January 31, 2008,
J.C. asks from Gilbert, AZ on January 13, 2008
Montessori Schools - Gilbert,AZ
I'm considering putting my 2 and a half year old son in a Montessori preschool in the fall, however it is pricey (about $4000 a year) and was wondering if anyone has any experience with Montessori versus "regular" preschool. Is it worth it? If you start out with Montessori, should he be in private school forever? Because if you only do Montessori for a few years, and then put him in public school...is it a step backward where he'll be bored?
3 moms found this helpful
L.G. answers from Denver on January 31, 2008
A close family member ran a Montessori Preschool for over 20 years,and subsequently I have sent mine. I have been extremely happy with Columbine Montessori in Littleton. Their emphasis is on reading readiness. They offer morning and afternoon classes, preschool and kindergarten. They by no means are childcare! I am aware that their pricing runs from $275per month to $360 depending on number of days. They are located at south Pierce and Chatfield. Good luck I hope you find this helpful.
J.M. answers from Phoenix on January 15, 2008
Not all Montessori schools are private. There are actually some Charter schools and even 3 elementary schools in the Mesa Public School system offer regular education or Montessori. Do a search online and maybe you can find some of those options.
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L.D. answers from Chicago on January 16, 2008
I too am partial to the Montessori school as I am a Montessori teacher. The best time to invest in your child's education is this period, birth to age six. Montessori benefits the whole child, not just the academics or social skills. The teacher is there to facilitate and encourage the child's own awareness of the world around them. Nurturing the spirit of the child and allowing them to make the discoveries has a tremendous effect on their whole well-being. Montessori is not a "free for all", it is freedom within limits. Many Montessori schools do have a "kindergarten time" that allows the children to work in a setting they may encounter in the public school. Many children leave the Montessori school after kindergarten and go onto the public school with ease. At first it may be difficult, as they will be better prepared than most their age, and they may be bored but the teacher they have should see and assest where they are. Investing in your child's education at this age is very important instead of waiting until college to invest. These are life skills they are learning and they are developing the tools so that they want to learn. The key is bringing out their own love of learning and exploration from within. I strongly advise observing the Montessori schools in your area. Check the backgrounds of the schools as well; those that are affiliated with either ams (american montessori society) or ami (american montessori international) and have accrediation from them follow closely with the Montessori guidelines. Be very warey of schools that have no affilation with either the ams or ami societies! Each Montessori varies but the core of them should be the same. Good luck, you will find that you made an awesome decision to send your child to a Montessori school. (as well as being a Montessori teacher, my daughter goes too and she has grown immensely from this experience)
1 mom found this helpful
V.D. answers from Grand Junction on January 15, 2008
I wouldn't worry about whether he starts in private school and then goes to public possibly in the future. He's still so young! What I really wanted to relay to you is though the price of the preschool program sounds expensive, the tuition is tax deductible. I just learned this! So is daycare if that applies to you at all. However, when the child starts Kindergarten, if you choose to go private over public, it's not deductible. Take advantage of it while you can! Best of Luck and God Bless!
T.C. answers from Denver on January 15, 2008
I have my kids at a play based preschool, and I'm not exactly sure how they're different. At 2 years old you do not know much about how your child learns and interacts with others, etc. As they get near 4 years old you start to have a better idea about their "learning style". What works for them at two really has no bearing on what type of elementary school they attend.
J.L. answers from Denver on January 14, 2008
My daughter was in a Montessori childcare starting at age 7 months. It was a great place for her to start. She "aged" out of the school and now (3)she is in a public school "trying" to be Montessori but also is dual language, which I am excited about. I have spoken with a friend(who is an educator with an 8 year old in a Montessori who says she has visited the classroom of 3rd graders and doesn't like what she sees as far as chaos in the classroom. She suggested that Montessori is great through age 6. Who better to know than an educator and mother of a Montessori child. I think I am greatful we had the start we did but I am more excited for the dual language and decided to let go of my "NEED" for her to continue in Montessori. Her school now only does Montessori through kinder and continues dual language after that. With the tuition you are paying also make sure they are a true Montessori and hopefully they have a low teacher to student ratio, which I also think is truely important at this age. Good luck.
A sort of experienced Montessori parent.
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A.R. answers from Las Vegas on January 15, 2008
My daughter has been at Springstone Montessori for almost a year (she's 2 1/2) and she loves it. She went to Children's World before that which is cheaper by about $40-$50 a month, however, I feel at Montessori she is learning more and the place just feels more organized. I know it is pricey but for us it's worth it. She's almost potty trained and just yesterday told me that "people live on the globe" and while watching the Walking with Dinosaurs shows she told me about the continents moving. Its amazing!
I believe there are only two Montessori schools in Las Vegas that take toddlers (over 18 months) but I may be wrong. Also, I know there is a list to get into some of the toddler programs at Montessori and also MerryHill so the sooner you get on the list the better.
Hope this helps!
D.B. answers from Phoenix on January 14, 2008
Honestly I couldn't afford the preschool, but once my kids were old enough for chartered kindergarten I put them into Montessori & have had no regrets. In my experience Montessori is far superior to regular public methods of teaching. I could go on for days but the highlights of the benefits thru my experience have been: learning to read very fast, excitement to learn is very high, they actually recall alot of details about their day & can relate it to daily life outside of school. I feel it is a well rounded education with emphasis on personalized growth verses public school all kids learn the same thing at the same time & whether or not all comprehend they move on.. I recommend a visit to watch how they teach & observe the children in their class. You'll never go back. My 8 yr old & 5 yr old are both very different in their learning styles but are excelling acedemically in Montessori. I recommend finding a school that goes thru 6th grade.
D., Mother of 3 married for 12 yrs, Mesa Az
C.H. answers from Santa Fe on January 15, 2008
I taught in a Santa Fe Montessori for 13 years as a lead teacher. Of course, I'm partial to it, I will admit! There are many good pre-schools in the area, some less expensive, some more, but Montessori offers a child centered and directed environment in which the child will learn not only what we term academics (it is the child's work of developing him/herself)but social and life skills. While his/her experience in the classroom is initiated by the teacher (lessons are offered in the specific materials)the child is then free to choose what work she wants as long as she is respectful of the work and of others. It's really very basic courtesy that is taught.
As far as the 'setting up for private school career'...it does not do this. That is YOUR choice. The child MAY be more advanced in the first grade (he/she will definately be reading well and have other academic skills those without Montessori may not have) but any good teacher will welcome that and attend to your child's academic needs. I firmly beleive that exposing a child's developing brain to stimulating knowledge and experiences should be sought after and sacrificed for (within reason, of course).
If a private education is what you wish for your child, know that there are local Montessori's that offer scholarships as do the private elementary, middle and high schools. A good education can also be attained at public schools but in my opinion and experience, one must be VERY attentive to the teachers your child has as guides.
Call the local Montessori schools (and other pre-schools as well) and set up a date for an observation. They will welcome you and give you a sense of what thier school and Montessori are all about. Kudos to you for caring so much about your child's education! Good Luck!
C.C. answers from Denver on January 15, 2008
I have a daughter who turned 4 this past November. She was in a home daycare until this past October when I enrolled her in a Montessori Preschool. Since I work full-time, she goes to the full day program. I absolutely recommend Montessori. They have individualized programs for each child and let the children learn at their own pace. My daughter knew her letters, numbers, and colors when she started, so the school has her writing them and spelling them. The children in the class range from 3-6 so they learn from each other and if the child is still learning the colors, they work with them on that, or like my daughter, they have moved on to having her write them, etc. I believe that each child is different and the rate that they learn things is different and that is how the montessori school works. I will keep her in Montessori through kindergarten then enroll her in public school starting in first grade. When children start in public school, you can talk to the teacher and bring in the work the child has done to show the teacher where they are at with their learning process. Public schools have accelerated subjects and can meet the child at the level the are at. For the full day montessori program, I pay $990/month. It is more expensive than KinderCare, etc., but definately worth the price. The more learning a child does at this young age, the better off they are in the future.