Montessori or Not

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RenoJay
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Montessori or Not

Post by RenoJay » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:19 pm

I am fortunate to have saved significant assets (probably enough for a lifelong retirement) by age 40. That said, it was a long journey chock full of business failures before I hit a big success, and I am grateful for my parents' extremely frugal nature for teaching me how to manage a business and personal budget. When the recession hit in 2008, my income plummeted by about 80% but is still quite good by normal American standards. It is roughly break even with the lifestyle we live. My son attends a perfectly decent pre-school which is free of charge. My wife wants to send him to a Montessori school (which rejected him last year) because she feels it's a better quality education. My attitude is that it may be better, but it's not $8,000/year better so let's leave him where is he is. Also, from speaking with parents of Montessori students, I know the school will do a hard sell eventually to keep the kid there until high school. (Even though the local public schools are quite new and good.) So the question is, am I just being a tightwad by having millions stored away and refusing to give in on the pre-school debate, or am I being sensible by sticking to my belief that we should always live within our current means (i.e. my new, reduced compensation) unless it's a matter of real health/safety?

livesoft
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by livesoft » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:22 pm

I'd defer to my wife on this decision. :)
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harrychan
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by harrychan » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:33 pm

I'm also a parent of young kids. There are ample pre schools and pre k programs around us and when it comes to education, I won't mind spending an extra buck or two. With that said, I believe that each child is unique in a sense that they flourish under different environment. Some kids may do better than others in a strict curriculum such as Montessori. Other kids may flourish when they are at a developmental school. If you see your child making progress in their current environment, leave them alone. I think feel your child's learning is hindered, then try another place. But one thing for sure is to make sure you make several visits into classrooms, interview teachers, the principle and stick with that school. Kids get extremely stressed if moved from school to school.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

555
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by 555 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:04 pm

You are lucky to have good public schools, and you should take advantage of it. There's nothing that intrinsically makes private better (when public schools are as good as they are supposed to be). Also I don't know why you'd want to go back to a school that turned you away. Tell them to shove it.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:16 pm

Instead of spending the money on private schools, use it to augment the education your child receives at the public school. Buy books and educational toys from a school supply store. Get some age appropriate science experiments like using sand and floss to filter water to learn about particle sizes or "dancing" spaghetti to learn basics about density and chemical reactions. As long as the public school is safe and has decent teachers, having parents who are involved in learning outside of the school will have a lot better return on investment than sending a child to private school IMHO.

Dave76
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Dave76 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:27 pm

Mudpuppy wrote: As long as the public school is safe and has decent teachers, having parents who are involved in learning outside of the school will have a lot better return on investment than sending a child to private school IMHO.
I agree, but he could end up setting fire to the kitchen. I would stick with the basics: blocks, board games, Lincoln Logs, legos, and nursery rhymes. All those things stimulate creativity and build imagination.

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joe8d
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by joe8d » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:41 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:Instead of spending the money on private schools, use it to augment the education your child receives at the public school. Buy books and educational toys from a school supply store. Get some age appropriate science experiments like using sand and floss to filter water to learn about particle sizes or "dancing" spaghetti to learn basics about density and chemical reactions. As long as the public school is safe and has decent teachers, having parents who are involved in learning outside of the school will have a lot better return on investment than sending a child to private school IMHO.
:thumbsup
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Mudpuppy
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:15 am

Dave76 wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote: As long as the public school is safe and has decent teachers, having parents who are involved in learning outside of the school will have a lot better return on investment than sending a child to private school IMHO.
I agree, but he could end up setting fire to the kitchen. I would stick with the basics: blocks, board games, Lincoln Logs, legos, and nursery rhymes. All those things stimulate creativity and build imagination.
There's no fire involved in either of the science experiments I listed. The first is just mud, water, sand and aquarium filter floss. The second is just vinegar, baking soda, spaghetti and water. Not all science involves danger. I'm kind of a little irked at the general public perception that it's too dangerous to involve young children in science, when there are so many at-home experiments that are safe, simple and fun.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by epilnk » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:20 am

I'm stuck - I simply can not wrap my mind around the phrase "perfectly decent pre-school which is free of charge."

Education is the highest priority in our two PhD family. My children are in a good elementary school in a good district. We even have a public Montessori option, which would have been my second choice after their current school. I do not believe private school - Montessori or otherwise - would be better than where they are now. But I also believe that Montessori preschool may have been the single biggest educational advantage we have given them them.

Gray
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Gray » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:31 am

I investigated Montessori and rejected it.

If your kid likes to operate in highly structured environments with other people putting tasks in front of him/her all day long (count the beads, put these things in order, etc), and you think that's good, go for it.

I sent my daughter to a KinderCare from 3 months on, but enrolled her in hooked on phonics and hooked on math (optional programs that took place "year round" each week) starting at age 4. She was reading when she started Kindergarten.

555
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by 555 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:44 am

Anyway, isn't a "Montessori school" just a school that puts "Montessori" in its name?

epilnk
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by epilnk » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:07 am

555 wrote:Anyway, isn't a "Montessori school" just a school that puts "Montessori" in its name?
If you don't know enough about Montessori to check for AMI or AMS certification, you probably shouldn't be willing to spend $8k a year for "Montessori". Your child could land in a highly structured environment in which people put tasks in front of a kid all day long.

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dgm
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by dgm » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:42 am

i went to montessori and cried every day on the drive there b/c i did not want to go

having said that i do have memories of learning alot in that place and did quite well academically. went to public elementary -> hs and then a top ivy league school for college

now i found startups in the online world (some acquisitions, some misses)

i don't know for sure but I do think montessori helped. i remember learning how to do show and tells, interact w/ kids, brush my teeth, use floss, fold my clothes, play with lego like toys and lots of other things. the other kids i know who went to montessori also fared quite well--bio researcher, cancer doctor, pre-law, gynecologist...not to imply that montessori is the reason they did so well. just some datapoints...

also: there is a behavioral bias that causes people who have income to overspend and people who don't have income (but plenty of savings) to underspend, and this is what causes wealthy retirees to save more than they probably need to. (can't find the actual article now). so you may want to think about whether you are falling into this behavioral trap.

if i were in your shoes I would send him to montessori. given that I had reasonable certainty that this is just a temporary setback in income. I think the preschool/kindergarten years are quite important to the child's development and the additional 8k/yr may be worth it. the efficacy of montessori is debatable perhaps but if its due solely to the 8k expense, i don't think i'd let such a small expense (relative to your savings) stand in the way.

I would move them to a good public school system after preschool though.

my 2 cents based on biased personal experience

SP-diceman
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by SP-diceman » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:56 am

I wouldn’t send a kid there if it was free.
Let the behavioral modellers “shape” other kids.

chipperd
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by chipperd » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:18 am

Before I offer my two cents, and this might not be appropriate for me to know, as a parent I would want to consider the reason that your child was not accepted last year. Sometimes, the school that declines a student may not feel they are a good fit. Given that they are the "experts" on what happens on a daily basis at the school and what/how the curriculum is implimented, this should strongly be considered as part of the decision making process.

snyder66
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by snyder66 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:26 am

Firsat Montessori, then private school. I'm sure in some instances people can justify this, but not me. If you live in a good district, your child will be fine. I do disagree with some of the tenets of our public school, but who says that this won't be the case with a private school as well. Let your preschooler be a preschooler. The rest of their life will be filled with ridiculous expectations! Humbly, my opinion.

lwfitzge
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by lwfitzge » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:43 am

SP-diceman wrote:I wouldn’t send a kid there if it was free.
Let the behavioral modellers “shape” other kids.

+1, & my wife & I are Phd Neuroscientists & don't like excessive structure, curriculum, & stress in pre-school kids; just make sure your kid is loved, around enough kids early to develop well socially, & provided enough enrichment to stay on developmental course [remember small advantages are fleeting as the ability to catch-up is amazing at these young age]. The biggest determinants of their success will be genetics, family social/emotional stability [no divorce], good parental role models, & benefits of growing up in a relatively affluent environment.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by TRC » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:03 am

My son is in his 2nd year of public preschool. Its an "integrated" class with some kids who have some challenges. He loves it and had come a long way since he started. They play, share stuff, sing, color, the teacher reads to them, learning sounds / letters, etc. so far, the public route has been just fine or us.

Muchtolearn
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Muchtolearn » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:57 am

These are situations that should be decided by the couple. "Let the wife decide" as somebody suggested is demeaning to women (implying that they somehow need to be in control) but worse not a good idea as men have as good ideas as wives on this. On all important decisions, I left nothing to the wife other than being an equal decision-maker. That rant over, it will make zero difference in the long run, the long run being by the time a few years are over. It will make a difference in the first few years as he/she might seem to be "smarter" than other his/her age. But that's not the case. Its just that they learn a little more. That will be made up quickly. Probably no, or only a rare public school could possibly be as good as a private school because of work rules, ability to hire and fire, rewarding better teachers, etc. But again, it will long term make no difference.

Muchtolearn
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Muchtolearn » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:01 am

lwfitzge wrote:
SP-diceman wrote:I wouldn’t send a kid there if it was free.
Let the behavioral modellers “shape” other kids.

+1, & my wife & I are Phd Neuroscientists & don't like excessive structure, curriculum, & stress in pre-school kids; just make sure your kid is loved, around enough kids early to develop well socially, & provided enough enrichment to stay on developmental course [remember small advantages are fleeting as the ability to catch-up is amazing at these young age]. The biggest determinants of their success will be genetics, family social/emotional stability [no divorce], good parental role models, & benefits of growing up in a relatively affluent environment.
What does being a PhD neuroscientist have to do with understanding elementary education? Your last sentence is too simplistic as well. You have left out an important factor -- LUCK. And to state that divorce impairs success of a child is insulting to those of us who are divorced but have successful children.

coalcracker
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by coalcracker » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:37 am

I would agree with the sentiment to not sweat it too much in regard to elementary school education. My brothers and I attended a piece of sh*t public school system all the way through high school, and one of my brothers went to an ivy league school and the other brother and I went to good liberal arts schools. Currently we are 2 doctors and a lawyer.

That said, I have to give credit to our parents for taking an active role in our education and enrichment activities. I won't get into the whole "nature vs nurture" argument, but I agree with Muchtolearn that luck is often involved as well.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by FafnerMorell » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:11 am

I've been extremely happy with our local Montessori school, even if it is a bit pricey - but really, you can't generalize much as to the quality of the school. If you're happy with what the current school is providing for free - I'd be inclined to stay there.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by bungalow10 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:16 am

Mudpuppy wrote:Instead of spending the money on private schools, use it to augment the education your child receives at the public school. Buy books and educational toys from a school supply store. Get some age appropriate science experiments like using sand and floss to filter water to learn about particle sizes or "dancing" spaghetti to learn basics about density and chemical reactions. As long as the public school is safe and has decent teachers, having parents who are involved in learning outside of the school will have a lot better return on investment than sending a child to private school IMHO.
+1
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itypefast
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by itypefast » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:17 am

My wife and I went back and forth on this for our three kids. We ended up not sending them to Montessori schools.

My oldest son is a late August birthday so he is literally the youngest you can be in the class. Despite that he is in the top of his class for reading and math. I credit the time my wife and I spend with him helping him learn and sending him to a Catholic full day kindergarten when the rest of his public school peers went to half day kindergarten.

My daughter is one of the older in her class based on birthday so she is just wrapping up half day kindergarten. We struggled for a while where to send her for the second half of the day. We ended up just supplementing her learning at home with reading and math books from Amazon.com. We just had her conference - she went from middle of the pack at the beginning of the year to off the charts for kindergarten.

The moral of the story to me is that what school you choose is only a minor consideration in comparison to how much time you spend with your kids.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Alex Frakt » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:43 am

RenoJay wrote:My son attends a perfectly decent pre-school
Is everything going OK at the current school? Absent a compelling reason, I would not force a child who is happy and progressing normally at his current school to change to a different school. Switching to a fancier name brand does not constitute a compelling reason in my mind.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by WorkToLive » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:09 am

Our six year old daughter is thriving at a Montessori school and we plan to keep her there through sixth grade. We love that she is free to move about and choose her work and decide when she is ready for the next step, instead of the calendar. The curriculum is highly individualized in Montessori so the teacher gives her lessons when she is ready for them, and not because the curriculum binder says you do addition in October and subtraction in December. She is simply flying through the curriculum because it all makes sense to her and she's been given materials that challenge her at every step. She has amazing friends and the parent community is really great. According to the workbooks I keep at home, she is at a second grade level in most things, though she is in "Kindergarten" at the moment. I don't say that to tout that Montessori is advanced, but that children who are ready for more have access to it, rather than being held back by the rest of the class. The children who need more attention get it, too, because the lessons are mostly one-on-one or in small groups, which allows the teacher to see who is understanding what and who is not. There is definitely no highly structured environment in her school. Children have a 3 hour work period in the morning and can generally select their own work. They receive maybe 6-8 lessons per week, maybe more some weeks. The mixed-age classrooms allow children to have a social peer group and an academic one that is separate, if necessary. My daughter, in her last year of Primary, loves to help out the younger students and they come to her for help.

We agree with the philosophy of allowing choice in learning because we believe it keeps her intrinsically movtivated to learn , rather than extrinsically. She doesn't have homework or tests and we can see her progress easily in the work she brings home. She is reading flutently and told her doctor at her six year check up last week that what she liked to do with her friend was multiplication. And I did not coach her to say that! She learns because she loves it, not because there is a teacher up front with a class of 25 children saying how great learning is.

Now, that said, Montessori has no trademark. There are two main certifications, AMI and AMS. We prefer AMI because the training involves a year of post-baccalaureate work and is a Master's or Master's equivalent training in the age group that is being taught. AMS schools receive some training, but more along the line of workshops and with a lesser emphasis on theory. Teachers receive certifications and the school can choose to be accredited or not. I care more about the training of the teacher than the school's status. Point being, you need to go and visit! See if you like the feel of the school, see if the classroom speaks to you. You should see and hear a calm but busy classroom with most children engaged in work. Some will wander around, but everyone needs a break now and then. The teacher sees who needs to be guided to choose work and should help kids find something to do if the wandering goes on too long. We visited our public school, her Montessori school, another Montessori, and a traditional private school. We like where she is the best. And it shows. She loves to go to school.

I did Montessori through fourth grade (school ended) and was salutatorian in HS plus summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in Physics in college. I don't believe that the transistion to traditional school is hard for most kids. I will keep her where she is until she is either not progressing academically or is unhappy. I do believe in the philosophy because it makes sense to me. And I can see that it is working for her.

Good luck!

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by BarbK » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:36 am

My daughter went to Montessori school from 3-5th grade. She was totally bored in school until then. It was the best $ and decision we ever made. She then went to an excellent public jr/sr high school along with 2 of her Montessori classmates. The 3 of them graduated high school with perfect unweighted 4.0s and are in college now; my daughter has a full ride and I'm sure the other parents aren't paying much if anything. You need to find out why the school rejected him the prior year but if the reason is acceptable, I would spend the $ especially in the early years (through grade 5-6).

RenoJay
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by RenoJay » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:41 am

Neal wrote:I would agree with the sentiment to not sweat it too much in regard to elementary school education. My brothers and I attended a piece of sh*t public school system all the way through high school, and one of my brothers went to an ivy league school and the other brother and I went to good liberal arts schools. Currently we are 2 doctors and a lawyer.

That said, I have to give credit to our parents for taking an active role in our education and enrichment activities. I won't get into the whole "nature vs nurture" argument, but I agree with Muchtolearn that luck is often involved as well.
I'm the original poster. I am surprised at all the debate this has stirred up....seems like there are an equal number of people on the do it/don't do it sides of the discussion. Personally, I also went to a piece of sh*t public school (for high school) and in a lot of ways, that lousy experience taught me to be an entrepreneur. I learned to talk my way out of gang fights, to get good grades while still doing all the bad stuff teenage boys do, etc. My takeaway was that the life lessons were more important than the school lessons. That said, there are many valid points from the side that highly values the best education available and I'll consider those as well. (So I'm still undecided.) I'd like to thank the person who asked about why my son was rejected in the first place. He had just turned three, and the try outs were in the late afternoon...his typical "break down" time...so he had a major break down. That said, he's made amazing progress in his normal pre school, so I'm not sure putting the pressure of another Montessori try out is worth it.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Alex Frakt » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:28 am

RenoJay wrote:That said, he's made amazing progress in his normal pre school
Again, if it ain't broke, why fix it? As one of the, incidentally pro- Montessori, posters put it
WorkToLive wrote:I will keep her where she is until she is either not progressing academically or is unhappy

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by epilnk » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:19 pm

Several of the commenters here seem concerned about excessive structure, which suggests an unfamiliarity with Montessori (or perhaps experience with self-proclaimed "montessoris"?). The Montessori preschool classroom is based on teaching/guiding/encouraging the child toward self regulation. It makes sense that the school rejected him the first time if he didn't appear developmentally ready - age 2.5 is considered the minimum age, but not all children are ready by that age and it defeats the purpose to accept children who aren't ready to function in the classroom without structure imposed by the teachers.

The Montessori was originally the OP's (and/or his wife's) first choice. I can't imagine how they found a free preschool, let alone a "perfectly decent" one. Who educates preschool children for free, and what kind of quality do you expect at that price? The OP's wife is not satisfied with the education her child is getting in the free preschool; the OP is. This sounds like something the couple needs to resolve themselves; not everyone values early childhood education. I would strongly recommend that the OP spend a solid block of time quietly observing both the current and the Montessori classrooms. The value of the Montessori should be obvious - if it isn't, I can't imagine why they would spend the extra money.

My own opinion is that high quality ECE has a disproportionately large impact on future school performance, so we were willing to pay a premium for it. But kids will be happy in just about any safe and enriching environment, and kids who never attend preschool also turn out fine. I don't feel that paying for private elementary school offers the same value - obviously many disagree - but I could imagine paying for Montessori elementary if we didn't have good public school options.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by 555 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:22 pm

epilnk wrote:I can't imagine where they found a free preschool, let alone a "perfectly decent" one. Who educates children for free, and what kind of quality do you expect at that price?
Presumably the free preschool is part of the public school system where OP lives. And he already said the public school system there is good.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:48 pm

RenoJay wrote:I'm the original poster. I am surprised at all the debate this has stirred up....seems like there are an equal number of people on the do it/don't do it sides of the discussion. Personally, I also went to a piece of sh*t public school (for high school) and in a lot of ways, that lousy experience taught me to be an entrepreneur. I learned to talk my way out of gang fights, to get good grades while still doing all the bad stuff teenage boys do, etc. My takeaway was that the life lessons were more important than the school lessons. That said, there are many valid points from the side that highly values the best education available and I'll consider those as well. (So I'm still undecided.) I'd like to thank the person who asked about why my son was rejected in the first place. He had just turned three, and the try outs were in the late afternoon...his typical "break down" time...so he had a major break down. That said, he's made amazing progress in his normal pre school, so I'm not sure putting the pressure of another Montessori try out is worth it.
You don't have to be talking your way out of gang fights at all public schools (although personally... been there, done that, still have a Ph.D. hanging on my office wall). That's why I said you should see if the public school is safe, which of course should be your number one priority for your children. If the public school is unsafe, of course looking into safe private school options would become a priority, as long as you can afford it.

That being said, I'd be a little concerned about a preschool which is unwilling to deal with 3 year olds who have the expected emotional outbursts of that age. It sounds like your current preschool, plus you and your wife, have done wonders at getting him to work through the break downs and learn better ways to cope with the emotions that lead to them. Would the school in question have done the same or do they just avoid the issue by rejecting children with age-appropriate emotional outbursts? That would be the big question lingering on my mind, because preschool/kindergarten is not all about academics. It's also learning how to cope with the emotions that lead to break downs and about learning to interact in a socially acceptable fashion with other children and adults. Those are very vital skills, some would argue that they are even more vital than academics at that age. And if the private school is not willing to help children with break downs work through them and learn more acceptable ways to cope, I would have a huge reservation about sending my child there, personally.

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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by RenoJay » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:14 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
RenoJay wrote:I'm the original poster. I am surprised at all the debate this has stirred up....seems like there are an equal number of people on the do it/don't do it sides of the discussion. Personally, I also went to a piece of sh*t public school (for high school) and in a lot of ways, that lousy experience taught me to be an entrepreneur. I learned to talk my way out of gang fights, to get good grades while still doing all the bad stuff teenage boys do, etc. My takeaway was that the life lessons were more important than the school lessons. That said, there are many valid points from the side that highly values the best education available and I'll consider those as well. (So I'm still undecided.) I'd like to thank the person who asked about why my son was rejected in the first place. He had just turned three, and the try outs were in the late afternoon...his typical "break down" time...so he had a major break down. That said, he's made amazing progress in his normal pre school, so I'm not sure putting the pressure of another Montessori try out is worth it.
You don't have to be talking your way out of gang fights at all public schools (although personally... been there, done that, still have a Ph.D. hanging on my office wall). That's why I said you should see if the public school is safe, which of course should be your number one priority for your children. If the public school is unsafe, of course looking into safe private school options would become a priority, as long as you can afford it.

That being said, I'd be a little concerned about a preschool which is unwilling to deal with 3 year olds who have the expected emotional outbursts of that age. It sounds like your current preschool, plus you and your wife, have done wonders at getting him to work through the break downs and learn better ways to cope with the emotions that lead to them. Would the school in question have done the same or do they just avoid the issue by rejecting children with age-appropriate emotional outbursts? That would be the big question lingering on my mind, because preschool/kindergarten is not all about academics. It's also learning how to cope with the emotions that lead to break downs and about learning to interact in a socially acceptable fashion with other children and adults. Those are very vital skills, some would argue that they are even more vital than academics at that age. And if the private school is not willing to help children with break downs work through them and learn more acceptable ways to cope, I would have a huge reservation about sending my child there, personally.
These are great thoughts, and I'm pretty much in agreement. I'm not too interested in trying to force my child into a school that didn't want him, and I hope my wife will understand why. Regarding safety issues, the public schools near us are all pretty safe except the Jr. High (which requires a drive to the other side of town) so for those two years, I will gladly pony up for private school.

dewey
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by dewey » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:52 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:Instead of spending the money on private schools, use it to augment the education your child receives at the public school. Buy books and educational toys from a school supply store. Get some age appropriate science experiments like using sand and floss to filter water to learn about particle sizes or "dancing" spaghetti to learn basics about density and chemical reactions. As long as the public school is safe and has decent teachers, having parents who are involved in learning outside of the school will have a lot better return on investment than sending a child to private school IMHO.
+1

+2
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dewey
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by dewey » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:02 pm

Roughly 90% of K-12 students in the U.S. attend public schools--a statistic that has been relatively constant over time. Of these, roughly 90% are religious (not long ago, 90% of these were Catholic--that has dropped to roughly 60% in recent decades owing to the growth of Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestant schools). We tend to use the term private--meaning elite, special, quality, etc.,--and apply it to all 'private' schools. In truth, the quality and value on the private side is very mixed, not unlike on the public side. The one key difference is religious imposition--something some folks desire and are willing to pay for, often regardless of educational quality.
“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence…”

dewey
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by dewey » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:17 pm

dewey wrote:Roughly 90% of K-12 students in the U.S. attend public schools--a statistic that has been relatively constant over time. Of these, roughly 90% are religious (not long ago, 90% of these were Catholic--that has dropped to roughly 60% in recent decades owing to the growth of Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestant schools). We tend to use the term private--meaning elite, special, quality, etc.,--and apply it to all 'private' schools. In truth, the quality and value on the private side is very mixed, not unlike on the public side. The one key difference is religious imposition--something some folks desire and are willing to pay for, often regardless of educational quality.
Sorry--sentence #2 should have said of the remaining 10%, "roughly...
“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence…”

555
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by 555 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:30 pm

dewey, just click on `edit' and edit your post.

EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:39 am

It isn't just a question of Montessori or not - it is WHICH Montessori. They are not the same. We sent our child to a Montessori at 21 months of age and the school was great at teaching organizational skills, academic skills, and socialization. Then we moved. We checked out the Montessori in our new location as well as other schools. The Montessori was not of the same caliber as the first and definitely more "snobby." We went with another private school and we were happy with our decision. Then, we moved to public schools.

Before you decide, ask to spend some time sitting in on classes. I was permitted to do this and learned a lot about the operation. Montessori can be pricey and you want to make sure you know what you are getting into. Maybe your experience of being denied admission last year is a blessing in disguise.

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danwhite77
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by danwhite77 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:52 am

Or you could move to Lincoln Park, Chicago and send your kid to Oscar Mayer Montessori, a public Montessori school! Problem solved! :P
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:37 am

My wife gives Montessori the majority credit for her success in the corporate world (more than Vassar and Fordham, fwiw). She believes that Montessori taught her how to take on a project, finish it, clean up, and move on. She has had, over the years, a few thousand employees working for her. She finds that most of them would do fine on the first 80% or 90% of a project, but just couldn't "finish up." She valued those that could, and their compensation reflected it.

For those reasons, we sent our 2 children to Montessori. They're in Middle School and High School now, and doing well.

Parenthetically, the public schools here are purported to be very good. The high school always seems to be ranked between first and 5th in NJ, and usually within the top 100 or 200 in the country. My kids went through the public schools for a while, but we found that the kids got more out of a private school. The private school is pricey, but we find that it's worth it. Please don't ask why I pay extortionate property taxes plus private school tuition :)

epilnk
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by epilnk » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:48 am

EagertoLearnMore wrote:It isn't just a question of Montessori or not - it is WHICH Montessori. They are not the same. We sent our child to a Montessori at 21 months of age and the school was great at teaching organizational skills, academic skills, and socialization. Then we moved. We checked out the Montessori in our new location as well as other schools. The Montessori was not of the same caliber as the first and definitely more "snobby." We went with another private school and we were happy with our decision. Then, we moved to public schools.

Before you decide, ask to spend some time sitting in on classes. I was permitted to do this and learned a lot about the operation. Montessori can be pricey and you want to make sure you know what you are getting into. Maybe your experience of being denied admission last year is a blessing in disguise.
+1

There is no substitution for seeing the classes in action, and no quantity of opinions you can gather from random strangers on the internet that will trump this. (Our Montessori encouraged me to quietly observe for as long as I liked.) You can see for yourself whether the school is worth paying for. If the OP's wife has observed both classes but the OP has not, then he should defer to her.

Miskatonic
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by Miskatonic » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:11 pm

I think this decision depends on the unique needs of the child.

I have no background in educational psychology or theory so I'm as unqualified as any here to give a low value opinion. I don't even have kids so I'm perhaps devalued even more. But I did have a childhood and I think I would have benefited from a teaching method which I believe the Montessori system uses.

Most kids, luckily, do just fine receiving and education from an mass scale, assembly line education experience. Not to demean traditional educators, I had some great ones but I struggled with the learning style from my public school experience until the last two years of high school when things clicked for me and continued positively into college.

I've always loved to learn but I needed to have been able to run with my passions of the time and have had other important areas of learning introduced in support of my primary interests for a well rounded whole. Public, or private, traditional method schools don't have the ability to cater to individual children with unique learning style needs.

Perhaps your children do well in traditional learning situations such that a Montessori style education is not necessary or would not be as beneficial as it might for other kids. Luckily, you have the financial resources to be able to offer the best style to meet their individual needs.

manuvns
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Re: Montessori or Not

Post by manuvns » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:45 pm

a whole lot depend upon the quality of public school and amount of income and property taxes you are paying . if you have enough disposable income or savings i say private school is the way to go . If your kid end up getting scholarship in college you save some $ .

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