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I'm looking at some montessori programs for my daughter and the two schools that are nearby have different certifications. One, is AMS - American Montessori Society - and the other is AMI/USA - Association Montessori International.

I've been to both websites and have tours set up at both schools but I'm looking to hear informally from parents as well. If your child has had an experience with an AMI/USA or AMS accredited school, can you share a bit about the things you have really liked and the things that didn't work very well? What was your child's temperament and personality like? How does your child learn best?

Thanks!
 

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Hi there @polyhymnia! Good luck making these tough choices! Have you attended any of the tours? Do you have additional insight into the differences between the schools you are considering?

My son has been in an AMI school since he was 3 & he is now 6. From research, I believe that there is a big difference between AMI & AMS, and in my opinion AMI is preferable. My son is a very active, energetic & kind little boy. His personality works well in the AMI Montessori setting & no one has ever commented that he is loud or can't sit still. A true Montessori school allows the child to make choices, including choices that suit his or her personality. He is able to focus on tasks that he is interested in & is really blossoming. One thing I'm not a fan of in our Montessori school (not sure if it's AMI or just our school, but it may be common to Montessori & AMI in particular) is that the hands off approach in the minutiae of the day means that there is poor behavior that is unobserved & not confronted. My son had a classmate that constantly harassed him but no one noticed. (Of course, my son likely exaggerated a little, but it was bad enough to have to raise to the teacher myself.) This is not the norm at all--my son adores school & most of his classmates. Just something to ask about--how do the schools handle poor behavior? Bullying? Many smaller schools do not have bullying because the children do take such ownership of the classroom & of each other, but there will be conflict.

Also, outdoor time is important & many AMI schools prioritize it in all seasons. We're in a city, so outdoor space is at a premium, but the children do get outside in all seasons. We also love that older children go on "goings out," or field trips that small groups organize themselves. The materials & curriculum are not watered down at all in the AMI schools, but I hear that is possible at AMS schools. In short, we love our AMI school & wouldn't choose anything else. And we're committed for the long haul as my son is in a school offering the full elementary course.

But, there are good AMS & AMI schools & bad ones as well. AMI isn't a guarantee of authentic Montessori education. Hopefully you have some good choices in front of you!


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We are looking at a Montessori school for our son and the teacher is AMI certified. Thanks for the info!
 
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