Is montessori expensive? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 11-24-2010, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

 

I have been reading about Montessori and the more I learn about it the more I fall in love with the idea. My DH and I haven't decided if we would home school or bring him to a Montessori school. We might start homeschooling for preschool and if I return to work he can go to a Montessori school. Regardless of what we do in that aspect I want to start creating the environment at home, now what makes me feel overwhelmed is how pricey the toys are and to be able to get the proper furniture, stools and what have you, I am not sure we can really afford this approach or it makes me uneasy to know how good it is for him and not be able to afford it all right off the bat. Does anyone have any suggestions on what could be priorities where to start and cheap ways to do it? If only I could convince DH to do some carpentering it all would be so much easier shake.gif TIA

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#2 of 15 Old 11-24-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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The short answer is "yes," but the longer answer includes "it doesn't always have to be."

 

When it come to priorities and compromises, there are plenty.  To begin with, some schools cost more than others.  There are schools that have perfect materials, like brand new decimal bead sets made from glass in Italy.  They have beautiful settings with free access to the outdoors.  They have a small menagerie of class pets and a virtual mini botanical garden.  They are full members of every Montessori society around.  They have full function miniature kitchens. Yada-yada.  Of course they cost a small fortune.  Then, there are schools that have well worn materials.  The beads are plastic.  The have a few house plants that bought from the local nursery or maybe home depot and maybe a hampster or a few fish.  Though there teachers have been through the training and believe in the method, they don't want to pay the membership dues to various societies and for certifications.  They have a make shift kitchen area.  Yada-yada.  They will cost half as much as the fancy place, but your child will pretty much get the same education.

 

As for doing Montessori at home, some shelves and rag rugs from Ikea is really a good start.  You don't need to have all the materials to enjoy the organization, you can do that with the toys you already own.

 

If you can only afford a few years of an M school, I would use it for the primary years (3-6 yo, preschool/preK/kindergarten.)  Those were what Dr Montessori spent the most energy developing.  They are the most formative years.  They are the years when an M school looks the most different from other types of schools.

 

Don't forget to ask about scholarships, barter or getting a job at the school.


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#3 of 15 Old 11-25-2010, 06:14 AM
 
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Montessori can be expensive but it doesn't have to be, especially if you are incorporating the concepts into your homelife. I think it's far more important to understand the concepts and take a thoughtful approach than it is to buy expensive materials.  The Montessori materials are wonderful, but you can make or adapt a lot of things instead of buying new. 

 

There are helpful books and blogs about Montessori at home.  I once followed Meg McElwee at her Montessori by Hand blog, which is still available but not active; she's now at Sew Liberated. She has lots of wonderful ideas.  

 

How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way is a good resource:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Raise-Amazing-Child-Montessori/dp/075662505X/ref=pd_sim_b_2

 

Also try:  Teach Me to Do it Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child:

http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Me-Myself-Montessori-Activities/dp/0764127896/ref=pd_sim_b_1

 

Private Montessori school tuition can be very expensive. There are some public Montessori schools, but be careful about the quality. Often government/school board standards and requirements create conflicts with the Montessori concepts of self-directed learning and avoidance of testing and grading. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#4 of 15 Old 11-25-2010, 06:45 AM
 
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The Montessori school we're looking at is pretty expensive but to us it's worth it because I feel very strongly about multi-age environments and child-led learning.  DD hasn't started yet, but we're trying to do somethings at home to prepare (and just to help her become more independent and happier). 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

As for doing Montessori at home, some shelves and rag rugs from Ikea is really a good start.  You don't need to have all the materials to enjoy the organization, you can do that with the toys you already own.



We have these IKEA shelves: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50103086 but we lay them on our side (they actually double as a TV stand) and we use all of the shelves for DD's toys.  We cleared out one of the shelves and put a plate for her, silverware, a cup of water and some snacks (typically we have an apple, banana, some crackers etc.) so she can feed herself during the day between meals (this has helped out with her mood significantly). 

 

We then cleared out all her toys so we have just a few per shelf any they are organized together (like a shelf with a couple of puzzles, a few shelves full of books, one for her dolls+accesories etc).

 

We also got a small box that we keep next to do the door for all her shoes so she can pick out what she wants to wear and put them on whenever she wants during the day.  We've also been making a point to keep the house picked up more and involve her in chores (we give her stuff to dust when we clean or even help with the dishes. 

 

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#5 of 15 Old 11-25-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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If you haven't already, look into public/charter/magnet schools in your area.  We have been to 3 public (so free) Montessori schools in 3 different cities.  They all had 3-6 classrooms that charged tuition (I was paying $600 a month for full-day, and am paying $400 now for half-day), but once they are in Kindergarten, they are free - and guaranteed a spot since they aren't easy to get in as older students, especially without previous Montessori experience or siblings in the program.  I have 2 kids in 3-6 classes this year, and last year I had 2 kids in 6-9 classes. 

 

The downside, of course, is that if you choose a public/charter Montessori over a private one, you have to settle a bit for some district/state standards.  For us, it is worth the free education.  Even if my kids have to attend assemblies and say the pledge (just examples), it's still far better that they get Montessori and those important work cycles, than if they were just in 'regular' school - IMO. 


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#6 of 15 Old 11-25-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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I have purchased some items here: http://www.montessorioutlet.com/ they sell things that aren't as expensive as this place: http://www.nienhuis.com/index.php

But they are the same design. Although the finished quality is a bit rougher and the wood isn't supreme quality ... but then again you aren't purchasing for hundreds of kids, just yours.

 

For the things you can't replicate at home order from the outlet store. I've ordered several times and I've been pleased 90 percent of the time. Just check for splinters and rough edges!


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#7 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 08:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
Even if my kids have to attend assemblies and say the pledge (just examples),


Students in any public school have the right to decline saying the pledge.  It is guaranteed by the first amendment.  

 

For example: Jehovah's Witnesses are prohibited from saying pledges by their religion.  If they were to be required to say it in school, that would be a violation of their first amendment right to practice their religion.

 

No matter what philosophy/teaching style a public school follows, students can not be required to say the pledge.  They have the right to just sit quietly while students who want to say it do.


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#8 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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yep. We are raising our dc as JW's and we do not do participate in patriotic ceremonies, say the pledge, etc. They simply can't force you to...it's illegal. plenty of JW kids were kicked out of school in th early days over that very thing and suffered so that the rest of the country would have that right, not to aprticipate in something they don't agree with. (stepping down off my soapbox now....)

 

Our montessori school is about average for our area (I price checked 3 or 4 schools). Ds goes 3 mornings a week from 8-1 and we pay $270/month. We also have to pay a supply fee twice a year and the kids bring their own lunch. That is a huge financial stretch for us but ds loves his school and having him out of the house a few times a week is what works for our family. Daycare around here is the same or mroe expensive so that is one of the reasons that I am OK with the price of tuition.

 

However I'm currently $400 behind. I'm terrified that when we come back on Monday they're going to say something about it.....


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#9 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
Even if my kids have to attend assemblies and say the pledge (just examples),


Students in any public school have the right to decline saying the pledge.  It is guaranteed by the first amendment.  

 

For example: Jehovah's Witnesses are prohibited from saying pledges by their religion.  If they were to be required to say it in school, that would be a violation of their first amendment right to practice their religion.

 

No matter what philosophy/teaching style a public school follows, students can not be required to say the pledge.  They have the right to just sit quietly while students who want to say it do.



Oh, I know the pledge is optional at any school - I guess that was a bad example.  My kids do all say the pledge - including the under god part - and as an atheist it doesn't bother me in the least. It's their choice.  Anyhow, maybe what I should have said is by using a public Montessori schools my kids may have to do testing in 3rd grade, or have 15 minutes of assigned homework per night b/c of district standards (though, they get by this rule by assigning reading for pleasure).  My point was that Montessori doesn't have to be expensive - especially if you can pay for the first couple years of primary, and then use public funding for 6-9 and 9-12 if it's an option in your area.  More and more states are adding public/charter M schools, and as I said, we've attended 3 in 3 different cities (2 different states), so depending on where one lives, it might be something to look into. 


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#10 of 15 Old 11-28-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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My children are also in public Montessori and even though there are some compromises involved, it is much, much better than the regular public school my daughter attended for one year. There is a sliding scale available for PS and PK (K and up is free), so we only pay $16/week for the pre-k child. I never thought we would be able to afford Montessori for our children before I found out about the public Montessori schools and I was totally bummed about it. Its definitely worth checking out if its available in your area.

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#11 of 15 Old 11-28-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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I think there are a few issues circling here:

 

1.) Private schools (Montessori included) are going to reflect the prices the can charge in an area. By the bottom line business necessity, they will most likely be similar to other private schools in the area, and this will overall reflect the local economy and what people can afford and will pay. We live in a mid-sized western city where all the private elementary schools are between $6,000 and $6,500 a year. In other parts of the country, this would be outrageously cheap. So, how much a school costs will be a local question.

 

2.) Materials for doing at home- To me, the first question I want to ask is "How old is your DC?". For toddlers, the Montessori style and philosophies can be created and preserved without a lot of specific equiptment. There are a lot of 'practical life" things (washing tables, polishing, etc.), other things with beans, tonges, containers, hammer and nails, etc. The accessible and clear shelves, the emphasis on quality and beauty, the support of independence, the preservation of focus, the philosophies can certainly be adapted to the home environment of a toddler without fancy equiptment. At the preschool level, more of the specific tools come in- the beads, rods, pink tower, maps, etc. as well as a very detailed knowledge that the teacher/adult has regarding how Montessori views development and progression through works. That, I think, would get pretty pricey and definately raise the level of adult commitment and study. It really doesn't do the materials justice to just pick them up and "do them"- there are learning objectives, ideas behind the procedures, and variations intended for different skills and learning. In sum, I think that creating a "Montessori compatable" home environment for any aged child is certainly possible on a budget and parental interest, I think the "Whole Montessori Package" in a full-on homeschool framework from preschool forward is a significant undertaking in many ways.

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#12 of 15 Old 12-01-2010, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the replies, is all very helpful. Thinking about it, we have been doing some little things in the process, like making things accessible to him to encourage independence and some of the toys. I have looked into the prices of one of the Montessori schools in the area, they seem reasonable if I hold a job at least part time, we are considering homeschooling but that is the part that worries me to be able to afford materials if I will be staying at home but I guess it all depends on the age, he is 2 right now and would like to start him on preschool next year.

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#13 of 15 Old 01-20-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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We live in Sint.Maarten, Caribbean and pay $1400 per month for 2 lower elementary boys. It kills us! but worth it. I do think though that as there are only 2 other private schools here some of the parents are not really Montessori, if you know what i mean. I think it makes a difference.


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#14 of 15 Old 01-21-2011, 05:16 AM
 
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We pay about 11k for 2 kids in upper/lower.In addition to tuition there is supply fee,gym fee,and co-op fee if you do not get your volunteer/fundraise hours in,and these extras total about 1k.

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#15 of 15 Old 06-14-2013, 09:43 AM
 
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But now it is free

 

The Montessori Method, by Maria Montessori

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/39863/39863-h/39863-h.htm
 

Montessori Elementary Materials, by Maria Montessori

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/42869/42869-h/42869-h.htm

 

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