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NewMum99

Montessori experiences

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NewMum99

Hey everyone, I just wanted to get some feedback from parents of Montessori kids about how they have found/are finding the system. We're pretty sure we want to go Montessori for our kids right through primary but I was hoping to get some info about other parents' experiences.

Thanks!

Edited by NewMum99

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Tesseract

Following.

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jess27

We had our DS go to a Montessori pre-school and had a great experience. It did take some getting used to since we didn't know about the Montessori way before we enrolled him.

 

They come out with such manners, well adjusted, thoughtful little ones and I've been told the primary teachers can tell the Montessori pre-school kids from the others. i.e. are more adjusted, better listeners etc. etc.

 

Its not for everyone, our pre-school wasn't as strict on the principals of Montessori as others i.e. DS didn't have to attend 5 days in a row he attended 3 days a week. I found it to be such a calming influence for my son. Its helped to give him a sense of ownership, community and respect of others that I wouldn't have expected from a 5 yo.

 

Our DD is enrolled to attend next year.

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~river song~

my DS goes to a montessori daycare, he will next year however go to a purely montessori pre-school next year at age 3 and will be there until just before age 6. He is doing very well, despite some initial teething problems (was a new place so to be expected) things settled well now. He is learning so much, his language has come leaps and bounds. He has learnt a lot of 'practical life' skills in the past few months especially and he is now beginning to be introduced to letters and numbers.

If I do say so myself, they reinforce manners, to be polite and gracious which I'm very pleased about. He is also very self sufficient and able to do many things for himself. They work hard on teaching the children follow through and to develop self discipline. These are important aspects for us.

Its about educating the whole child.

 

Its certainly not for everyone and some parents I understand found some elements too strict, for me however I see it more as the beginning of teaching children some simple rules and to follow direction and completing tasks. And helping them unlock their potential early and to excel.

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Lickety Split

My 3.5yo DD started at our local Montessori preschool this year. She attends two days per week. I didn't know much about the method before she started but I am so impressed by it. The teachers are lovely, she learns manners and has to give news every week. The children are so well behaved and so independent. I love it. Next year she will increase to three days a week. I wish there was a Montessori primary and high school near me.

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NewMum99

Hey Winters Day - can I ask what aspects are "strict" like you say? I just want to know exactly what to expect.

Edited by NewMum99

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More than a Mother

My son has been at Montessori daycare from 11mths to now, 4.5 years.

 

We love Montessori. Our son is now one of the oldest, and he is a responsible, sensible and independant little boy, who now teaches the younger members of his group. He is always complimented on his manners and is very quick to learn. We also follow a lot of Montessori principles at home, which I feel does help.

 

We'd researched sending him to Montessori for preprimary and onwards, but he'll be going to his local state school for a number of reasons;

 

  • his nearest Montessori was 50 minutes away, making it difficult for him to develop friendships (we are a family of 3, with no extended family in the country, so local friendships and community are important to us)
  • Our local school rates very highly, and incorporates a lot of Montessori principles.
  • His current Montessori provider suggested that he did not need to continue Montessori, and that he would thrive in his local state school
  • It can be difficult to transition older children from Montessori into a traditional school, and we want him to go to a traditional high school.

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~river song~
Hey Winterds Day - can I ask what aspects are "strict" like you say? I just want to know exactly what to expect.

 

well they have a much more structured learning day, its not all finger painting and singing songs, although they do that too. They have 'work' as its called (just their term for learning with montessori materials really)

DS's teacher is so lovely but doesn't take nonsense which I appreciate as DS can sometimes try to pull a fast one ;) But he like all the children respond so well to her and respect her and so are a well behaved bunch. DS loves her, always cuddles and kisses good-bye he adores her. Like one PP said I find DS is very well mannered (although we are also sticklers for manners at home too) and polte and I think that comes in some form from being a bit firmer with the children.

Some parents don't like that. I do however :)

Edited by A Winters Day

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LucyAlice

Are there often waiting lists? How soon into a pregnancy should one make enquiries? I'm so pleased to see this thread appear.

Hope it is a pleasant day for all :)

 

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NewMum99

This is so good to read. We have chosen a Montessori school because it seems to fit the principals of learning we are very passionate about so I'm glad people have found it rewarding for their kids! I am anxious about sending her five days a week from 3yo - I'm not really prepared to be separated from her that much! But I guess I have a year to psych myself up for it...

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NewMum99

Hi LucyAlice, the school we're enrolled at has a baby program for children as young as 3 months - like a playgroup. I will be starting a one day a week playgroup day with my daughter who is nearly two from July this year with a view to starting her in the 3-6yo program in 2015. For us, this is all attached to the school.

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Sockergris

We are VERY pleased with our Montessori experience. In fact, I honestly can't imagine DDs going anywhere else. There are so many things I could say but the most important things to me are;

children are treated with respect and independence is highly valued

manners, grace and courtesy are important

curriculum is child led so DD doesn't have to be held back or feel like she's been left behind

tests and homework are out!

 

Our school has a long waiting list and it is recommended that you place your child on the list as soon is convenient after the birth. You don't need to go straight from the hospital or anything. ;) But waiting until 6 months can be too late.

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mumbag

We have both our children in Montessori and have been there since our eldest was three. They are now 8 and 6 years old.

 

Each school is different so you will need to look at your own local centre to see whether it suits you. Our experience is based on a small school (about 120 children in the primary campus from age 3 to 12). The staff turnover is minimal in the core teachers, though support staff do change and we had a bit of a patch finding the right teacher for a new class as the school grew.

 

Although we have chosen to stay with Montessori so far and most likely through to the end of primary school, we do re-evaluate regularly. I think an important factor is whether your child is likely to suit a self-directed style of learning and also whether you have a competitive nature and are concerned about your child "keeping up". I constantly have to remind myself that we are building other skills and it's not about who can learn the fastest.

 

I definitely find with our children that they go through stages where it seems like they are not learning much and then have bursts where they demonstrate new skills. This is probably because they consolidate their foundations before branching out into new areas. I don't think my children are doing better or worse than children at the local public school for their age but I do think they are gaining a more rounded educational experience and are happier than they would be in a mainstream environment.

 

Some of the pros and cons (to me, for others something I think is a pro might be a con and vice versa!) are as follows:

 

Pros:

  • Stable and comprehensive relationship with the same teacher over a three year period. The teachers really know our children and their individual personalities.
  • Sense of ownership of the classroom and school environment, due to being given the respect and independence to make many of their own choices.
  • Comfort in the classroom and access to bathroom, kitchen and lounge facilities.
  • Working at an individual pace rather than having to do what the rest of the class is doing.
  • Structured activities provide strong guidelines while allowing independence at the same time.
  • Peer learning with children across a 3 year age range allows children to practice a range of social interactions within their workspace and promotes maturity as well as consolidating concepts when children take on a teaching role.
  • Learning time management by being given a list of work that needs to be completed and allowing children to develop their own schedule, as long as all work areas are covered. I think this will give the children an advantage in later years of schooling and throughout life.
  • Starting at three is great for children who want to learn and with our school we had the playgroup on site so my youngest got familiar with the grounds and felt like she went to school before she actually started.
  • We have no set homework but my 8 year old has recently chosen to start doing research at home with no suggestion etc from us. And not just "researching" Minecraft like she used to do but she is looking up and then writing about different animals and compiling the paper into a folder.

Cons:

  • If your child isn't intrinsically motivated to work, it can feel as though they are lagging behind sometimes, where in mainstream they would be forced to keep up with the group. The theory of how a Montessori child will work isn't always the same as the practice!
  • We worry about adjusting to mainstream in high school, mostly because of the short time periods for class (we have a three hour work cycle in the morning, some time during which they can stop and have a snack but their work isn't interrupted by a bell in that time and they don't leave the classroom to snack).
  • When doing out of school sports, I have noticed my children are really not competitive. Not sure if that is just their nature or if it is in part due to the school environment. This is not the case with other children we know from school so is probably just us!
  • The three year cycle can feel long and both my girls got bored toward the end of cycle 1, however my eight and a half year old is fine with the last year of cycle 2.
  • School fees!

 

I think it can't hurt to do Montessori playgroup and evaluate from there. If they have the right equipment, it gives a really good sense of the way structured independence differs from free play and if the playgroup is on the school site you get a preview into the school atmosphere.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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Rowenas necklace
Are there often waiting lists? How soon into a pregnancy should one make enquiries? I'm so pleased to see this thread appear.

Hope it is a pleasant day for all :)

 

Our local Montessori school told us we can put Munchkin on the waiting list once she's born. I'd say check with your closest school/s about waiting lists.

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NewMum99
she is looking up and then writing about different animals and compiling the paper into a folder.

 

This is one of the most adorable things I have ever read <3

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Heading South
I have a six year old who started in the Children's House at Montessori at three and a half. He's now moved up to lower primary (6-9 yr olds).

 

Can I ask where/ what school your 6 year old moved on to?

 

We have a 4 year who goes to Montessori. First we tried a Montessori Daycare and we quick moved out into a Preschool (I would not recommend Montessori Daycare).

 

 

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LambChop

We're a Montessori family, have been since start of school - children no in G4 & G5.

 

Agree with all the plus's and con's above.

 

Glad we had the option!

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mumbag
This is one of the most adorable things I have ever read <3

 

Thanks, I have to say 8 is a really enjoyable age so far :)

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TKS
We have a 4 year who goes to Montessori. First we tried a Montessori Daycare and we quick moved out into a Preschool (I would not recommend Montessori Daycare).

 

Can I ask why you wouldn't recommend a Montessori Daycare? We are currently considering one.

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*Ker*

While montessori is fantastic, I would not recommend my kids school at all. I like the Montessori part, but very little else about the school lol.

 

But both my klids have thrived with Montessori teachings.

 

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indigo~

I have DD booked in to a Montessori day care from 1yo, and am also interested to hear why the PP would not recommend. Thanks.

Edited by indigo~

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