Montessori School - preschool ?'s — The Bump
Pre-School

Montessori School - preschool ?'s

We're in the fun period of trying to figure out what we want to do for DS and preschool.  We're interested in learning more about Montessori and have a lot of research to still do but thought I'd stop by here and get opinions and experiences. 

I was curious what the big differences are at the Preschool age between Montessori and regular preschool.  Also, for those of you considering/going to a Montessori preschool, how far are you thinking of taking it?  Preschool only?  Elementary?  As far as you can?  Anyone know a child who has been through grade school or farther and had to make the transition to higher learning in a public school or university?  That's one of our concerns (although obviously we have a bit before we'd be deciding anything about elementary or middle school, so I'm probably jumping the gun there).

Like I said, we still have a lot of research to do (I'm actually looking at one of the Michael Olaf site at the moment), but I thought this might be a good place to jump in and get thinking about it more.  Thanks! :)

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Re: Montessori School - preschool ?'s

  • I love our Montessori school.  This one only goes through Kindergarden so DS will stay next year for K even though he is doing everything the kids in K are doing.  I am somewhat worried that he will be very advanced when he gets to public school but the schools he will go to have a good gifted program should he need/qualify for it.  I like the independence and responsibility montessori teaches the kids.  Like pp said some places claim montessori but aren't true montessori.  It sounds like you are on the right track of researching to see what it entails and then start looking at schools to make sure they meet your expectations.
    Mommy to DS1 ~10.11.05~ DD1 ~07.22.07~ DD2 ~09.10.10~
  • My mom's a M teacher, I went to M school (through six years old) and I've taught arts at M schools for the past 6 years.  My son goes to a M school- been a way of life for me.

     I think that a M school is very different from your regular preschool.  The OP explained a lot- definitely check the programs out because just the M name does not guarantee anything.  Every school is independent.  

     I looked at other preschools because I was not sure we could afford to send DS to a M school while I'm not working right now and I just could not bring myself to send him to one- even "well known" schools in the wealthy town next door.  If I'm going to pay for my son to go to preschool I don't want him playing a bunch of plastic toys and getting nothing academically.  We have plenty of social interactions with other children, as I run a very large playgroup.  I asked how they introduce pre-reading and reading skills and one teacher told me that they don't do anything specific, "for example, when we do the calender we say Monday- mmmmm".  Uh, no. I don't want to push him into academics either, which is why I think Montessori is great, because they do follow the child, and he was ready for more than just socializing- he's VERY interested in reading, numbers, sounds, science, geography, and it's hard for me to touch on all that with his little brother at home.  However, his teacher says that he loves open ended work, like pouring, drawing, learning how to button, etc., which is great, too.

     The OP made a good point about the alphabet- they do things phonetically, so I never taught my son the "alphabet"- always referred to letters using their sounds- you might want to do that. 

     I wouldn't worry about transitioning, be it in elementary or later.  Every child I know has done fine- I even have a friend who went to M school through 6th grade and then transitioned just fine to public middle and high school.   

     Good luck!  Mothering.com has a specific Montessori forum under their education forum if you want to check that out or have more specific questions. 

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  • DS's Montessori School goes through 6th grade.  He's in his first year of pre-K now, and loves it.  We are hoping to be able to put the kids through Montessori elementary, it will just depend on if we can afford it since we'll have three kids pretty close together in age and that's a lot of private school tuition.

    My husband went to Montessori through elementary school and the only problem he says he had transitioning to regular schools is that he was really bored.  Because Montessori lets you learn at your own pace, he had gotten ahead of where the regular school system would have had him.  He said he didn't feel challenged again until high school when he was able to take advanced level courses.  Personally, I think 2 years of not being challenged in junior high is better than 8 years of being bored at a regular school, so Montessori seems like a worthwhile thing for that alone.  Of my husband's elementary school class (he's still in touch with most of them b/c it was a small school and a close knit community), many went on to get PhDs.  So it seems like the transition to higher ed is no problem.  

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