What do you think of the Montessori method?

Corinne - posted on 02/08/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I'm starting to look at schools for my son, because a few options start at age 3 and I want to get on the waiting list. Does anyone have experience with Montessori schools? What are the pluses and minuses?

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Pamela - posted on 11/20/2011

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You really can't compare all Montessori programs in the US b/c most of them are just variations of Montessori - go visit, speak to parents in the program and you'll get a better sense of how the school operates - it will vary quite a bit though.

Sandi - posted on 09/06/2011

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Jessica - my little one is in his second year of Montessori and we love it. We are currently looking at options once my little one starts school (he is 3 now) and have found some good books and videos on the method and how it translates through the years, but I would be interested in any information/guidance you could provide around what the typical transition would look like. Unfortunately the school here only goes through 6th grade and even if we traveled to school (45 min to an hr) we could only get through 8th or 9th grade. Also, I know it is far off, but do you know anything about how it translates into college and what your experience is here? Not sure if you have insight or the actual age level you teach, but any advice would be fantastic.

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From an educator's point of view, I teach in a public school, and if it's at all possible, I plan to put my little one into a Montessori school at least through Kindergarten, longer if I can. (We have a cross country moved coming up, and I'm hoping a Montessori school is available to us.) I've even considered getting the training myself so I could teach in a Montessori school. Engagement is crucial in learning, and the whole nature of a Montessori school is engaging because the kids have some control over what they do. They're guided in their learning, and not forced to learn certain things all at the same time. To me, it seems to be a much more natural method of learning. I can see where transitioning to a traditional school could be challenging, but since you're forewarned you can take steps to make that easier for your child when the time comes.

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Annie - posted on 06/22/2012

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I am in love with the Method. I have a rowdy boy and he can find a balance of playfulness and groundedness. I truly think he is his best self after a day at his school. He truly seems well balanced.

Annie mom of Tabor 2 1/2

Tara - posted on 10/07/2011

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I am a mother of 4 and ALL of my kids went to Montessori! I love it..my 3 year just started and I just got his progress report and he is doing really well...I moved my kids to traditional school for kindergarten, I think that the longer they stay in the program the harder the adjustment..but once the foundation is set the kids really excel in school...hope this was helpful :)

Jessica - posted on 09/06/2011

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Well, I'm a Montessori Teacher- and Montessori Mom, so I'm biased. But it's my life, and it's marvelous! You should look it up, you'll love the sensorial, math, and independence the children gain.

Sandi - posted on 02/19/2010

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We have another visit scheduled on Monday, so if I learn anything new I will post. This info has been helpful, and glad I could help Corinne. It sounded so strange to me at first too, but once it was explained, it made perfect sense. Our little ones really just want to please us and feel important, so it is great to give them a sense of purpose. I have a good friend that has a 4 year old who absolutely loves it. She is really into art and can't wait to get home and show her parents what she worked on and accomplished during the day.

Brandee - posted on 02/19/2010

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We have an appointment to visit the Montessori school in our town on Feb. 24th.. I am excited after reading these posts.. The school here is 21 months through 8th grade.. I have watched 3 nephews (12, 10, and 8 years old) and a niece (8 years old) struggle so much with school work.. Sometimes being bored and causing problems in class because they are ahead of the lesson and sometime being behind because the teacher had to move on before all the kids grasped the concepts being taught.. I hope the Montessori method can help us avoid this problem with Brandon.

Corinne - posted on 02/18/2010

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Thanks everyone for the input. I'm surprised that there weren't more negative things said. The school I'm interested in sending my son to goes thru 8th grade, so we might be able to dodge the transition to traditional school issue until high school-- when a transition time would be happening for all the kids anyway.
@Sandi-- I'm glad you touched on why they call play "work" in Montessori schools. That was one thing I was having a little bit of trouble coming to terms with. But I like the idea that it contributes to a sense of accomplishment for the kids.

Heather - posted on 02/15/2010

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My child has attended a Montessori program since he was 6 months old. At 12 months, he was able to set the table for snacks and put the dishes into a wash basin was he was done. His sign language was impressive and now at 19 months old he is able to read his letters (even out of order)..not because the teachers taught them to him, but because they encouraged his ability to learn (read). I am very happy with his school.

Barbara - posted on 02/11/2010

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Some public schools do have the Montessori program. I just wished there were more of them. Some kids do have a harder time adjusting public school. But I think it is harder for older children and not so much for preschooler who enter into K in public school. At my 8 year old school as the get older they do more work(worksheet) like public school along with montessori works. This is help them adjust to public school. I have stayed in contact with a lot kids parent of children that have moved on and they are all doing well in public school. One of the parent I last heard from has a child that is on honor roll and is in the gifted and talented program his first year in public school as a 4th grader.

Christina - posted on 02/11/2010

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I have some friends whom teach public school. They complain that children coming from Montessori schools have a terrible time adjusting to a new (let's face it, more boring) method. Montessori is in more engaging, if only a child could continue to learn that way throughout there school years.

Barbara - posted on 02/11/2010

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I have both work in Montessori school and I am sending two of three kids there now. My eight old has been in Montessori school since she was 19 months and she is a head of most other children who do not go to Montessori school in terms of academic skills, social skills, maturity and she better manner. This isn't just her I have had her every girls in her class over for a birhday slummber party and it was a piece of cake because all of the girls were so helpful and asking what they could do to help. My 8 year old has been reading chapter book since she has been 6. In Montessori school children learn hands on by doing, they learn how to take care of them selves and others, they are not babied which means the teacher have more time to teach them other thing than most preschool. It is not uncommon to see young preschool making snack for their friend. Because of Montessori school my 3 year request to make her own lunch for school.
Be careful about judging a school by the way it look my girls school in a large old house and it not fancy looking but is best school I have seen anywhere and I have worked at other Montessori schools. My girl's school is a fantastic school. My 8 has had poets come to her class and teach her class how to write Poetry and her class got to write and read their on poetry for the President of UNT. Her class has gotten to record on a CD for a children song w/ a children singer, they go on camping trips, and do yoga and much much more. The only draw back is she will be ahead when she does go to school in forth grade and she is not used to flash cards but that is easy to over come. That is a lot easier than trying play catch up and not being able to do basic school work.

Riya - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have heard that montessori schools are more geared towards academics, rather than extra curricular activities, sports, tours etc..

Sandi - posted on 02/09/2010

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One other thing I just remembered was that one of the negatives I had heard was that children had a hard time adjusting to main stream (public) school if they came from a Montessori school. I asked the director about this and she mentioned that sometimes the kids get bored in regular school because the methods of teaching are different. The Monetssori method really puts emphasis on creative thinking and that there are multiple answers, instead of just memorize a lot of things and you will get an A. I know that's a broad generalization about regular school, but I really like the fact that they encourage children to think and come up with solutions for problems.

Sandi - posted on 02/09/2010

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We went and toured the school in our area a few months ago and were really impressed. They start at age 2 and go through 6th grade here. The sum of the approach seems to be making the kids feel valued at what they do. With that, the kids have work that they do instead of just random playing. They have tons of options to choose from (puzzles, stations, etc throughout the room). Whatever they choose is referred to as work so that they know what they are doing is important and gives them a sense of accomplishment. The school here also has jobs for the older kids in their classrooms, for example they have a bunny so one kid is the zookeeper for the week, some of them serve lunch so they are the waiters and waitresses; it seemed great since kids really look to please and take pride in the jobs they do. The teachers seemed to be very excited about teaching and helping the kids learn.



We actually have another appointment next week for our son to do a tour and meet the teacher to see if we are going to proceed. Overall I was really excited about what I saw and have asked around and not heard anything negative. I have a friend who's girl is 4 who has been attending and seems to be doing great. I am interested to see what others know about this as we are still making our decision. And, I was really surprised to find out that the Montessori school here is actually a little cheaper than what I am currently paying for a daycare that I am not happy with. Hope that helps a little, good luck.

Brandee - posted on 02/09/2010

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I am interested in this method as well.. I know of some kids that were on a gymnastics team with me and went to Montessori school when they were younger.. Their vocabularies we much more advanced that other kids their age and they seemed to be more mature.. I am looking into it for my son.. I just hope we can afford it.

Chikodi - posted on 02/08/2010

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Hi Corinne, montessori method is a unique method of teaching that makes the kids develop intellectually fast. It has no minuse in the sense that kids that are trained with this methoid are sharper than the others. I advise you look for one such schools and enroll your son.

Cheers!

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