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Head Start vs Montessori Preschool. What are the differences?

I'm wondering what your thoughts are on Head Start Preschool (federally funded) vs Montessori Method Preschools. I have not been in a Montessori Method preschool so I don't know what the teachers are like nor do I know what a typical day is like. Please fill me in on the details!

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Asked by bridgetokinder at 11:53 AM on Apr. 25, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • Head Start is a factory type of learning tool. Everyone is taught the same no matter how the child's learning method is. Montesorri focuses on each child's learning method individually and allows them to learn at their own pace. It's amazing.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:56 AM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • I do not agree that Head Start teaches everyone the same. We are federally mandated to individual our lesson plans for each child. I have been the Health Manager at a Head Start and Early Head Start program for almost 12 years. I can speak about HS but do not have the same knowledge of Montessori. I remember visiting one Montessori program when my son was young, and my memory was that the children are taught to follow what they want to do, what interests them, but to make sure to clean up one activity before going on to the next. It seemed very organized to me. Some HS classrooms run that same way, but it really depends on the teacher and her experience.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 12:08 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • Head start not remotely like Montessori - just not. I worked at schools with head start programs and I never saw indivdual learning needs met. As the therapist I would make suggestions and was told many times they do not alter what they know works. Maybe some do but sure not the ones I was in every day. My son attends Montessori and it is wonderful for him. His school let us know early on it is not for everyone. Some kids were asked to leave. As far as picking up his work when he is done.... Yeah. He has to do that at home. It is part of the learning process of being independent. At hs you are told to clean up while in a montessori you just do it on your own.

    Answer by frogdawg at 2:43 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • Unfortunately, you're trying to compare apples and oranges. Montessori has a very unique (and expensive) program. It definitely isn't for everyone. It won't work for kids who need structure (vs being more self-directed). this has nothing to do with educational ability as much as personality. You nmight want to try to make your question a bit more specific. Provide a bit mroe info on your child, why you're looking at two such different programs, etc. Might help you get better answers.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:54 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • Montessori --much better choice--- its like the difference between chuck steak and prime rib they just dont measure up in Headstart

    Answer by MELRN at 3:29 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

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