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Any Montessori families?

vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
Did you/your child attend Montessori? If so, what school are you attending, where are you looking?

I've noticed that all of the schools we are looking at are in close proximity to Montessori schools. When I bring up Montessori there's always a faculty member that says "We love Montessori kids. I send/sent my kid to Montessori".

Since we've loved our Montessori experience, I guess we are on the right track with the schools we've picked.

I'd love to hear how fellow Montessorians are doing in their schools and how you feel Montessori either prepared you or left you unprepared for the experience.

Replies to: Any Montessori families?

  • PhotographerMomPhotographerMom Registered User Posts: 1,839 Senior Member
    Montessori wasn't on our radar initially- at all. I put both boys on a "list" for a very popular and "exclusive" preschool program at our church. Moms would literally put their kids on the list as soon as they were out of the delivery room- even though there was no guarantee that they'd eventually get in.

    Yes, I was that mom and it still pains me, but we can laugh about it now.

    It was only when we hired a woman who helped with the boys ( who were born insanely close together due to a spectacular round of golf and several Tom Collins cocktails ... ) that we learned about Montessori . I was an "older" mom completely in the weeds, working from home, and caring for two insanely rambunctious toddlers so I finally waived the white flag, surrendered, and called an agency. I interviewed several "nannies " ( please don't judge me ) that failed to impress so when the agency called to say that their "best" one ( with impeccable references ) just became available, I scheduled the appointment immediately and made sure my husband was home to meet her.

    She was dressed head to toe in black. She had jet black hair and she was easily in her mid-late 60's with the palest skin I have ever seen. My husband , who saw her getting out of her car from upstairs , casually walked into the kitchen before the doorbell rang ( as I was frantically scrubbing the children ) and told me that Damian's nanny ( from The Omen ) survived the hanging and she was here to care for our children.

    When he went to answer the door, I could hear his voice trailing ( for my benefit ) : I love you, Damian.............

    She was absolutely the scariest woman on earth and we hired her on the spot . If you want scary nanny to laugh in your face , tell her your fancy preschool plans. She told me that "her children " only go to Montessori. Okay then- we're going to Montessori! God- I was so weak back then... anything you say scary nanny.

    Much like the nanny interview, I made the same mistake and took my husband to an Open House at "the best" Montessori school - "the best " according to scary nanny. There... parents with enrolled children got up and spoke with raw emotion about how their three year olds could fill and empty dishwashers and pour water from a pitcher without spilling. I was on the edge of my seat... all in. Children in costumes ( beautiful costumes they created and sewed ) preformed a scene and sang songs from " Madeline " in French . My husband wasn't just giving me wicked side eye all evening.... he was giving me raised eyebrow side eye which is a lot, lot worse ....

    But I was resolute: I'm not letting scary nanny down so we're joining the Children of the Corn Cult ( HT to Photodad for that one )....

    ..... ... if they'll have us.

    Farewell exclusive, very fancy church Preschool ( of my dreams ) and hello Montessori !! We only did three years of Montessori prechool but it was an absolutely amazing experience for the kids. They LOVED it. It was such a zen place to learn and grow - even if all the parents outside the building were wrapped a little tight ;) . The kids who didn't stay through elementary ( like mine ) were very well prepared for their very rigorous kindergarten interviews/ PDS experience ( :) ) that followed - I would even say lightyears ahead in many,many ways . I also know two kids who went to JBS after their last Montessori year, too and they did very well at rigorous boarding schools ( JBS-SS ).

    As a parent, I loved Montessori. Even Photodad was ( eventually ) won over . I'm actually very grateful that scary nanny was able to intimidate me, temporarily relieve me of my parenting duties, and steer us in that direction. She did us a HUGE favor. It was a wonderful foundation for the boys and in my mind worth every penny.... even though the admission process required mandatory potty-trained boys by age 2 1/2 ( my reaction: Are you insane? ) and tuition that made my nose bleed.

    Come to think of it... Montessori actually prepared me very well for BS..... :)
  • vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    While I always knew Lizardkid was a "Montessori kid" (I have an education background and consult to many different types of schools, so I had a good base for comparison), we stuck it out in public school until 4th grade. I knew it was time to go when he started writing lesson plans for his teachers.

    We are so lucky that our school goes through 8th grade. Montessori middle school is AMAZING. It's basically what sold me on switching schools mid-year. I took one look at what they were doing in the middle school and the self-directed, confident students that they were producing and said: "I want that for my kid". From what we are told by alumni and secondary schools, our students are very well prepared not just academically, but in all of the "soft" skills that make kids successful in secondary school.

    The best thing about Lizardkid having two very different educational experiences is that he is now what I would call a very savvy educational consumer. He really knows the questions to ask to find a school that "teaches how he learns".

    @PhotographerMom - I totally feel your pain. I have a set 12 months apart. They've given up and now just say "yes" when people ask if they are twins. It doesn't help that they look exactly alike (although boy/girl) and have "spooky twin" traits like their own language and knowing what the other is doing even when they are in different locations. I can't tell you how many pictures I have of them swinging from chandeliers, hanging off of my second story banister and boosting each other over baby gates. They were definitely double trouble.
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