if you're looking for a Montessori summer program for your children, the program that you choose needs to center around Montessori values — encourage the kids to actively seek knowledge; respect the kids' natural social, psychological, and physical development process; and emphasize freedom within limits and independence. So, in order to find a summer program for your kids that has similar values as the Montessori teaching method, you should look for a program that has these qualities.
Kids are Allowed to Make Small Decisions Daily
There are several ways that summer programs for kids can emphasize freedom within limits and encourage the children in the program to be independent. When you talk to program directors about the programs you're considering, ask if the coordinators:
- Let the children choose any of the activities that they do each day or if the program operates using a set schedule.
- Let the kids choose between two or three different snack options at snack time or if all of the children eat the same snack.
- Create a schedule of activities for the day, but are willing to allow the kids to choose the activity order.
Provides Educational Activities
When your children attend a Montessori school, they'll complete fun, educational activities throughout the day. The summer program that you choose should also use educational activities to keep your children interested in learning. If you can't find a Montessori summer camp in your area, look for educational camps, such as math or science camp. Art camps may also be a good option for families looking for a summer camp that incorporates Montessori teaching values — you can find art camps that teach children about everything from basic drawing and painting to theater and photography.
Encourage the Kids to Be Independent
It isn't difficult to teach a child how to be more independent, but independence is a skill that's taught both at home and at school. So, any activities that your children are involved in, such as summer programs, should also encourage your kids to be independent. This can be accomplished by encouraging the children to do things, such as get their own snacks or clean up after each activity.
Finding a summer program for your children that teaches the values that you believe are important doesn't have to be difficult. Many program coordinators do things, such as encourage children to clean up after activities or snack time, without even realizing that they are incorporating Montessori-style teaching methods. So, all you need to do to find a summer program that meets your qualifications, is choose an educational program and ask how the coordinators run the program on a daily basis to see how much freedom and independence the children are allowed.