View Full Version : Anyone have thoughts about Montessori Preschools?

02-02-2004, 04:27 PM
Our friend is going to send her son to a Montessori school that is very close to our house. I have heard very good things about the school. I am still unsure if it is the right place for my son. Has anyone else sent their child to a Montessori preschool. I am also wondering how the transition will be if he does go for 2 years and then transfers to public school. The program is 5 days 8:30 - 3:30 which I thought was rigorous. I was thinking of starting out somewhere 3 days a week?

Any thoughts?

DS 9/00
DD 3/03

02-03-2004, 10:49 AM
Like any preschool, I would go and observe and make sure you are comfortable with the program. I personally like the idea of Montessori, but not always the price that goes with it! I've looked into it a fair bit since I have one around the corner from me too, but I ended up putting her in a different program, since I decided I didn't want anything too structured for her.

I also wouldn't like a 5 day a week program. And for that long of a day, they will have to have a (legally mandated) nap, and personally, I'm not paying preschool to watch my kid sleep, you know?

I have also talked to several public school teachers about how they thought kids transferred from Montessori preschools into public schools and, unfortunately, the reply is mixed. Some kids transfer just fine and some have trouble moving from the Montessori environment to a more traditional school environment.


02-14-2004, 12:10 AM
If you are thinking about it, definitely go and look at the school. Also, you may already know that "Montessori" means alot of different things, so you will want to ask the school exactly what their philosophies are.

I like the concept of Montessori and did speak with 2 preschools in our area about enrolling DS next year. One of the schools felt that it was already "too late" to begin Montessori at age 4. We went to observe the other school but decided it was not the best environment for DS.

The directors I spoke with said that they find that the children do better in a school routine of 5 days/week, which is why most Montessori schools are set up that way. But 8:30 - 3:30 does sound like a long day. Maybe there are other schools that offer a half day program? I know many here do.

02-14-2004, 01:59 AM

02-24-2004, 12:43 PM
Kathleen is currently in a Montessori preschool, and we couldn't be happier. Obviously, I am not sure about the transition--because we haven't had to make it yet :)--but she loves it. She's been learning Spanish, French, sign language, and all kinds of other stuff. Her school has a set schedule of when activities occur, but of course, during that activity, she's free to choose something else if she wants it. The kids in her class are very sweet and I find them very respectful of the other kids in the class.

I attended a Montessori kindergarten and really wanted that experience for my kids.

Absolutely check it out and see what it's all about. And maybe see if you can call other parents and ask them their thoughts. Good luck! :)

02-25-2004, 12:10 PM
My son is 20 months and has been in a Montessori Preschool since last October. He is very happy there and really enjoys the classroom activites and structure. He currently attends 3 full days a week.

I think the most important thing is the 'vibe' you get when you visit the school itself. See the classroom in action and ask if they will let you sit in for a little while with your daughter. They offered that to me and I think it helped me to really formulate an impression.

HTH :)

02-26-2004, 06:48 PM
I agree with Beth about the transition to regular school. One of my friends who is a teacher (as am I) said she had a kid who went to Mont. and didn't do with the structure. But, that being said, kids who DON'T attend mont. may have issues with the structure as well!

The Pre-K program I worked in last year used High/Scope...curriculum? I don't want to say curr. because it really isn't. It is supposed to be child-interest based, so there are key things that a H/S pre-k should have, but it won't necessarily LOOK the same everywhere.

Now, we did not do EVERYTHING by the High/Scope book. One of their things (and I think is true in mont. as well) is that there is no 'organized' story time. Books are read to children in small groups, or one-on-one, at their initiation. But, we were in a public school and were a Title I pre-k, and we had 'goals' to meet.

I would guess that there may be a similar spectrum when it comes to how mont. a pre-k is. Maybe check into whether or not a program is licensed.

My mom did daycare for a while when I was kid, and she had a British lady who was trained in Mont. set up a room that was mont., and many aspects of the program were mont. I think some of the things are great, and others are not. Just my 2c.

Dagan 10.6.03

03-03-2004, 12:19 AM
Madeline's Mom

I was a Public School Montessori teacher for two years in Houston. The school district paid for our program and I am fully certified. I enjoyed many aspects of the program and find that it takes a child who is already independent and fosters that in the child. I will also say that it is very structured, good for some, not good for others. You will know after you observe if it fits your childs personality.

One thing most people don't know and I didn't until I went through the training is that Montessori teacher do not have to be state certified. On the contrary, all they have to do is go through a 6 or 8 week training class and an "internship" usually at an established Montessori school for one year. I had a real problem with this because some of the schools charge really high fees and your childs teacher could be a 19 year old who just finished her "coursework". I am by no means saying that all state certified teachers are qualified to teach but they are generally over the age of 22 and have spent many hours doing supervised work with children before they ever graduate from college.

I think Montessori is a great program but talk carefully to the director about who will be in your childs class and their qualifications, where do they get subs when the teacher isn't in, is anyone going on maternity leave and who will be taking the teachers place.

Good luck,


05-28-2005, 02:45 AM
I enrolled my 3 year old son in a montessori preschool last year. He just finished his first year of preschool and he has gained so much from it. I actually drive 20-25 minutes to send him to this Montessori school, because it is the closest Mont. school to my house. I not only liked the Mont. philosophy of mixed age classrooms, self-directed activities, and the "cosmic" curriculum, but it seemed to suit my son's independent and focused personality. In addition, although my son was very bright, he was slightly speech delayed and not socially adept. Mont. program worked out really, really well for him.

The mixed ages in each classroom allowed him to interact with children that he could learn from. In fact, most of his best friends were 1 -2 years older than him. Socially, he has blossomed. The self-directed activities were really well-suited for him, because he already knew his upper and lower case alphabet before starting preschool and he could find activities that interested him vs. doing the same thing as everyone else in a traditional preschool. I liked the cosmic curriculum the best, because it introduces a lot of advanced information and it's up to the kid to absorb what he/she can. So, when they learned about the continents in school, my son loved it. I bought him a world map and he has learned most of the countries and U.S. states - before turning 4. Since he can't read, he recognizes them from the shape! He also liked the unit on the solar system and planets. His favorite is "#9 - itty bitty Pluto." I don't think that this would have been introduced in a regular 3 year old preschool program!

I sent my son from 8am - 2:30pm including nap, and he did just fine with it. Next year, he will attend the K4 program until 2:30 without the nap, since he dooesn't nap anymore. He loves his school so much that he asks me every day on the weekends whether he can go to school. So, although we haven't had to deal with the "transition to public school" question yet, I'm not concerned about it, because he has gained so much from this experience.

Hope this helps.