The Three Year Montessori Cycle

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Montessori Activities vs Open-Ended Play - Fishtown Montessori

What is the Three-Year Montessori Cycle?

The three-year cycle in Montessori schools holds that a child will spend three years in any given classroom. The philosophy is that a child is best served with a full three years in the same environment with the same teacher. 

As new younger children enter the classroom each year, the students all have the opportunity to be the youngest, middle and oldest in the class. This allows for leadership and teaching moments for the older children, and learning, inquiring, and emulating for the younger children. When looking for the best preschool near me, it’s important to be sure that the school has a good grasp of this cycle.

What are the Benefits of the Three-Year Cycle?

One of the benefits children in Montessori experience is the comfort of having the same teacher for three whole years. When a child is taught by the same person for that length of time, the bond is much stronger than the average pupil-teacher relationship. Trust has been established and the teacher truly knows the child and his or her strengths and weaknesses. 

Another beneficial aspect of the Montessori three-year cycle is that children can learn at their own pace. They may need extra time to develop emotionally or scholastically in some way. Or, the child may be a confident leader and ready to share knowledge with younger or less experienced peers. 

In addition, children who spend three years in one classroom can explore all the corners and learning tools in that environment. They have the opportunity to master all the challenges and scholastic demands available to them. This promotes confidence when the child moves on to the next age group and classroom. 

Finally, because there are learning tools and toys for a variety of ages, children can find stimulation in their environment regardless of their age. When a child can choose from several different learning options, it is believed that a natural love of learning develops and boredom isn’t a problem.

The Montessori learning model and its three-year cycle have benefited children for decades and there is much to be gained from it.