Montessori -" Yes" or " No" ?????

Updated on January 31, 2011
D.I. asks from Glendale, AZ
10 answers

Some parents recommend Montessori schools, some don't. It is used to be expensive but now their tuitions are not more then regular day-care or other pre-schools.
I was thinking about Montessori preschool for my 4 yo child. Is it really better then other pre-schools ? Is it worth it ? I never had to choose a school before (first time experience), now it is time.
Thank you for your time and advices

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So What Happened?

Wow, I am very impressed to receive all these replies and they were very helpful for me because I am foreign and was not familiar with the choices of the schools. Thank you all for your time and for all information and suggestions.
I visited a few Montessori schools and willing to sign up my daughter but now I have to decide which one.
I like Sunrise after a few positive reviews from a three families and liked a teacher but there are 40 kids for 4 teachers and room did not look to me big enough for 40 kids, backyard is tiny and very plane. Maybe there are not bad things. Price is $510/month, very close to my house.
Other school has very beautiful bigger facility with very nice yards and animals, garden but more money $610/month+ $200 registration fee. 9 kids per 1 teacher( 56 kids in the room).Again is it too many kids for one?
Montessori at someone's house is a third choice for $500 a month but 3 total students so far, a lot of attention but not enough friends.Is it good or bad.

seems like nobody offers 5-6 kids per one teacher anymore or if somebody does , it is not close to my house.
My child is very quiet and shy, polite, looks mature for her age. She needs to go to pre-school because I thing she will do well with learning and needs a social skills, it is better then to watch TV while mommy does the chores and busy with younger baby.
I really want to make a good decision so I would not feel like I am waisting money.

Thank you again to everyone, I really appreciate your help.

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Hi D.,

I am not too familar with Montessori but many years ago my nephew went to Montessori in Utah and he did quite well.

I just recently (this past week) started my daughter in pre-school. I did extensive research and found a fantastic program at ASU - West Campus. They have a pre-school in their child development center and all the teachers, assistants, volunteers and director etc are involved in early education, education, child psychology etc - it is really a wonderful program and the facility is NAEYC accredited which is one of the toughest accreditations to obtain from the federal government. They really focus on education but it is combined with creative and fun activities that allow the children to think for themselves, logic/reason and explore and develop independence. They are also taught repsonsibility such as taking their snack plates to the garbage, rinsing a cup, picking up after themselves etc - good reinforcment on what I teach her at home.

They also maintain structure and routine which gives the child security and stability. I also have the option to email the teacher anytime during the day and will get a response. There is a computer in the classroom and the child has opportunity to communicate w/parent during the day.

Here is the link I know the program still has openings and they offer 5 day a week, 3 day a week and 2 day a week programs. They offer breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack. My daughter goes twice a week for 4 hours each day. I pick her up just after lunch.

Also, they keep the classes small. My daughter has 6-7 kids in her class and there are two teachers and two assistants.

Again, I am quite impressed with this program and actually thought their pricing was better than most and they have the accreditations to back up the reputation.

I also like the fact that I can visit anytime I want and I can stay in the classroom for as long as I want. They really encourage parent involvement.

I hope this helps and good luck.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

It totally depends on your child's personality, needs, and what you want for him/her. Montessorri works well for my son right now (he'll be 4 in Sept and is independant, high energy and extremely sensitive). It's great because the classroom is what they call a "prepared environment" where everything is set up with a purpose for learning. It's extremely hands on which research shows is the best form of learning for a lot of people.
Along with fostering self-reliance and confidence through the "work", they also really focus on building confidence through social interaction and communication, as well as a sense of community. The patience and understanding that we experienced with our son in this area has made a huge difference in how he feels about "going to school" (as I mentioned, he is pretty sensitive). I think montessorri a GREAT choice for pre-school and lower elementary.

I'd suggest doing some research and figuring out if the theory and methods are in line with what you want for your child. Montessori is different from other teaching methods in that it is almost completely child directed (vs teacher directed), which some people don't agree with. There are steps and directions that the child must follow in each work area, but which work area they choose, and how long they spend there is up to them.

If you're looking for a good Montessori school, we've had a great expereince at Khalsa and I've heard good things about Reed Montessori.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm an elementary school teacher who has taught in both public and private settings, but I have no formal Montessori training. I believe that Maria Montessori's philosophy of how young children learn and should be taught is a good and solid one- it just makes sense. However, you'll find that her philosophy is interpreted in different ways depending on the level of training in the Montessori method that a teacher has, or even in the attitude of the school director. (In fact, you'll find that every school is significantly impacted by what the teachers and the administration know and think!) That said, I appreciate the integrated and "natural" approach to exploring and learning that happens in my toddler son's Montessori classroom. You won't see a group of children sitting and listening to the teacher tell them about what day it is or that the sky is blue. To someone unfamiliar with the philosophy and method, walking into my son's classroom looks like the children are all playing and doing nothing more. However, they are learning through doing and experiencing; teachers are stopping to talk with them about what they're doing and getting in all kinds of "instruction" about colors, shapes, sizes, etc. In fact, it's like a conversation. There's definitely more emphasis on learning HOW to think instead of WHAT to think. I've found that students in my classroom who have experienced learning at a Montessori school are often "deeper" thinkers, even if they don't have all of the facts and figures. Please feel free to contact me in the event you'd like more information, and good luck making this decision. As an educator, I very much appreciate that you are asking questions and trying to find a good fit for your child!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I am a teacher who learned about Montessori in school. The concept is a great one, but I would say it depends on your child. At this age, though, your child is resilient, so you can always try it and stop if id doesn't work out.

A word of caution... many schools now say they are "montessori" when the truly are not. Because they can get more money if they say they are, they just pretend. Please take time to do research and find an authentic montessori school.


answers from Phoenix on

My friend in California has her kids going to a Montessori school. It sounded good to us as well, but my husband did some more research on it, and we come to a different opinion. Do an in depth research on this school yourself, and see if this is right for you.



answers from Phoenix on

check out sunrise montessori - two locations.
47 ave and thunderbird (near asu west)
83 ave and deer valley
DEFINITELY better than typical preschool.
you can observe and meet the director privately for more questions.
don't have the number on me right now, but they are listed.
good luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Well D. choosing a school has changed a lot since we were kids!!
Although I have never been to private school, charter school, or Montessori school I have heard nothing but good things about them! My mom couldn't really afford to put me in any kind of school but public, however I've had friends graduate from Catholic school with high honors and they never seemed to get in as much trouble as a teenager. They always complained that the teachers were strict and their time was always filled w/ school related activities, however now they have really good jobs and their kids seem more advanced! I have a 5 yo old niece who just started kindergarten that is within a church, and even though her parents have a high tuition to pay they swear it is worth it. My niece came from a not so stable situation and needs the special one~on~one help that public schools just aren't able to provide. Another bonus is that most private schools require uniforms! I hope this helps!!



answers from Phoenix on

My son is 4 years old and he has been going to a Montessori school for 1 year now. He is doing great. He was in a regular daycare/preschool and the children/teacher ratio was too high (20 kids to 2 teachers) and he was getting lost in the shuffle. Whatever type of school you choose, I think low student to teacher ratio is important. There are about 5 childen per teacher at his school now. As for the Montessori my son is in, we love it. They do have different ways in teaching, so you would have to reseach it and see if it is a right fit for you and your child. Good luck!!!



answers from Phoenix on

Make sure the montessori school is AMI certified.


answers from Los Angeles on

The more you learn about Montessori, the more impressive it becomes. The material is presented to each child in a very particular way. The child copies the educator/teacher exactly and then learns to master the exercise. The interesting thing about the method is that each exercise has several layers of learning. For instance, the transfering of beans from one bowl to another using tweezers teaches kids fine motor skills, but on another level, it teaches them to control a utensil for later writing skills, and it acts as a precursor to counting, because the kids do the transfer one bean at a time. All of the material is fashioned to provide multiple background learning to be able to advance more quickly/easily in future skill development. The number of kids per class is not as important because from an early age, the kids work on the material themselves once they've been shown how it works, and consequently, they learn to get to work themselves, and to concentrate on what they are doing, thus building not only self discipline but also self esteem. I have 3 kids in the method - from ages 2 1/2 to 12. It's fabulous but make sure it's a REAL montessori school because the method is not registered/trademarked so the only real way of verifying is to make sure the school belongs to the AMI or AMS!