Transition from Montessori to publix high school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-16-2009, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH and I are considering applying our DD to a Montessori magnet school for kindergarten in 2010. (If she is accepted, it will up the chances that our future children - of which we currently have one and hope to have more - will also be able to attend.)

One of my biggest concerns with Montessori public school is that by grade 7 they integrated into public middle school. We have no intentions of home schooling and, at this point, no intentions of seeking out private options for middle/high school. That could, of course, change over the next several years!

In the meantime, though, if anyone has any experience with children transitioning from Montessori to traditional programs at any age but, in particular, the middle school age, I would really appreciate if you would share.

We will be attending an open house in early November and will have to make a decision about whether or not to apply by early December.
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#2 of 6 Old 10-16-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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We are considering Montessori for DS, the school here goes to 8th grade. I was also wondering about how Montessori schooled kids do when switched to a traditional public high school, so I'll also be very interested in any replies!
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#3 of 6 Old 10-18-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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I was waiting to see if a Montessori trained elementary or middle school teacher wanted to respond. Anecdotally, I can tell you that I attended Montessori schools as a child and had no issues transitioning to high school (where I was always in gifted and talented programs, CP and IB classes, and made Deans List) and went to a well- ranked college (Emory University) for which I felt adequately prepared. My sisters had similar outcomes.

As a primary Montessori directress, the children I have taught have gone on to very diverse educational environments (private schools, public schools, gifted and talented magnet schools, and continued on to Montessori schools). Without exception, their parents have always reported to me that their child was adequately prepared (in most cases, the parents tell me that the child was academically over-prepared, particularly in language and mathematics, but that they felt it helped them to focus on the social transition).

Most of the talk about Montessori children transitioning is purely anecdotal, but suggests that the transition is rarely problematic (however, there is no way of knowing if the same child would have fared equally well or better in a different environment). One recent study, the Milwaukee 2003 study, attempted to answer these questions more scientifically. In this study, children were admitted to a Montessori school by lottery and attended the school from the age of 3-11; their outcomes were compared to that of children who attended a "regular" public school. Of the children in the Montessori school, over half were admitted to Milwaukee's top four high schools, the children scored significantly higher on state standardized tests, and they scored higher on ACT tests (particularly in the areas of math and science). You can read this study yourself: Dohrman, K.R (2003). Outcomes for Students in a Montessori program. Rochester, NY:Association of Montessori Internationale/USA

Montessori is one of the only "alternative" education methods to have undergone such extensive scientific testing.

Additionally, this study and several others supporting Montessori education and outcomes are discussed at length in Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, particularly Chapters 1 and 10 (Chapter 10 answers your question at length).

I hope that helps!
Abigail ******
www.bloommontessori.com
http://bloommontessori.blogspot.com/
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#4 of 6 Old 10-18-2009, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. That does indeed help!

My concerns aren't for whether or not my child (and children in general) would be prepared for the transition academically but for how easily they would be able to adjust to the traditional school style of learning as opposed to the Montessori style. My thought is that there is a potential for kids to have a difficult time making an adjustment from one learning style to another at that age, which could distract them for the academic and social benefits of middle and high school. Of course, knowing that studies have shown that children with Montessori beginnings fare as well or better academcially in traditional secondary schools goes a long way toward easing my mind.

I will be hanging out in the early childhood education section of the library this week, and will keep an eye out for Montessori: The Science.... Thank you for the recommendation!

Also, apologies to all for the typo in the title of this thread. Publix? Apparently, I've been spending too much time at the grocery store!
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#5 of 6 Old 10-19-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karkli View Post
My concerns aren't for whether or not my child (and children in general) would be prepared for the transition academically but for how easily they would be able to adjust to the traditional school style of learning as opposed to the Montessori style. My thought is that there is a potential for kids to have a difficult time making an adjustment from one learning style to another at that age, which could distract them for the academic and social benefits of middle and high school. Of course, knowing that studies have shown that children with Montessori beginnings fare as well or better academcially in traditional secondary schools goes a long way toward easing my mind.
Personal experience, both from doing it, hearing from many people that have, and helping people that did struggle....
...it depends ENTIRELY on the teacher.

Students tend to leave Montessori with more creativity because, among other reasons, they have more opportunities to put forth that creativity. When I left Montessori and went to Jr. High, I had a fantastic teacher who actually had planned to teach her entire year on building up the creative process. This was a dream come true to me. I talked to other people that just had boring teachers who had no creativity. One girl e-mailed me from my blog because she transitioned to another school and hated it. My advice to her: Find ways to make the assignments more interesting. I gave her many examples. I remember my brother making a long time line taped together with all the dates of events he had to memorize. He walked the time line and was able to remember them quickly. I was bored with an assignment to learn something once, so I wrote a comic strip about it instead. Montessori gives the student that creative process of how to learn something, but students don't necessarily easily recognize it later. Once I point that out to people now that have a hard time transitioning, they tend to do better.

Quote:
I will be hanging out in the early childhood education section of the library this week, and will keep an eye out for Montessori: The Science.... Thank you for the recommendation!
Here's a link to it on amazon if it's easier:
http://astore.amazon.com/monteblog-20/detail/019536936X
Quote:
Also, apologies to all for the typo in the title of this thread. Publix? Apparently, I've been spending too much time at the grocery store!
It's ok. You probably went to Public School anyway ;-).

As a side note, I do stand up comedy. One of my friends has a great joke about Cool Aid. In the commercial, the kid says, "It has less sugar than the leading soft drink."

"Then you're MAKING IT WRONG! Everyone knows it takes one packet of cool-aid, 5 cups of water, and add sugar until it doesn't dissolve any more. That was a super-saturation joke and if we all hadn't gone to public school, we'd be laughing our a**es off right now."

I might have slightly misquoted him, but if you ever get a chance to see Ray Price (he might open or MC for someone near you), tell him I said hi if you can catch him after the show.

Matt
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#6 of 6 Old 10-20-2009, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Matt.

I picked up the only two Montessori related books I could find at the library today: The Montessori Method, and Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three. The former seemed like a logical starting point . The latter might give me some ideas for giving my younger DD (18 mos.) a Montessori-type environment at home.

I didn't see Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, but I will be checking other branches to see if I can track it down. If all else fails, Amazon is my next stop.

My list of questions for the open house is growing. Even if we decide against the Montessori program, or if we apply but don't get drawn in the lottery, I'm learning a lot!
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