My niece in Hong Kong is almost two so her parents are looking for a preschool for her. Since I am a teacher, they turned to me asking me about the EYFS (The Early Years Foundation Stage) – a set of Welfare Requirements and a set of Learning and Development Requirements in the UK- and about Montessori schools.
For such a young child, I tend to believe that developing potentials is more important than acquiring knowledge per se. In other words I think it is better to prepare the mind for learning through different methods and techniques. That’s why I’d favor the Montessori method.
Since my brother and his wife are expatriates I gather my niece will mix with more different children at the International Montessori school rather than at a school with a UK-based curriculum. It is probably preferable as in the long run they will end up going back to France, not England.
What’s more my maternal grandmother, who was quite modern for her times, sent my mother and her siblings to a Montessori school. They have lovely memories of their years there and did well academically later. I also find they are well-balanced people who have managed to keep a sound equilibrium between personal development and academic demand with their own children.
What do you expect from a school? How did you choose for your own children?
For a broader approach of this issue, you might find the following useful: Questions to Ask When Choosing a School for Your Children, a post by Mom in Israel.