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My son is going to be 3 this June. Since he's 2, he goes to a local nursery and kindergarten school. He has picked up a few skills that are necessary at his age. He can now recite the alphabet and speak in two languages (English and my native language).

His teacher at the school remarked that he has got a better than average power of narration. He's able to tell a story or narrate an event. This is our first kid and his teacher thinks that this is a rare quality in kids that age.

My spouse has some experience of dealing with kids in kindergarten and elementary (ages 5 - 7). She thinks sending him to a Montessori based school will advance his development.

The school fees at the Montessori school are almost twice as much as at the local school.

Is this generally true as rule of the thumb?

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I don't understand what "this" refers to in the last sentence, and thus I don't really understand what your question is. Is it about the cost of Montessori schools? –  Dave Clarke Apr 22 at 20:47
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"Is it worth sending a kid to ..." is a pretty individual question: you're the one with the other uses for that money, after all. "What are the benefits of Montessori school?" might be a better way to phrase this such that you get good and useful answers. –  Joe Apr 22 at 21:29
    
If your kid is doing well at the normal school, leave him there. But if he isn't learning, the Montessori would probably be better. It isn't necessarily a "better" school, it just uses different learning styles (since the kids that learn differently). –  Bobo May 31 at 0:55
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4 Answers 4

My experience with Montessori schools is all second hand. I have one friend whose kid was not doing well in a traditional school but thrived in a Montessori school. I know another person who started their kid in a Montessori and it just did not work out so transferred to a traditional school.

Montessori schools are not better, just different. I know a teacher who worked at another alternative style school; from my conversations with her many kids would not work well in her school but the kids who go there could only thrive in a school like hers.

It comes down to the individual child and what they need. We considered Montessori schools for our two kids (we have one local) but felt it was not in-line with their needs and personalities. Both thrive in a more structured environment (but for different reasons).

You have time so keep your options open, keep an open mind and do some more research. Most schools have open days, go and check one out.

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Yes, I say go for it, send your kid to Montessori school. Most schooling stifle's a child's natural curiosity for learning, whereas Montessori school will help your child find their "niche" more easily, i.e. do they like to do things with their hands, such as Julia Child (who is a product of Montessori education).

The long-term benefits outweigh any costs right now.

My aunt sent her kids to Montessori school and it has helped them tremendously (they were fortunate enough to live in an area with exceptional public schools, otherwise she would have continued)

I hope I can send my kids to Montessori school

EDIT: Some benefits I've seen, I expect to see

  • kids are more mature and articulate for their age, easier time communicating with adults, authority
  • kids realize the inner genius in all of them. A kid who may be labeled as "slow" by a public school system will discover his or her aptitudes (lets say Fractions) in Montessori school, and will gain even more self-confidence by helping other kids in this area, i.e. Fractions
  • kids learn to think out of the box. They are given problems to solve and unique ways to solve them. Because of this type of thinking, they are more likely to innovate, such as Google and Amazon founders
  • the focus is on the joy of learning, so kids have less time for bullying each other
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Hi Glowie, perhaps you could go in more detail on the specific benefits you've seen (or might expect to see) in a Montessori school. That would turn a good answer into a great one. –  Joe Apr 22 at 21:30
    
@Joe - let me know if you need more details –  Glowie Apr 24 at 18:41
    
that is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for updating it! –  Joe Apr 24 at 18:47
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For both questions about fees and quality, the answer is "It depends...".

The better non-Montessori schools can reasonably be expected to surpass lower quality Montessori schools. Also, parents and home cultures might better complement one style or the other. It's very difficult for someone who is remote to give any certain answer.

A well run Montessori school will generally give better results than "traditional" daycare or preschool. Of course, only you will know if the results are what you want. Fees will tend to be higher because it costs more to receive Montessori credentials and to maintain their standards, much like any other profession. (I funded my daughter's attendance for a year at the Montessori International Academy in London a few years ago while earning her education degree.)

You'll need to interview prospective schools to determine if any given school meets your needs and wants. If possible, meet other parents to gain a secondary perspective. On-line resources might give opportunities to check reviews, but it depends on how things go in your region.

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When looking at Montessori schools, check to see if they're certified by the American Montessori Society. (The website also has other useful information.) Any school that deals in preschool-age students can call itself a Montessori, whether it has anything to do with that philosophy or not.

Whether your child would be better off in a Montessori depends on the school and on your child. My biggest suggestion would be to visit the school(s). You'll get a gut feeling. As an example, I was enthusiastic about enrolling my daughter in the nearby Waldorf school - until I visited. It just was NOT a good match. However, a nearby Montessori school seemed like a perfect environment!

Last, I'll add that I have many friends who attended Montessori schools, and they all rave about the experience. I've yet to hear one negative thing from them.

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