HELP! Need Montessori Info. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-30-2002, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to be visiting some Montessori classrooms for ds (4.5 yr) for Sept. 2002. I want to know what you like and don't like about the Montessori schools your dd/ds are attending and also what I should be looking for and what questions should I ask?

I know I'm doing this a little late but I'm counting on you Montessori mamas for some info and insight.
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#2 of 4 Old 02-01-2002, 07:43 PM
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Hi! My son is in daycare pre-pre-K ;p at the local Montessori. So I cant add much. But we really like the more relaxed atmosphere for learning best. That and the kids seem to get alot more 1:1 time with the teachers and aides than at other schools.

Only thing acutally that we dont like is the new meal program. They used to have parent provided food 100% which was great actually because we knew what our son ate and knew it was healthy food we eat at home too. A month ago they changed the program and they provide all but entre for lunch. So now we are dealing with the fact hat our son eats cookies and crackers and juice instead of his lunch. Not sure this is Montessori tho, could just be our school?

Good Luck and checking them all out is exactly the right thing to do!

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#3 of 4 Old 02-04-2002, 02:23 AM
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It really all depends on how much Montessori you are looking for. Schools can vary from following Montessori to a tee, to just sticking the name on a sign.

A few basics. There are 2 Montessori accrediting orgs in the US (not sure about Canada), AMS which is the Association of Montessori Schools, and AMI which is the Association Montessori International. Any school with an AMI accredidation is going to follow the Montessori principles within some fairly strict guidlines. The first Montessori that our son attended was AMI and we were very pleased with it. Since moving to PA, there are no AMI schools here, and we have not been as fond of the AMS schools. There is much more interpretation and other forms of educating going on.

As far as a classroom goes, you should be looking for a sense of purpose in each of the children. The idea behind Montessori is that providing a structured, well ordered environment, frees the child to concentrate on the work that they need to do to follow their internal compass. As such, the classroom should be neat, decorations should be simple, i.e classical paintings, vases with fresh flowers, etc. Children should be free to move about and find their own work, and should be doing this in a quite orderly way. The teacher, for the most part should be working with children in small groups or individually. She/he should speak to the children with a calm, quiet, respectful voice.

Some questions you may want to ask: How do they introduce a new child into the classroom?
Are children free to continue there work through group activities if they choose?
What kind of progress reports are kept, and relayed home?

You should also be looking to make sure they have materials covering each of the areas of Montessori, practical life, sensorial, math, language, science, social studies, music.

Hope this helps... Good luck!

- Chelsea
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#4 of 4 Old 02-04-2002, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Levar, Chelsea thanks for the info.

The info. that was sent to me mentions nothing about being accredited with AMS or AMI. Their curriculum covers practical life, sensorial, language, math, culture and arts. They provide organic snacks and also offer yoga. French and mandarin language programs are optional.

As for the classroom, I'd need to see how the classroom looks, what sort of materials are used and how the children work. I'm hoping to be able to visit with ds during class time.

I knew I'd get some help here. Thanks
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