Preschool

Wendy - posted on 03/08/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Any opinions on montessori preschool? I'm thinking about enrolling my daughter until she is ready for kindergarten in a public school. Any advantages or disadvantages in terms of how she will adjust to a public school system?

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Melissa - posted on 06/22/2012

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My two year old is thriving in Montessori. She has been there for a year now and I plan on putting her back in until she attends full time. I will split her time between public and Montessori for the beginning instead of just dumping her full face into a public school setting. I love Montessori and I feel that they are making amazing headway with my girl.
Yes it is child centered but I've never seen, heard, or experianced any of the teachers making her play or work with something in the "HAVE" to way that has been discussed on this thread. My daughter still has a fantastic imagination, she also loves to help and is able to do things in the kitchen because yes they did show her the proper way, but that doesn't mean they are going to have a fit if she uses the turkey baster as a microphone. My daughter's creativity is far from limited and her brain is doing just fine. If she is doing something and they "show her the better way", either my daughter follows along or she doesn't but either way no one gets upset of the deal. I do the same thing with her.
My mother is a retired elementary school teacher of 38 years and SHE was the one that suggested Montessori for her.
Here's the thing, if you are thinking about putting your child in the school do your research. Not all schools have teachers that have gone through the proper training because the name "Montessori" is not protected. Also that type of setting is not for all children, you need to know your child and watch them. My friend's son wasn't doing well in the system so she had to pull him out, where my daughter is doing an amazing job there.
Either way it depends on the child and the school, research, observe your child if you decide to enroll and talk to the teachers if there are things you don't agree with. I am in CONSTANT contact with her teachers and am up to date with everything. If I don't like something I tell them. I also tell them things I do at home with her to help them.
It is just a different form of education, again not for everyone.

Sabrina - posted on 06/10/2010

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montessori school is mainly more play for chilren there is no routine schedule nor curriculum that they go by. the preschool i work for are children learn by hands on because they do learn during play and those things that they use in play we type up in are weekly lesson and make sure it can be used in all area in the classroom.we also have group discusssion about are weekly lesson.we have open ended questions that way you will know what your children are learning.

Dawnelle - posted on 06/04/2010

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I have not totally bought into the Montessori program (though I have researched it some because I really believe in the child-centered approach to schooling) I don't think the comments below sound very helpful.



The reasons I have not pursued it at this point are: (1) while it is child-centered, it is still pretty structured (if it adheres to Montessori method). For instance, a child may choose their "work", if they do not do it the "better way" the teacher will show them and I have been told "they just do it the better way because it works better that way".

(2) Everything is reality based. That if it cannot happen in real life, they will be told that as if it is wrong. This sounds like it encourages passive learning methods just like the traditional American approach to education. In other words, children aren't allowed to think out of the box and should just do things correctly or provide the correct answers. At least, this is the impression that I have so far. I wonder if this impairs their creativity and independence -probably not as much as the traditional American educational system but, nevertheless, is the same despite claiming to be "child-centered".



As for your fears for your child not being ready for Kindergarten- I think it is sad that we have to "prepare" our children for Kindergarten now. Once upon a time, Kindergarted was in fact the preparation for 1st grade and beyond. Let Kindergarten do their job. (2) there are some Montessori schools that are beyond preschool and go to elementary, middle school, and even high school. I personally think that Montessori almost sounds better for older children than preschool/toddlers (due to my concerns previously mentioned). However, I love the idea of child-centered, play-oriented programs. I just moved my child at 2 1/2 to one of these from a traditional childcare/preschool center where at 2 y/o, he was bored; he was one of only a few kids that could speak in complete sentences and converse but because they were grouped by ages, he couldn't speak to his peers much (there are no age groupings at his current center), and circle time consisted of flashcards on a daily basis.

Lori - posted on 03/08/2009

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I think Montessori , if strict curriculum, is often limiting.  Some children need more interaction.  Encouraging children's independence is crutial, however, any great PK teacher will take the best ideas and concepts from many educational schools of thought and find out what works best with the children they are teaching,  In my experience, Montessori trained children are less apt to be socially ready for the demands of public school.

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April - posted on 06/17/2010

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I am an Early Childhood Education minor with my teaching degree and had to observe Montessori schools. I do not like them because they can only play a certain way with the toys. I feel that is wrong and it limits children. For example, when in the kitchen area they HAVE to pretend to cook someone and set the table and wash the dishes. They cannot do anything else. When playing with tiles they HAVE to set them a certain way and play with them a certain way. That limits their brains and creativity which I feel can do more harm than good.

I am very against Montessori schooling.

Tracee - posted on 06/17/2010

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My years of working with these age groups both in day care and in preschool have taught me that those educators on "my" side of the fence have a negative attitude toward Montessori. It would seem to be the case based on the comments here, too.

Sara - posted on 06/16/2010

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I love Montessori preschools!!! I work for one in the toddlers room and in the preschool rooms. I think the pre-kinder programs really grasp the concept of advanced learning. The transisition is a little weird because public schools aren't as structured as a montessori setting but it's not that bad of a transition. Good Luck!

Sabrina - posted on 06/12/2010

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I've gotten a child in my classroom who was an early three yr old and he wanted to do everything and anything.ok,what i did was pair him up with a buddy somebody that he likes to play with everyday. make sure its a child thats claim and likes to help out around the classrooom that way that child can help you by helping the other child learn and follow the classroom rules and routines. make up developmental plan on how you can keep this child occupied. also another thing i do in my classroom is make up area signs for my children,I take tag board and glue a picture of them onto the tagboard and put their names on the bottom for them to see second i use numbers in each area of the classroom. 4 children is the most for each area.third I use velcro to stick on the wall next to the number and on the back of the area cards.that way when they see the number and their friends pictures hung next to the number they will know that area is full and they can't go to that area.and you can use a timer when you want them to switch to another area that way each child would have a chance to play in all areas. there is a site we use where i work its very helpful www.creative curriculum.net it will help u make development plans,lesson plans,etc.

Porche - posted on 06/12/2010

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I'm a preschool teacher and we just recently got a new child in my class who came from a Montessori school and it is nerve wrecking.

Margie - posted on 06/11/2010

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Montessori schools should not encourage passive learning but rather focuses in preschool on teaching real life skills (independence - dressing, pouring, spreading, folding) - before formal school skills - If you can use your hands to operate tweesers etc you can use a pencil. However beware as Montessori wanted it to be an education system for everyone she did not copyright any of it and a lot of schools use there own interpretions.

Christelle - posted on 04/10/2009

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I've enrolled my son (almost 5) in Montessori this year and must confess that I'm not entirely happy. In all 3 your comment I recognize what might be troubling. My son i somewhat shy, but once he connects with you , can be totally boisterous. His previous daycare teacher really "got" him, and the teacher at this Montessori school not at all. They are great people doing a great job, but I perceive them to be a bit distant. What is great is that he is learning English now (we are Afrikaans), though it has been a frustrating 3 months. He's really frustrated 'cause he don't always understand the others, and they him, and it is a problem for the teacher, who even referred me to an educational psychologist! I know there's nothing wrong with him, I get enough postive feedback from other sources. So I'm sitting it out for a while and will still consider whether I'll be sending my younger boy. I love many of the concepts though.

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When I taught kindergarten in a public school, I could always pick out the students that went to a Montessori school. They had trouble with following the teachers directions and transitioning from one activity to another. They usually wanted to set their own pace and got easily frustrated when they had to follow what all the other kids were doing.

Sia - posted on 03/08/2009

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Montessori is usually child centered which might be a little difficult for a child who is entering public school.   Kids learning is guided by what they are interested in.  In public school, they don't have a choice so the transition might be a lil challenging but doable.

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