Can anyone tell me more about Montessori Schools?(6 Posts)
Our DS starts at nursery soon and we are looking at Schools - I have heard a bit about Montessori style education but wondered if anyone has their children currently at this type of school or who might be able to tell me the real pros/cons?
I have read the history but I am just not sure how it actually translates in practice.
I suggest you look online for the Montessori Schools Association - as well as a very informative website they have a termly magazine (www.montessorimagazine.com)suitable for teachers and parents and have recently instituted a
Montessori Schools Accreditation Board.
my dd2 Aattended a montessori kindergarten attatched to the prep school my dd1 is at. we have been really really pleased. though at first it seemed a little "dry" compared to her previous nursery, she has thrived, i loved the way the children learn real life skills and emphasise is on practical stuff like putting on your shoes, tying laces, etc. the learning materials are brilliant and the children seem to learn while havign fun, it is way above just child care.
Momdeguerre (I LOVE your name, btw), dd1 has been going to a Montessori Children's House since she was 2.5 last september. the first thing to know is that there are many "degrees" of montessori.
She goes to a really pure montessori school which is rather extreme, but let me tell you my experiences.
It is at first a very dry environment like mummydoc says, in the sense that there are no obvious toys in a montessori school but rather "materials" (whcih are standard in all montessori institutions the world over) each designed to develop a particular skill. some of these materials look deceptively simple like the famous pink tower whcih is at first glance just stacking blocks until you realise the proportions and construction method are such as to give a child the intuition for the decimal system and square/cube roots etc.
there is a lot of emphasis on "life skills", ie dusting, cleaning, polishing, etc. to an adult watching it looks really boring, but children absolutely LOVE it and they are so proud of doing it right and they really enjoy it. there is a lot of emphasis on order and tidying up as a mark of respect for other children, and no structure like in other schools. children come in and choose their own activities under supervision of the teacher. some of it may be individual whereas others may be in pairs or groups.
my daughter's school is lovely, calm, very peaceful and the children are really well behaved in a very "energetic" way- they're all busy and all enjoying it and really learning through play, not running around aimlessly etc.
it is absolutely perfect for my dd and i really really love it, it has given her a lot of confidence and self-reliance, and the fact that there's older children is really lovely as there is an atmosphere of mutual support and team work.
My DS used to attend a Montessori school in Florida. He was very very lively and I knew he wouldn't be able to stay sitting at a desk all day long if he went to a traditional school. It was a lovely experience for him. The teacher is not the main focus and the learning is led by the child and the teacher is there to offer support and guide them along. The school was always so calm and you never ever heard the teacher raising their voices and shouting at the children. The only thing I would say is as far as I am aware they don't have Montessori schools right through to when they are ready to leave school so there will come a point in time when they will have to switch back to traditional schooling again. This immediately had a bad effect on my DS as when he did transfer he wasn't used to the teachers screaming and shouting at the kids and on many an occaision he was paralysed with fear because of all the ranting and raving going on by the teachers and other pupils.
If I could afford it and if there were Montessori schools that catered for them up until they leave achool I would put him back into the Montessori system again in a heartbeat.
Just wonderful, my DD is about to start her second year, my DS went to a playgroup then school nursery and the difference is striking. Amazing system and teachers and the reporting is fantastic. Her end of year report is the most thorough I have ever received (my DS is just finishing year 2 at a private pre-prep) and really showed that her teacher and the head of the school really know and understand her.
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