There are a lot of misunderstandings about why Montessori requires five days a week. We thought we'd take this opportunity to address a few of them.
First, we think that it's really important to remember that we employ five days a week, not for ourselves, but for our students. We really believe, and the research tells us, that it is in the best interest of the children that they attend five days a week.
Second, and with this first point in mind, consistency is extremely necessary for children. As children learn to navigate the world around them, they really thrive on order, habits and routine. Children don't understand time the way we've come to adopt the clock, so following a consistent path is essential.
Third, and just as important, children need to have the time and freedom to make mistakes. With five days a week, we create an environment in which children feel confident enough in themselves, that they're willing to take chances, and explore new activities.
Basically, they're more inclined to push themselves, without the fear of external or internal pressure to achieve perfection, and perform to "expectations". With more time allotted, we find that the children are much more comfortable and confident in themselves and their peers. They have a vested interest in each other.
As a matter of fact, they spend a lot less time trying to figure things out, being re-acclimated to the situation. In essence, they just feel out of place, if five days a week is not followed. Additionally, the anxieties of transitions, which many children experience, become less and less.
We're certain that there are more points, and we'd love to have you chime in below.