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Montessori ethos

(3 Posts)
MrsBobDobalina Wed 14-May-14 21:58:10

I'm looking for a nursery/pre-school place for my 2.5 yo boy (to start in Sept) at the moment. I recently visited a Montessori preschool. It looked great on paper, had amazing reviews and I really wanted to like it, but I left feeling a bit confused. The children were so quiet and still - my boy is lively and a complete chatterbox. I tried to talk to the children, it was like they were deaf, they wouldn't respond to me (just normal chitchat). The place was so quiet. The children weren't even talking to each other or the teachers.

Does anyone have a noisy active boy who thrives in/enjoys a Montessori preschool? I'd be very interested to hear your stories because I had such high hopes and came away feeling rather deflated.

josuk Mon 26-May-14 02:09:20

I've had two DD go through a Montessori nursery. One was a calm shy one and another an outgoing cheeky one. Montessori worked well for both because it allowed them to follow heir own path and do things that they were interested in. There were a number of active boys in the nursery and all seem to be doing fine.
I actually enjoy seing how well behaved kids are in the nursery - without really much discipline enforcement from the teachers. Unfortunately, even noisy and active kids have to learn to behave differently in a school setting way to early, but it is the reality.
Having said all that , if you had a bad feeling about the nursery - it is important. Can you try to talk to some parents with the kids there?
Not all Nurseries that call themselves Montessori are true to the method, so your vibe can be spot on!

vvviola Mon 26-May-14 02:18:42

I've personally been through the Montessori system and my DM was a Montessori teacher and that description is completely alien to me (I helped Mum out in her class up until my late teens so I've seen a lot of interactions in her class).

Yes, the class can be quite quiet when all children are working away (and one of the positives is the ability for children to choose their own activities and work - so they tended to chose things they enjoy and got more engrossed in them). But there are certainly times when things were louder and chattier. I don't know whether it was just the groups DM had over the years, or her personality as a teacher, but almost all of her kids were extremely articulate, very chatty and certainly would have chatted to any adult brought into the class.

I am quite disappointed that I haven't so far been able to expose my DC to a Montessori education other than little things I and DM have brought into the home. I think that done right it can be incredible.

Can you call in again at a different time of the day? Circle time maybe? You might have just come at a particularly quiet time, and it's always useful to see an environment at different times anyway.

I'm a naturally introverted person and was an early reader, so the child-led system worked very well for me. But there were certainly plenty of very active children (boys and girls) in my DMs classes and she was well able to tailor the class to them (and I think she felt the Montessori method can be quite good at helping more active children learn control - she certainly believes it would have done my live wire DD1 some good had it been an option where we live now)

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