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Montesorri vs traditional

(9 Posts)
bemybebe Fri 11-Jan-13 21:18:51

Not sure if this is the right area, but please help me decide which nursery to choose for my dd, given all other equal - more traditional or montesorri nursery. She is 6.5 mo and will be going there for 2 days a week to start with then full-time...

wifeymerrick Fri 11-Jan-13 21:21:52

Traditional !! I love the montessori approach but from experience the whole hearted nursery approach is a little too much !

Sirzy Fri 11-Jan-13 21:23:15


bemybebe Fri 11-Jan-13 22:08:59

I am struggling to understand what are the main differences between the two approaches. Reading on Montessori website here "Montessori makes children try and do it for themselves" ...i wonder if a good traditional approach is catering for the same.

Unfortunately, I am a foreigner as is my dh, so we do not have a good understanding of the UK early years system yet.

Goldmandra Fri 11-Jan-13 23:04:05

Montessori is a philosophy and every setting interprets it differently. Some go the whole way and offer very prescriptive activities which the children are allowed to choose to do, but only in a particular way, building up the complexity of the tasks as their understanding develops. They also view play as serious work, so they have real equipment to use instead of toy replicas. Other settings are based more loosely on the ethos and, in reality, are much like a traditional nursery.

You need to go and look around the settings, observe carefully how the staff interact with the children and make your decision on your feeling about what you see. You'll probably find that the one whose approach best matches your parenting style is the one you feel most comfortable with and that's the one with which you'll probably develop the best relationship.

Nursery education is about giving children a firm foundation of confidence, self esteem, resilience and an urge to explore and discover. Find the place you think will nurture those things in your LO. The rest will come naturally if those foundations are there.

bemybebe Fri 11-Jan-13 23:49:00

Brilliant, thank you goldmandra. I was invited to chat to mums with dcs attending nurseries, so I will give them a call. Difficult to observe as my presence is v obvious and both nurseries have outstanding rating by ofstead. One has massive wait list and I cannot really understand why.

Goldmandra Sat 12-Jan-13 00:01:47

I wouldn't set too much store by the Ofsted rating. Having worked in Early Years for 13 years now I can honestly tell you that it doesn't reflect how the staff actually relate to the children. It is far more about paperwork and procedures which are, of course, important but not how I would like to choose who cared for my baby.

It is hard to fake good, nurturing relationships and real attachments. Even if the staff know you are there you would still see good indicators of how your DD would be cared for.

Take up the offer of chatting to other parents and ask about staff turnover and whether the key worker actually develops a close relationship with key children or is basically just the person who writes in their diary every day.

For babies the care needs to be focused on building good attachments with consistent carers and lots of cuddles, not expensive toys and complicated planning.

Listen to your instincts. They do a very good job at times like this.

lougle Sat 12-Jan-13 00:04:10

The montessori my DD goes to is amazing. It probably isn't strict montessori, though. It uses all the sensorial activities and each child's development is differentiated for. DD3 adores it.

rrreow Sat 12-Jan-13 22:05:55

Montessori's approach is learning through play. But during nursery age, ALL nurseries have a learn through play approach, whether they are private or state funded. I went to a Montessori primary school (in Holland) and can definitely see the benefits of it there, when the child is the age for the actual school curriculum / formal learning. But for a baby, if money is no object I would just choose the nursery that seems nicest. My DS goes to a state nursery (is this even the right term?), he is 20mo and it's a lovely place and he has a great key worker, I can definitely tell it has a positive influence on his development.

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