Mothering Forum banner

Improving this forum?

725 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  flyingspaghettimama
I really like the Mothering board. My Dd is just getting into Montessori, so I come here to gather information about it, but there are people describing things that are not at all Montessori from what I can tell. I read the threads and do searches and can't make heads or tales of the information because people talk about not liking things about Montessori that, from what I've read, just plain isn't Montessori.

Obviously it comes down to the fact that anyone can use the Montessori name. My Dd's new school is AMI and keeps very closely to the Montessori methods and environment. Has there ever been interest in subforums of the Montessori forum where people can ask questions of those whose children attend more similar schools than just those that share the name?

Or am I the only one who is finding it difficult to winnow out the appropriate information?
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
but there are people describing things that are not at all Montessori from what I can tell.
Can you give some examples?

Better yet, can you just describe the information that you are seeking? There seem to be a number of AMI certified Montessori educators who participate in this forum and I am sure that they would love to dispense their knowledge!
I don't read everything here as I've decided to homeschool since we are unable to afford Montessori this year. I do plan on doing as much M at home as possible though and I may end up getting my kids into a school in the future sometime. It seems like what I have read here, sounds like most people are able to find "true" Montessori schools. Of course every class is different as is every directress (teacher) so experiences vary.

What type of sub-forums are you thinking Ruby? Maybe separating the Montessori forum into age groups? Or AMI/AMS? Just curious. I do wish this forum was more active, I'd love to post more here but I'm conflicted because my dd is no longer in a M school and I no longer work in one either.
See less See more

Originally Posted by cmlp
Can you give some examples?

Better yet, can you just describe the information that you are seeking? There seem to be a number of AMI certified Montessori educators who participate in this forum and I am sure that they would love to dispense their knowledge!
I'm not sure if we can talk about other threads, but generally I've heard of kids being given "Time outs" and being punished or rewarded for doing something. I've seen people say that kids were expected to spend a certain amount of time on a particular task. Someone said that when her Dd started school, she was expected to drive up and let a Montessori staffer take the girl out of the car and into the building. They would not let her walk to the door and transition her child who was brand new to her school.

So, as I'm reading the old threads in this forum, trying to learn what I can, I keep finding things that concern me but then later I find out that they are not Montessori methods at all and that this would never happen at a real Montessori school.

It's not that I'm necessarily looking for specific answers. I just wanted to read about a variety of Montessori issues and learn more what to expect. It doesn't seem like this is the place to talk to people about it because there are some non-Montessori style schools calling themselves Montessori and thus confusing the issues I'm trying to read about.

Drummer's Wife: I hope to keep my dd in Montessori long term, so it's not as important to me at this point to separate out by age but rather to make sure that people are actually describing Montessori methods. When I read a thread about the pros and cons of Montessori, I want to feel fairly confident that the those things being discussed are actually methods used by strictly Montessori schools, such as AMI (and AMS?)
See less See more
I thought of some examples, issues that have come up in the preschool my Dd is leaving.

Would there be a Montessori way to deal in the classroom with:

1) Nosepicking.
2) Wants to take clothes off because it's hot and clothes are silly.
3) Two children want to use the same object.
4) Child is asking for parent and wants to go home, possibly to the point of distressed.
5) Child wants to sing and dance in classroom and giggle with friends.
Rubywild, I think in all the education forums there is a mixture of what would be considered "purist" description of the educational method and schools that somehow differ from this in either positive or negative ways. Admittedly that does make it difficult to sort out what is true and what is perception. Perhaps it would make sense to start a thread that asks what the traits of true Montessori education are so that you can be helped in your search for a good school. ??
Hi Ruby and all!
I am glad you started this thread. There is alot of conflicting info. and experiences. Just because a school says Montessori, doesn't mean the classroom is operating harmoniously (M called this "normalization") or that the directress is dedicated to the practice. The woman who started AMS actually took M to court to defend her right to use the name - now it is in the public domain) AMI is the organization that Dr. Montessori began to safeguard her work. It is a comprehensive theory of education as an aid to life. M wrote extensively about education and peace. It takes years of hard work and determination to understand the theory and put it into practice. I have training from AMI (3-6), and luckily found a wonderful school with dedicated admin. (8 years now!) We are currently constructing a green building, everyone is committed to recycling, gardening/compost, cloth napkins, etc.
I will copy a page I have on general characteristics of Montessori (3-6) [*]3-6 year olds in the same classroom[*]3-6 is a critical time in the child's development-the "absorbent mind" allows effortless and joyful learning[*]children want to know the facts about the world around them[*]children love purposeful work and learn by doing - mind working with the hand. Use of concrete objects to help learn concepts[*]emphasis on independence, concentration, respect for self, others and environment[*]the materials develop coordination and self-control[*]teacher acts as a guide. children learn to choose work, complete an activity, and replace neatly. freedom to move about the room.[*]lessons are given to individuals or small groups
The classroom is organized into areas:
Practical Life: materials for care of self and the environment, food prep, art: for practice with concentration, coordination, independence, grace and courtesy.
Sensorial: exercises that enable children to classify their impressions of the world around them, based on the senses: touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing. To encourage discrimination.
Language: all materials lead from simple to complex and address one skill at a time.
Math: materials move from concrete to abstract. many opportunities for repetition and real experience with numbers: odds and even, sets, decimal system, operations.

You have to observe to see the degree of skill the directress has in guiding the children and nurturing their joy in learning. Discipline should never be punitive, Dr. M wrote of "Freedom and Discipline" The Absorbent Mind, C. 26, The Discovery of the Child, C. 2, 4 and 24. See also Rewards and Punishments: Discovery of the Child, C. 4, Absorbent Mind C. 24 and Secret of Childhood, p. 130.
See less See more

I hear your confusion. I guess I would say this - after being at two AMI schools and visiting multiple others for extended observations - it really comes down to the teacher and the director.

It's like the Bible (see my flameproof suit - it's right here) - everyone brings their own interpretation to the words in the book. Some teachers are literal in their interpretation, some are liberal in their interpretation. Some are just really crappy teachers.

My daughter's AMI school one could say does not use punishment and reward, but consequences (their interpretation). However, they could say "no more working with others" is a consequence of not doing one's work in a timely fashion and goofing off; to my daughter, it's a punishment that feels like a punishment. My child is frequently found violating scenario five of your list of's really up to the teacher. The best way to find out if you and the teacher see eye to eye (or close to it) in your interpretations is to ask the teacher of your child how they would deal with the situation.

The walking-to-the-car thing seems to be a unique thing in the USA. Mostly AMS schools who do it, in my visiting experience. Probably some school started it, it worked for them... and then they told other schools about it... and it spread thenceforth as a "good idea and what we've always done." All of the AMI schools we've been at do not let parents in the front door of the classroom without it being prearranged or for a special event. You say goodbye at the door. I understand their reasoning. It still seems kinda lame, in any case.

I guess, I would put less emphasis on "real" Montessori, because some school will always profess to have the "real" Montessori on hand, but then contradict it in other ways. And you should see Montessori teachers amongst themselves. Man, if you thought the AP Police were bad (aka "was that a baby swing I saw in your house?")...they got nothin' on the Montessori Police.

The only thing I would avoid are schools with teachers who got their certs via mail-order. Not so good.
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.