Private School Options - Understanding Catholic And Montessori Schools

29 July 2015
 Categories: Education & Development, Articles


If you are unhappy with the way your local public school has been teaching your son or daughter or if you are angry about the way the institution focuses on testing instead of knowledge, then it may be in your best interest to send your child to a private school. In the United States, there are three public schools for every private school, but this still means that there are over 30,000 private schools in the country.

There are likely a few private school options nearby. You may not know that you have options when it comes to these schools in regard to the way the school is run and the curriculum is taught. Two different options are outlined in this article for you to consider. 

Catholic Schools

A Catholic school is usually what you think of when a private school is brought up, and these schools are quite common across the United States. These schools are educational institutions that are directly related to the catholic church. Catholic teachings are instrumental to the curriculum in this type of school, and the institution itself sees students as developing members of the catholic church. The bishop, or the clergy member who is in charge of the diocese for the area will usually construct the religious teachings for the school. 

Catholic private schools generally follow state guidelines in regard to curriculums outside of religious teachings, and many schools are accredited by the state. This means that children are likely to follow the same math, English, and social studies programs as public schools. However, the catholic school may institute their own guidelines that students must meet to succeed in these classes. 

Catholic schools are sometimes separated into schools for boys and ones for girls to reduce distractions. School uniforms are often mandated for the same reason, so children can focus on education. Usually, funds for the school are provided through tuition fees, fundraisers, donations, and charities. Many catholic private schools pride themselves on educational excellence and high graduation rates, so make sure to ask about these things when picking out a school. This will help you to decide if the school is worth the high tuition rate. 

Montessori Schools

Montessori private schools can also be found in some areas. Many of these institutions focus on early learning skills before preschool or kindergarten is attended. However, some institutions do offer high school curriculums, and they will be accredited by the American Montessori Society. This entity performs a self-study to make sure that all teachers and administrative officials are teaching students in accordance with Montessori teachings. 

Montessori teachings focus on each individual child and learning through self-direction, interactive learning, and collaborative studies between peers as well as teachers. Basically, this means each student guides their own education. Teachers encourage students to use books and other learning materials in the classroom and group activities are often scheduled so the teacher can focus on some traditional teachings. 

When your child continues their education through adolescent, self-reliance, self-expression, and independence become the educational focus. Children may be asked to participate in farm chores and care activities, or they may need to apply their classroom knowledge to help run a charity or a community center.

Common Core and Montessori

A hands-on and practical approach to learning is what brings parents and children to Montessori schools. However, some of these institutions do not offer Common Core studies or standardized tests. These institutions may leave your child to fall behind in math, English, or social studies, and this can be detrimental to your son or daughter's future if a college education is desired.

Make sure the Montessori school you pick tries to meet state standards for education by asking children to take state tests. You may also be able to find a combination public and Montessori school that applies the Montessori approach to the Common Core curriculum. This means that your child will learn the same facts as they would in a public school, but they will be able to explore the information in a hands-on manner.