Montessori preK Then Transition to Public School

Updated on September 30, 2010
M.D. asks from Stockton, CA
10 answers

If anyone has opinions/experience with a Montessori school I would love to hear your thoughts- good/bad etc. My triplets are 4 yrs old & I am having thoughts of putting them in a Pre K program. As of now all goes to a traditional preschool. 2 of my trio are little on the shy side when in big groups and tends to really steer away from others & stick with each other . does montessori school help with the social skills???

ALso I am just not sure if the Montessori school would make it harder for them to adjust to a public Kindergarten.(we can never afford private school for all 3 long term so we will be sending them to public school). wondering will the money be worth it for spending on montessori preK.

Also does anyone have any feedback on montessori preschools in the fremont area (east san fransisco bay area, CA)

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answers from Sacramento on

Hi - I just spoke to a woman yesterday who was telling me that her son went to Montessori for Pre-K and K and was significantly behind when he went to public first grade - so much so that the faculty wanted to hold him back and have him repeat first grade. He ended up going forward but I guess it was really a struggle for him - she said that Montessori did not prepare him for public school, at all.

Hope this helps.

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answers from Erie on

My kids all attend/attended a Montessori school from pre-K to 6th grade. The two older ones transitioned beautifully to public school (the others are still there). The people you need to be asking are parents of former students of the specific Montessori school you are considering.
We paid for the first few years, and then the school transitioned to become a Charter school. I have to say, I don't regret one penny we spent on it. It was money well spent.
A good Montessori school will encourage social skills, educational skills and life skills. At 4yo, your children will be "in the middle" in the class-not the oldest and not the youngest. They will be encouraged to help the 3yos AND the 5yos will help them. They will also be encouraged to develop individually, and the teacher will make the effort to identify each child's strengths and build on them. They may *want* to stick together, but I bet you will find that they discover their own individual selves throughout the year, as their classroom duties and group activities will encourage them to act on their own, and not rely on each other so much.
This is assuming, of course, that you are going to send them to an accredited school with well-trained teachers and a good reputation. Go do an observation if you haven't already, and ask lots of questions.

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answers from Sacramento on

The only thing I would mention is that if you are going to pay the cost of Montessori, do your research and be sure you are enrolling them into an actual Montessori program. There are schools that use some of the Montessori products and some of the Montessori methods, but are not true Montessori schools... yet will use the name. If you are paying extra, you may as well have the total Montessori experience for your children.
Having said that, I'm not sure Montessori will be that much better for socialization skills than any other pre-school. The main thing is that your children are being around other children and have the opportunity to develop social skills.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I do not have any advise offer in terms of the Montessori school experience, but you mentioned in your post that you will never be able to afford a private school. We actually just started our son who is turning 4 by the end of the month in a pre-k program in Mission Hills Middle School. That is a private school that just started the pre-k and Kindergarten program this year. You might want to look into it as the prices as so reasonable. We pay only as much as we payed for our previous home daycare and the school includes basically the daycare as well. Check them out and good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Both of my sons attended a Montessori from age 2 1/2 all the way through K. I can tell you they both started public school ahead of it all.

I was particularly concerned about my first son going straight into public school 1st grade. There's a lot of writing and new things in 1st grade. He did great! He already knew so much going in. The only real transition "issue" was that there's a lot of "paperwork" in public schools, which is very different from the Montessori we went to. After about a month of public school, he was saying, "There's so much paperwork! I want to learn about the ocean or trees or something!" He now is in 4th grade and doing great.

My younger son also went to Montessori from age 2 1/2 on. He did the Kindergarten there, and then because of his b'day, I decided to repeat K at the public school. Boy, was he ahead of it. The teacher came up with more challenging work for him to do and that kept him happy.

So...... my point is, I highly recommend the Montessori program. They learn so much about different cultures, geography, etc. I wish more schools would grab onto the concept of how they teach. I have heard that some Montessori schools can be a little chaotic, so do your research. We were at the Fountainhead Montessori in Dublin.

Good luck and hope this helps!



answers from San Francisco on

I had my son in a Montessori preschool/daycare in San Jose and now that he is in public school (Kindergarten), I am SO glad that I had him in the Montessori system. He is currently bored academically in his public school (which has a 904 API), but he loves it. He is one of the most well behaved children in the class and definitely a favorite of his teacher. His Montessori school was an in-home school run by a wonderful woman. It is by Highway 85 and Camden Ave. I know it's a drive from Fremont, but please contact me if you would like more information.



answers from New York on

I own and operate a Montessori preschool. As one of the posters said I implement Montessori into my program for just this reason. I love the Montessori philosophy of learning, it is confidence building, child directed learning. However, I felt that transitioning into a traditional school may be difficult for some children. So I do group by age, I do traditional curriculum as well and incorporate Montessori through math, language, and practical life skills. It works for us and I have had mostly all of my students transition into a public school and put into all advanced classes due to advanced reading and math skills. The practical life part of the Montessori philosophy teaches children to care for themselves, they will learn about their environment, social studies, sciences, etc. I have seen children transition wonderfully from Montessori education. Make sure the school is accredited. Any school can say they are Montessori, however they must be able to show certification in order to be a true Montessori school. Good luck!! I do not think you will be disappointed.



answers from San Francisco on

My son who is now in kindergarten went to a Montessori in Fremont. It is called Little Flowers Montessori. I love this Montessori school. The teachers are very good. My son too was a little shy at first too. But He blossomed and was more social and active after a while. He was well prepared for Kindergarten. He is actually one of the few in his kindergarten class to know how to read, write and know how to count to 100 already. In my opinion it was well worth the investment. Little Flower also has a learning center that teaches the Montessori way, but it is more for part timer people. I actually have my 3yr old going there because I am a stay at home mom and I only take him for the learning and socializing. It's about $500 a month for 5 days a week for 2 and a half hours a day. Everyone that I have recommended there is very happy and satisfied with they're decision. The Ladies there are really so sweet and nice.



answers from Washington DC on

Montessori schools can be very different. Some, such as the one where we sent our daughter for two years are very formal and structured. Others pick and choose what they consider to be the best aspects of the Montessori philosophy. So, I think you have to look at the schools individually.

I was thrilled with the changes I saw in my daughter after changing her from regular preschool to Montessori. More confidence, more composure, an ability to express herself, her creativity, and her interests more clearly, taking responsibility for her actions, etc. etc. I think it was excellent preparation for K (we, too, had to switch to public school because we can't afford a full Montessori education). If anything, they go in ahead. It's difficult to watch your child, who can already read, start all over learning the letters...

Still, it may not be for every child. I knew many parents who left our school because they didn't think the formal Montessori setting worked for their children.

Also, I don't know how you feel about gender roles, but one of the nice things about Montessori (in my opinion) is that none of the activities are labeled "girl" or "boy" activities. So, all children are encouraged to develop ALL their intellectual skills. That was huge for me, but maybe not so important to everyone.

Hope this helps. Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on


Wow, triplets! How fun! I have boy/girl twins and another child 2 years older, which certainly felt like triplets at times! When my eldest was preschool aged, we lived in the Sacramento area. I have studied and worked in preschools, including a Montessori school, so I knew I wanted Montessori for my children. I visited several Montessori preschools all around my area, must have been at least six. They were all so different in how they interpreted Maria Montessori's philosophies. It could be very confusing for a parent who doesn't really understand what she was all about and not sure what they really want for their children. One preschool really turned me off as a little tiny girl was wanting to sit in the staff girl's lap and they made a big deal about "no touching", probably to show me how they implement Montessori, but they were so rigid in everything they did, it was not a positive place for children at all. The activities and personality of all the staff and the entire atmosphere was so sterile. I finally found one that had a nice balance and interpreted Montessori in a way with which I was comfortable. It was a pretty good experience. She transitioned beautifully into public school.

For my twins, we had relocated to the Santa Rosa area by the time they were ready for preschool. Here I found College Oak Montessori which I continue to rave about. It really was just perfect for my kids and I can't say enough good about it. They had a real Montessori philosophy and the place was full of love for each other and for nature and for learning. My daughter learned to read at 4, and enjoyed so many of the activities. My son, learned all the basics for reading, and learned so much about science and nature and respect for others and the environment. It was so kid centered and didn't miss any aspect of their development. They learned how to do so much for themselves. They would set the little tables with cloth placemats and napkins for lunch and all would clean up their dishes and eating area after each meal/snack. Whenever I would visit, everything would be running so smoothly. There were never teachers yelling at kids out in the yard or telling kids what to do in the classroom. Everyone knew what was expected and everyone happily did what they were doing. I can't really explain what I'm trying to say, but as you can probably see, I just loved this place.

Both my twins were sooo ready for (public school) kindergarten. I would have loved to give them a full Montessori education but we only have private Montessori schools in this area and we couldn't afford to send our kids there either. My kids were so well behaved in school as they had learned such good habits, as well as a love for learning, that it was all just very natural to them. They were ahead of most of the other kids, which can create issues. Both my daughters had to spend reading time in first grade since they were both way past kindergarten reading and writing work. My son was chosen to mentor a few of the rowdy boys and they would have friendship groups in the counselors office where my son would play games with them and role model appropriate behaviors. He's a real boy so it's not because he's a nice quiet little boy at all times, he had just learned what to do in a learning environment. I saw their Montessori preschool education as a wonderful way to prepare them for school of any kind. That's my experience but I'm sure it is very different for each child.

Feel free to private message me if you want to know more. Otherwise, good luck. I hope you can find as good a Montessori school as I found! It was well worth every last cent (and there were sure a lot of them!), we spent on this!

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