Dadsnet – tell me about Montessori schools

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  • Dadsnet – tell me about Montessori schools
  • Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Montessiwhat?

    Yeah I know, I thought they were Italian road bikes 😉

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    It’s just a different style of learning rather than different values (see Steiner Schools for the brainwashed scientologist reference) but if they’re going to a normal primary then a Montessori pre-school would be of little benefit (I think Montessori education usually goes up to secondary school age…)

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    Montysaurus?

    Brontysaurus?

    Bronte Sisters?

    Monty Saw Us?

    chipsngravy
    Member

    Nothing but good things to say about my kids’ experience of Montessori. Both kids love it. I would say not all Montessori schools are the same. We looked 3 before finding one that felt right.

    Definitely no brainwashing going on

    xiphon
    Member

    I remember visiting a Montessori school when I was an IT Engineer.

    They had a ‘normal’ primary school next door (the schools were two massive London semi-detached homes beside each other).

    At the ‘normal’ school, the back yard was a tarmac playground, with lines drawn on it, marking out football pitches, tennis and netball courts.

    At the ‘other’ school, the backyard was all turfed over, with loads of well-kept plants/flowers, and benches for the kids to sit on (and from what I saw, they had lessons outside in the nice weather).

    At playtime, the ‘normal’ kids were going mental, letting off steam (as kids do…)…. the ‘other’ kids were sitting quietly reading books…. yes, at their break time.

    Yes apparently the schools go up to 18. I can’t find any primary or secondary schools in our area though (but that was only a quick Google).

    As I said ^^^ my wife just likes the approach they have – growing their own veg, having them play outside every single day irrespective of the weather, that kind of stuff. I just don’t want them to feel at odds with the ‘normal’ education I imagine they will have during their normal school years.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    chipsngravy – Member
    Nothing but good things to say about my kids’ experience of Montessori. Both kids love it. I would say not all Montessori schools are the same. We looked 3 before finding one that felt right.

    Definitely no brainwashing going on

    What age will your kids leave Montessori education? I’ve heard that crossing into ‘mainstream’ schools can be a bit of a culture shock.

    At the ‘other’ school, the backyard was all turfed over, with loads of well-kept plants/flowers, and benches for the kids to sit on (and from what I saw, they had lessons outside in the nice weather).

    At playtime, the ‘normal’ kids were going mental, letting off steam (as kids do…)…. the ‘other’ kids were sitting quietly reading books…. yes, at their break time.
    Okay, that’s putting me off – I don’t want quiet book-readers! 😉

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    mastiles_fanylion – Member
    Yes apparently the schools go up to 18. I can’t find any primary or secondary schools in our area though (but that was only a quick Google).

    So they can do GCSEs/A-levels through that system too?

    What age will your kids leave Montessori education? I’ve heard that crossing into ‘mainstream’ schools can be a bit of a culture shock.

    That is one of my main worries (not based on anything other than the assumption that the different ways of learning might be at odds with each other).

    Hairychested
    Member

    Go for it, my little one loves her Monti-creche. Might be hard for you but they’ll love it.
    http://www.montessorieducationuk.org/

    So they can do GCSEs/A-levels through that system too?

    I have absolutely no idea – I am suddenly finding myself trying to find out a bit more about it all. I certainly wouldn’t want my two in that sort of education all their lives though – I want them to be ‘normal kids with normal friends from the local school’ kind of kids.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Both my nephews did montisorri up to 18. I think once you start with it tho its best to continue to avoid the culture shock

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    TJ – did they get GCSE/A-level or is it an equivalent?

    chipsngravy
    Member

    Lifer – Member
    What age will your kids leave Montessori education? I’ve heard that crossing into ‘mainstream’ schools can be a bit of a culture shock.

    4yr old starts 1st school in September. I feel confident she has the skills to cope with this change. Montessori has played a big part in developing her confidence, independence, social skills and given her a love of learning. This will help her through the transition into ‘mainstream’ school, along with the friends from Montessori that will also start school with her.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    lifer – dutch system so I am not sure – but they both are going to university

    chips – did the pre-school have any kind of policy on handling their education so the switch is smooth?

    xiphon
    Member

    chipsngravy wrote:

    Montessori has played a big part in developing her confidence, independence, social skills and given her a love of learning.

    that sounds like it’s come straight from a marketing department.

    chipsngravy
    Member

    mastiles_fanylion – Member
    chips – did the pre-school have any kind of policy on handling their education so the switch is smooth?

    Not that I’m aware of. I do know that she can’t wait to start school.

    I do know that she can’t wait to start school.

    But a standard LEA primary school?

    MMy two little girls (just turned 2) are at nursery but Mrs M has been looking at them going to a pre-school from September and particularly likes the Montessori pre-school near us.

    She (and me to a large extent) has absolutely no idea about the different values they place on education as opposed to ‘normal’ pre-schools – she just likes the set-up and their approach to things.

    So – can anyone enlighten me more as to what it is all about, whether the approach is significantly enough different to cause them problems when they go to primary school (which will be standard LEA).

    Ohh, and will they be brainwashed like Scientologists? 😉

    I simply have no idea and would like to know more!

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Both my two did Montessori nursery and then into mainstream schooling with no issues. The Montessori we used wasn’t ‘100%’ M – it used a lot of M techniques and equipment (counting blocks, sandpaper letters, etc.) but also developing the children towards the mainstream system as they recognised that a lot of children aren’t going to go through (private) M education for the next 15 years.

    It of course depends on the school itself but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the school mine went to; the fact it is a M school is a side factor.

    As for the M makes them bookish bit – you should meet my two girls and then decide. The eldest is naturally quieter and more arty by nature, but my youngest while perfectly capable of reading and maths to the level of year one kids (she’s in reception) is decidedly more interested in pirates, swordfighting, beating the older boys at football and skateboarding and is basically as unlike the stereotype described above as you’d ever meet.

    ditch_jockey
    Member

    From what I remember, the Montessori approach is about nurturing the child’s interests through a much more ‘hands on‘ approach to learning. The idea is that, by allowing the child to pursue discovery of the things that interest them, they are much more motivated to learn because it’s tapping into a child’s natural compulsion to explore the world around them.

    It’s a few years since I studied the Montessori approach, so I may be oversimplifying the philosophy, but it always interested me as it’s not a million miles from what we term ‘informal education’ in Youth and Community Work.

    I would imagine that the main problem would come if and when your children return to mainstream education and the school they go to has a fairly proscribed approach to curriculum delivery.

    I have been talking to my wife and apparently the school we are looking at does lean their learning towards the national curriculum so it should be fine.

    I guess the positive things that are being said are pretty positive – I just need to be 100% that the transition into mainstream schooling will be fine.

    mogrim
    Member

    There was another thread a while back, and I’m sure I’ve posted on yet another one:

    http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/montesorri-any-good

    My kids went to a Montessori for a couple of years, until they opened up a (Spanish equivalent) grammar school closer by. We were pretty happy with it, the Montessori stuff certainly wasn’t a problem, and the school followed the full UK curriculum. The kids seemed normal enough, and my girls haven’t had any problem when they moved to a more normal school.

    poppa
    Member

    Cripes, parenthood sounds complicated.

    perthmtb
    Member

    +1 to chipsngravy.
    My daughter went to Montessori from 3-6, then we transferred her to mainstream school (I went back to study & we couldn’t afford private education anymore). I believe the Montessori gave her a good head start in confidence, social skills, and an interst in learning, that served her well when she transferred to ‘normal’ school. Montessori kids do turn out a bit precocious (the headmistress said it – not me!)so the longer they’re in the system, the harder it might be to transfer over, but my daughter didn’t have a problem. We did find she wasn’t stimulated as much in her new school, and was a bit ahead of her peers in the three R’s, so managed to get her advanced a year.

    yossarian
    Member

    My youngest goes to Montessori nursery and loves it. Lots of hands on stuff, comes home totally knackered from playing and learning and refuses point blank to go to big school next year 🙂

    He’s not quite 3 yet but insists on being in the pre-school room with the big kids. We’ve got nothing bad to say about Montessori at all.

    konabunny
    Member

    so the longer they’re in the system, the harder it might be to transfer over

    This is a genuine question: is this “system switching” danger a real one or is it just a bunch of old cobblers? Has anyone’s kids actually experienced that much difficulty going between systems – that’s more than just the normal thing about changing schools and couldn’t be overcome with a bit of extra support/tutoring/whatever?

    I say this as someone that skipped school systems a bit as a kid and it never did me any harm (apart from the fact I never studied 20th Century history formally and can’t add).

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Interesting thread but it shows nothing but speculation really.

    Both my kids went to private nursery and the pre-school nursery which and both couldn’t wait to join full time school, my youngest goes in September and loves to talk about it. My eldest been put up a year above as she’s been doing well.

    Like any education it’s down to the school itself, the child and the parents. Not sure why kids sitting reading books when others are doing what kids love to do, play which is a huge part in learning, is better.

    konabunny
    Member

    Not sure why kids sitting reading books when others are doing what kids love to do, play which is a huge part in learning, is better

    Play is a big chunk of Montessori learning – as opposed to “mainstream” sit-in-desks-shut-up-and-look-at-the-IAWB learning.*

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/montessori-schools-where-learning-is-childs-play-794753.html

    * I realise this is a bit of a false dichotomy.

    Premier Icon maxray
    Subscriber

    Well I never, I didn’t expect such a pro Montessori response from STW!

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Not sure why kids sitting reading books when others are doing what kids love to do, play which is a huge part in learning, is better

    I don’t think anyone’s saying it is. The Montessori system – certainly in the early years – is all about learning through play, not books, just as any decent preschooling system is. In fact, I suspect that many preschool / nurseries nowadays are the way they are due to the influence on Montessori on the mainstream education systems in the last however many years, whether they call themselves Montessori based or not.

    That sounds almost evangelical, it’s not supposed to be. My wife is Montessori trained but is a stay at home housewife now, hence I know a fair bit about it and it was a factor in searching out the M nursery for our two. Equally we had the option of keeping them there for a second year or moving them to the local state nursery attached to the Infants school and we opted to move them because we felt they would get just as good a learning experience there.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Play is a big chunk of Montessori learning – as opposed to “mainstream” sit-in-desks-shut-up-and-look-at-the-IAWB learning.*

    Ah right fair enough then, I know very little about but I do know that my kids are doing just fine in standard education.

    In fact, I suspect that many preschool / nurseries nowadays are the way they are due to the influence on Montessori on the mainstream education systems in the last however many years, whether they call themselves Montessori based or not.

    There does seem to be just about the same style of education done at our kids’ nursery and school as to what people have said on here to what their kids receive at Montessori schools. No idea what came first though.

    fisha
    Member

    my wife is a teacher in primary 1 and deals with the transition from local nurseries into the school.

    whether its Montesorri eduction influence or not, there is no doubt that nursery is more of a play and explore the things you like and once children get into primary 1, you take that and gradually change it towards a more structured learning … its not a sudden change to sit down and learn. the play aspect of learning gets weaved into the lessons throughout the curriculum and the idea of children being encouraged to look at themselves, what they like and how they learn ( self evaluation is the term i think ) is the way its going forward.

    ( at least thats how the wife does it )

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