Any opinions on Montessori\'s (U.S.)

23 replies [Last post]
By AnneK on Thu, 02-28-02, 16:44

I am looking for opinions on a Montessori curriculum opposed to public schools?

I am trying to enroll my 3yo PA DD in a Montessori for the 2002-2003 school year (only 20 openings). The reasons I liked the school are based on her safety, but I want to make a good decision for her education too. I am thinking of sending her to the school through her elementary years.

The reasons I like the school are: they are located between my house and the hospital (1.5 miles); there is one teacher and 2 assistants for a class of 30 children; there is a "no sugar" policy (even on b-days!); they already have a child with PA & have a no-peanut policy and I met the director and teachers at an open house and felt comfortable with all of them.

Thanks.

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By pamom on Fri, 03-01-02, 02:45

Hi!

I sent both my pa kids to Montessori preschool and loved it. They were safe and caring about pa. Learned a lot and are at the top of their class in public elementary school. I highly recommend Montessori, especially for preschool. It teaches self-discipline and each child works at own pace. Classical music and respecting each other is another common thread for montessori.

Good luck!

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By Going Nuts on Fri, 03-01-02, 16:16

From what I remember when I was looking at preschools and private elementary schools for my older son, was that anyone can call themselves Montessori - they are not necessarily accredited by any one organization. I found this out because I was really disappointed at two so-called Montessori schools I looked at.

However, I loved the principles that they educate by, and if you find a great one then by all means, go for it!

Amy

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By Tucker's mom on Mon, 03-04-02, 15:55

So weird you brought this up...I was just going to post about Montessori's today. I love the philosophy of teaching in a "real" Montessori school. Of course, some just use the name (it is not trademarked) so they can charge 2ce the tuition. But we have visited a local one and it is extraordinary the way these little children are completely self-reliant and sooo interested in learning!

Anyway, the Montessori we are trying to get into is for 3-6 year olds. The director said it is regulated by the Department of Education not Dept. of Human Services like day care. My son was evaluated, but we have not yet revealed the pa. We thought we would wait to see if there is a chance of him getting in first.

My question is, can they discriminate against pa, or as a school do they have to accept the disability? I guess this would apply to all private schools.

Anyone knowledgeable out there?

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By BBCBMom on Fri, 06-22-07, 15:36

I have another post going on regarding my two son's being accepted at the Montessori preschool, [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/003024.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/003024.html[/url]

However, I would really like to get more opinions on the Montessori program, the cooking projects and works to find out how other parents with PA kids work with their schools/teachers.

Thank you for your help in advance.

__________________

*****************
Wendy
DS ('03) PA & DS ('05) PA

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By Sarahb on Fri, 06-22-07, 16:40

My 3.5 year old has been in a Montessori since he was 2. We looked at many programs here and they are all a little different from each other. Most seemed pretty true to the Montessori concepts with slight variations here and there. One thing to look for is if the teachers are Montessori certified.

We were amazed at the behavior of the children and how the teachers were able to command respect in a very gentle way. Our son has thrived in this enviroment.

Friends of ours who chose a different school (but did chose Montessori for thier girl) did more research than we did on the academics of it all and most studies showed that boys benefit a little bit more than girls from this teaching style. But that both end up ahead of other preschool or teaching methods. I don't have links....we just knew it was right and didn't need studies.

I like the discipline, caring, compassion, and the concepts on how they treat each other, the teachers, the work materials, manners, etc. I just haven't seen this in any other day care or preschool environment.

Our first concern was that the children seemed a bit subdued from what we were used to seeing....but after spending time there I saw that there is a lot of free play and alot of interaction going on. Even loud crazy running around - normal playground stuff. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

We have been very happy with it for our son. He likes things ordered and has a very long attention span so "day care" was like being at a circus for him. This is much much better.

I also like that it is .5 mile away from my office and when they gave him an epi and called 911 - I beat the second group of paramedics to the school.

I don't think it is more expensive that other preschools here.

Another benefit is you will find your child taking out a toy - playing with it - putting it back - and then taking out another one. priceless!

[This message has been edited by Sarahb (edited June 22, 2007).]

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By PinkPoodle on Fri, 06-22-07, 17:29

Check out the website [url="http://www.naeyc.org"]www.naeyc.org[/url] National Association for the Education of Young Children is the highest accreditation a preschool can get. This website has a lot of information on different methods of teaching. You can also search for approved schools in your area by zip code.

[This message has been edited by PinkPoodle (edited June 22, 2007).]

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By mharasym on Tue, 06-26-07, 00:24

Our son attended Montessori program (in Canada) and we were delighted with the program. He only went for 1/2 day Kindergarten and 1/2 day "day care" but all was Montessori based in the same facility. He was far ahead of his peer groups when he got to Grade 1. Decision making, independent and work group, music, fine motor, gross motor, daily living (cleaning up, setting the table, cooking, etc.) all were programs that just work for life. We loved it! They were also already equipped to deal with our allergies and had several children in the same boat so it was great. Highly recommended!
Our son is now going into Grade 10. He's been on the honor role ever since he was eliglble (grade 4 to 9 inclusive) and now will be entering the International Baachalariate (I can't spell it but he can) program at a high school not too far from where we live but outside our area school range. Who knows - maybe Montessori gave him what he needed for a quick start - or maybe he's just really smart like his folks [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img].
M

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By MommaBear on Tue, 06-26-07, 15:27

Quote:Originally posted by mharasym:
[b]Our son is now going into Grade 10. He's been on the honor role ever since he was eliglble (grade 4 to 9 inclusive) and now will be entering the International Baachalariate (I can't spell it but he can) program at a high school not too far from where we live but outside our area school range. [/b]

baccalaureate. Pseudonym/fancy way of saying "Bachelor's" if I a correct in recalling. Undergraduate studies.

When I was in a public high school (freshman year high school and the summer prior to it) I was enrolled in what I believe is the same thing: college credit/prerequisite courses prior to actually attending "university". Sorta gets the mundane classes out of the way (core requirements) and saves your parents (or yourself as the case may be) some moola. Largely sponsered/headed/co-chaired by your local community college in partnership with the high school. And no, I never attended a "Montessori" type school either. Just the same ol'same ol. No "Baby Einstein" toys, no special pre-schools, no flash cards...lol...just Sesame Street and Electric Company. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

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"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By MommaBear on Tue, 06-26-07, 15:34

oh, and not as advice or anything, just personally, I think many high schools offer this, and most teens (Montessori or not) are ready for "baccalaureate" studies long before they enter college while the material and preparation is still fresh in their heads.....before summer (or the year or maybe more break) they take before attending college proper. Why pay full price? Like "Price Line" for education. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Only thing is, rushing children through a college education only brings them that closer to college graduation and the rigors of adulthood long before they (or the rest of the world) are ready to meet and shake hands. Like graduating from highschool early: What are you going to do at 15 anyway? Be turned loose on a college campus? I think many times, "finishing" your child's education way ahead of schedule only opens up free time they definitely don't need. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] In the end, they probably all find themselves in the same position at age 30. Right at the beginning. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By Momcat on Tue, 06-26-07, 18:31

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]Like graduating from highschool early: What are you going to do at 15 anyway? Be turned loose on a college campus?[/b]

There are kids for whom high school is a waste of time. They are more likely to stay out of trouble if kept challenged and busy at college. What to do after college? Why, graduate or professional school, of course! Why waste time and be miserably bored when you could be forging ahead, learning interesting things and getting a head start on your career of choice?

I don't see this as rushing the child, rather I see the alternative as holding him back.

Cathy

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Mom to 8 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

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By MommaBear on Wed, 06-27-07, 02:07

Quote:Originally posted by Momcat:
[b]
I don't see this as rushing the child, rather I see the alternative as holding him back.

[/b]

No big surprises here, but often, it's a parent's job [i]to hold their children back[/i]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

When we treat a child with the wisdom that the measurement of that child's potential and ability to navigate is far more than their rank within academic performance, [i]then we will be teaching them something valuable[/i]. We will also be affording them protection from a world where no amount of "intelligence" can match [i]experience[/i].

I have a tendency to believe the academic "over achievers" and the "gifted" are more prone to horrific blundering through the complex social web of life than those who can't think beyond their pocket tip calculators. Especially before they are thirty. Maybe forty. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] Question is, do you believe someone like myself?

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"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By MommaBear on Wed, 06-27-07, 02:11

Quote:Originally posted by Momcat:
[b] There are kids for whom high school is a waste of time. [/b]

I'd say if they view it as a waste of time, then they are in sore need of the lesson.

------------------
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Genghis Khan

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"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By Momcat on Wed, 06-27-07, 02:31

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] I have a tendency to believe the academic "over achievers" and the "gifted" are more prone to horrific blundering through the complex social web of life than those who can't think beyond their pocket tip calculators. [/b]

I think that is simply a stereotype. My point is that there are kids out there for whom graduation at 15 (or earlier) is the best option. I'm not saying it's the best option for everyone.

Just because these kids graduate early does not mean that their parents are not teaching them that other things in life are more important than one's "academic rank" as you put it. These kids are so profoundly gifted that graduating from high school is like an afterthought.

Cathy

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By MommaBear on Wed, 06-27-07, 03:15

Quote:Originally posted by Momcat:
[b] I think that is simply a stereotype. My point is that there are kids out there for whom graduation at 15 (or earlier) is the best option. I'm not saying it's the best option for everyone.

Just because these kids graduate early does not mean that their parents are not teaching them that other things in life are more important than one's "academic rank" as you put it. These kids are so profoundly gifted that graduating from high school is like an afterthought.

[/b]

I think that's just another stereotype. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] "Profound Giftedness" has little to do with navigating day to day. Think of it. What practical use is it? If it's so rare, then it's probably of little value dealing with the average......mope. Especially those who have the advantage of experiences practically all the population shares. That "carnal" knowledge so to speak. It's like having four arms and and no legs in a world where you are expected to walk everywhere. You'll do great on the typing test, but getting there is going to be a trick.

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By Momcat on Wed, 06-27-07, 04:42

You seem to think that the profoundly gifted are all like Mr. Spock. Good thing he always had Kirk and McCoy there to explain humanity to him... Don't you think that great writers and philosophers who give us insight into the human condition are highly gifted people?

Many highly gifted children possess social maturity beyond their years. Early college is an excellent opportunity for them.

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By MommaBear on Wed, 06-27-07, 19:24

Quote:Originally posted by Momcat:
[b]You seem to think that the profoundly gifted are all like Mr. Spock. Good thing he always had Kirk and McCoy there to explain humanity to him... [/b]

The fact you think Spock was the one with the problems proves my point. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By MommaBear on Wed, 06-27-07, 19:26

Quote:Originally posted by Momcat:
[b]
Many highly gifted children possess social maturity beyond their years. [/b]

IYO, Spock wasn't socially mature....?

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"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By BBCBMom on Thu, 08-02-07, 01:32

For those of you who have children in a traditional Montessori preschool can you tell me how much information you receive back from his/her teachers daily/weekly on what your child is doing?

Our DS (4 yr old) started a month ago at a traditional Montessori preschool. We are brand new to the whole "Montessori way". When I ask about his day when I pick him up they say it was "good" or "great" but that is all the information I get. No one can tell me what he did. They say it doesn't matter what he did . . . and it is up to the individual child to decide what he/she does. Since he can float from area to area there isn't just one teacher that is watching him through out the day. The ratio is 1:7 (up to 35 kids in the class - broken into two classes of 17).

I have been told that they do two parent teacher conferences per year and this is when I will get an understanding of what he has been doing. PLEASE let me know if this is the Montessori way or just "their" way.

Thank you

[This message has been edited by BBCBMom (edited August 01, 2007).]

__________________

*****************
Wendy
DS ('03) PA & DS ('05) PA

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By Corvallis Mom on Thu, 08-02-07, 03:48

Since you say you are new to Montessori, I'd ask the lead teacher if s/he can recommend a book or website to give you a feel for the teaching philosophy. This will probably shed a lot of light on the disconnect you are having with the daily updating.

I think it may be both, in other words--"Good" seems a rather curt description of anyone's day, after all. But traditional Montessori is very definitely about building skills and confidence-- not 'doing projects.' So there may not be a lot in the way of worksheets or art projects to show you... Think sweeping, tracing shapes and letters, stringing beads and then putting them away when they are finished, etc. All about personal responsibility, pride in well-done work, and self-direction. It sounds like your classroom is set up traditionally, with centers, and is mostly self-directed and self-paced.

The best way to find out how things went is to talk to your child-- ask things like what was the 'best part' about school today?

Your child may REALLY surprise you with the answers in a Montessori classroom!

(We did Montessori at home because none of the local ones could handle DD's MFA-- but we tried for close to a year to get her in.)

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By BBCBMom on Thu, 08-02-07, 14:31

Reraising the question from last night. I did ask the head teacher for a book and unfortunatly it wasn't very informative. I do ask my son how his day went but most of the time he wants to talk about something else. I am not looking for detail information just three things like he did . . . he sweep, he read a book and he enjoyed circle time when they did xxxx.

I just think it is odd that one person does not know what my son's day was like. I understand they can wander around but I just need to know if it is normal not to be able to get information from someone at his school on what he is doing.

__________________

*****************
Wendy
DS ('03) PA & DS ('05) PA

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By Corvallis Mom on Thu, 08-02-07, 15:07

Yes-- I agree. If they can't even tell you what activities your son spent his day at, or what areas you might "reinforce" at home....

Hmmmm. Wonder if this is because there isn't very much supervision? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

That seems like a red flag of sorts-- might be time to observe for a morning, if they'll allow it.

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By Sarahb on Thu, 08-02-07, 17:55

Hello!

I'm kind of giggling reading your post since we both went from BHFS to Montessori. At Bright Horizons you get the daily report...with all that went in and out - when and how much....and what they did, etc. Although many times I think those reports were fudged! But anyway...it's a big adjustment. I felt a sense of loss by not getting a daily log of what he did. But that's the way that they do it...and it has worked very well for my son. I have found that the kids really DO "work" on something all the time...there is nothing else to do. At first DS did mostly practical life stuff...the buttons and zippers. Anyway....he is thriving and we got used to the reduction of information. But we would ask...what area did DS work on today? And I have found that there twice yearly reports are worth more than 100 poop reports from BHFS!

Hey...we are going to be in your area on Sat....I'll email you.

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By lakeswimr on Fri, 08-03-07, 00:43

I think Montessori's tend to use a lot of food and they also like children to eat when they like and serve themselves. This doesn't necessarily lend itself to the strict cleaning methods food allergic children need. I had several Montessori's refuse to admit my son and one say they would but didn't know how they would keep DS safe given all the food involved. I don't know if anyone brought this topic up yet but I thought I would post in case.

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